Friday, November 4, 2011

Top 120 Reasons

I "stole" this idea from a friend. He made a list of reasons he wants to lose weight - one reason for every pound he wants to lose. I don't know how much I need to lose, but I'm guessing around 120 pounds. So.... here's my list of 120 reasons I want to lose the weight:
120 So that I never have to spend hours on a Friday night making a list like this again!
119 To be able to push away a plate of food because I'm full
118 I want to shop in normal stores and wear normal clothes
117 So I could learn to keep ice cream in my freezer without eating an entire half gallon in 2 days (or less)
116 So that shaving my legs isn't so difficult
115 So that I no longer fear the scale
114 So when I go to the Dr. I don't need to wear two gowns to go around my body
113 To not worry about my pants ripping
112 Because I'm worth it!
111 So that I don't have to talk myself out of going through a drive thru every time I go by a restaurant
110 To wake up in the morning and feel energized and ready to face the day
109 To not hate looking in the mirror or see my reflection in a window
108 To be able to enjoy my food and not just shove it in to try to "satisfy" my craving
107 To not take references to "overweight people" personally
106 To never again put on a "one size fits all" shirt and have it NOT fit me
105 To not be self conscious eating in front of other people
104 To finally wear a bra that fits without digging into me
103 So I can fit in a booth comfortably in a restaurant
102 So that I could order clothes from a catalog and not worry about them not fitting
101 So I can wear shorts again
100 To turn heads for that second look instead of getting the "What were you thinking look".
99 So I will not be embarrassed in crowds
98 So that I don't struggle to pick something up off the floor
97 Because I'd love to go out with friends and DANCE
96 To decrease my risk of stroke
95 To improve my memory
94 To improve my mood
93 To reduce my risk of arthritis
92 To decrease foot pain
91 So that my workouts will be more fun
90 So I am not tired all the time
89 To reduce my risk of cancer
88 To be an inspiration for others to live healthy lives
87 So I can hopefully be able to stop taking heartburn medicine every day
86 To improve my confidence
85 To improve my endurance
84 So that I am in control of what I eat rather than the food controlling me
83 I can bend over to tie my shoes without struggling
82 So I can wrap a regular towel around myself when I get out of the shower and not have to use a huge bath sheet
81 So I can help others who struggle with their weight
80 So I don't feel the need to hide behind someone when I have my picture taken
79 So I don't dread short sleeve weather
78 So I don't have to worry about clothes fitting when the seasons change
77 So I can not dread getting my picture taken
76 To not dread getting on the scale when I go to the Dr.
75 Because I'm tired of having to have multiple sizes of things for various weights
74 Because losing and gaining and losing and gaining is very hard on the heart
73 So that I can wear jeans with cute designs on the pocket and not cover them up with my shirt
72 To improve my emotional health
71 To improve my quality of life
70 To improve my cholesterol
69 To improve my blood pressure
68 So I can wear my "Marathon Finisher" sweatshirt
67 Because it's time to finally get some victory in this area of my life
66 To fit into my Grandma's long black winter coat
65 To have more energy
64 So I can sit in a lawn chair without being afraid I am going to break it
63 Because God is worth sacrificing what I think I want for what I know is right
62 Because I don't want food to be an idol in my life
61 Because I want to eat to live, not live to eat
60 My short & spiky hair would look much cuter on a smaller body
59 So my back won't hurt as much
58 Because I liked it better when I felt more like 1/2 my age
57 Because I need to stop the weight loss/weight gain cycle
56 Because I'm tired of feeling like being fat defines me
55 Because my life depends on it
54 So I can sleep better
53 So that I can sit with my legs crossed
52 So that I can be an example of not giving up
51 So I can start getting rid of clothes that are too big and stop putting away the ones that are too small for "someday"
50 Because I want to be a personal trainer and help others on their journey
49 To be a good example to my friends' kids
48 To be able to wear a shirt tucked in
47 Because I've spent most of my life overweight or obese and I'd like to spend the rest of it HEALTHY
46 To wear a swimsuit without a t-shirt over it because I'm too self conscious
45 Because failure is not an option
44 Because I can!
43 Because I'd love to run a marathon when I'm 100 years old
42 So kids don't ask me if I"m pregnant
41 Because my knees will thank me
40 To go hiking in the mountains
39 So I could wear a cute pair of cowboy boots
38 Because I could save SO much money that I have wasted on food
37 Because I need to find a healthy outlet for my emotions instead of running to food
36 Because gluttony is a sin and yet I keep going back to it
35 So I can look in the mirror and see the person that I feel like inside
34 So that if I run into someone from high school they won't recognize me right away
33 Because I have a cute "little black dress" hanging in my closet that I have never worn
32 Because, believe it or not, EVERY NOW AND THEN I like to dress up
31 Because I want to get my belly button pierced, but need to find it first! :-P
30 So I fit comfortably in movie theater seats
29 Because I really only need one chin
28 Because I have aortic valve stenosis and being overweight and eating unhealthy can cause more problems
27 Because I have history of cancer in my family
26 Because I have history of heart disease in my family
25 So I can feel comfortable in my own skin
24 To compete in a triathlon
23 To run a marathon in less than 5 hours
22 To run a 1/2 marathon in 2 1/2 hours
21 To run a 10K in less than an hour
20 To run a 5K in less than 30 minutes
19 To get my life back
18 Because I never want to feel sick from going on an eating binge again
17 Because I hate thinking about food all the time
16 So I can eat like a normal person
15 So I can see my feet without having to look over my belly
14 So I can wear regular clothes
13 I'm tired of struggling to get up off the couch
12 I love to run and want to be able to run without hurting my joints because of the excess weight
11 I hate having such a hard time getting up off the floor when I do sit down
10 I hate not being able to sit comfortably on the floor
9 I'm tired of the discomfort that comes from being so overweight
8 Because I am NOT stubborn - just determined!
7 To be a witness of all things being possible through Christ!
6 To be a good example to others
5 To feel better
4 To be able to fit into the clothes in my closet
3 To not be out of breath walking up the stairs
2 To be healthy
1 To glorify and honor the Lord

Starting over.... again.... it's really all just a journey isn't it?

So, finished the 1/2 marathon... determined to get back on track with the healthy eating and exercising regularly... and... FAIL!

I have not been doing well, at all! Tomorrow I am meeting with a personal trainer at a gym in Ankeny. I am determined to get back to the discipline of eating healthy and exercising regularly. I have a plan to run a 1/2 marathon in April and a full marathon in October next year. Overall, I just want to honor God in everything - including my body - and to just be healthy!!

I feel like I'm always starting over, but it is really all just a journey. I know I will continue to stumble... but I will keep getting back up every time and keep pressing on toward the goal!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

And done!!!!

Wow - that kind of sums up how I'm feeling right now. I'm in awe and overwhelmed at God's strength that got me through today. I'm going to back up to Friday. My friend Mary went with me to pick up my packet, and we saw a booth "Team 413" We stopped and talked to them. Team 413 is based on Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." The founder of the ministry, Chris, gave me this card and it was such an encouragement to me. This card really sums up how I was feeling - life has been hard, but God has been with me all along the way!
I went back to the Expo to get a shirt and I was hoping to hear Chris speak, but it got canceled. I did get a picture with him though. He is an amazing person with an awesome testimony and deep love for the Lord. It was such a privilege to meet him and talk with him. Check out his ministry at

I left after talking to Chris on both Friday and Saturday with a new-found confidence.... not in myself or my abilities, but in the Lord and His ability to get me through. Saturday night I got all my stuff together... one of my favorite parts of getting ready for the race... it must be the OCD in me!! There's something fun about laying all my stuff out and making sure I have everything I need for race day!

I was fighting a headache and earache all day Saturday but went to bed feeling pretty good. I got up bright and early Sunday morning and headed down to Des Moines. I think I got there earlier than I ever have. It was a little after 6 and the race didn't start until 8. But, I found a pretty good parking spot and had plenty of time to just take it all in.
Before the start I heard over the loudspeakers they were interviewing Rebecca from Biggest Loser. I HAD to go find her and talk to her. It was awesome - it was a short visit but I got a picture with her and Daniel, from the same season - they are such a cute couple! They were so encouraging, and Daniel even said "Good job" as he went by me during the race!

When it came time to start, my headache came back with a vengeance. Chris had asked that at 7:30 for everyone on Team 413 to stop and pray. I did, and I know others did too. My head started feeling a little better. Chris had suggested I run and walk 2 minute intervals for the whole race. I started out great and was feeling really good, until I hit mile 8. I got a really bad pain in my left thigh. It was SO sore. I stopped and stretched, but it just hurt so bad to just walk. I kept walking... through the pain. I just prayed and asked God to give me wisdom if I needed to stop. I even felt a little light-headed and felt like I was going to throw up a few times. I just kept pressing on. The music I was listening to helped to encourage me along the way. Other runners also encouraged me. I saw Chris, and Kevin (another Team 413 friend) and other Team 413 friends along the route. Them, and everyone else along the route were so encouraging. One gal walked by me and seeing the verse on the back of my shirt said "Amen sister!" That really helped because at that point I was hurting pretty badly. Her encouragement helped me to remember that I really could do it with the Lord by my side. I felt the prayers and support of so many of my friends and family as I trudged along. Toward the end I saw a couple walkers and had in my mind that I really wanted to pass them up and beat them to the finish. Not that it is about beating anyone, but I needed something to push me forward. I started running a minute and walking a minute and boy did it hurt! I wanted to finish in less than 4 hours and I kept looking at my Garmin and knew that I needed to push ahead to meet that goal. I ended up finishing in 3:58:48. Phew... I made it!!

This race was honestly harder than the marathon last year. This past year has been so full of emotional and spiritual healing and it all kind of culminated today. I am so grateful to my wonderful counselor, Jessica H. for all the hours she spent crying with me and helping me to find my strength in the Lord. I am so thankful for my Aunt Gail who has never ceased to believe in me and sends me encouraging e-mails and so much love from far away. I am thankful to two of my very best friends Mary and Debra for always believing in me and for all of their love and support - always - but especially the past year and a half. I am thankful for my running friends Wendy and Anne who have encouraged me so much along the way - I even got a high five from Anne as we crossed paths today... she finished in less than 1/2 the time I did.... great job Anne! I am thankful to my amazing church family... I can't name them all but do want to thank Jessica C. who texted me a couple different times this morning - you'll be rocking those 13.1 miles next year Jessica!

At the end of the race there was someone there retrieving medals that people wanted to donate. I'm really not sure what they use those for, but to me the medal is important to hold onto. It symbolizes all of what I've written about here. It symbolizes all God has faithfully brought me through. It symbolizes me finishing the race! It is JUST a symbol, but I'm gonna keep it! As I was driving home I heard a song on the radio. "All Because of Jesus" by Casting Crowns. You can listen to it here:

I had been convicted the past few weeks that everything in my life - including running should be to honor the Father. It's NOT ABOUT ME! It is my prayer that I was an encouragement to those I spoke with along the way out there today. Even through the pain, I made a point of saying good job and smiling to people along the way. One of the walkers I passed toward the end was really struggling. She had a friend walking along side her encouraging her but as I passed her I felt led to encourage her also. I told her "You can do it, there's no quitting now - you've got this!" I pray that my words encouraged her and pointed her to the Lord. That song by Casting Crowns sums it up so well - It's ALL BECAUSE OF JESUS I'm alive! I know without Him I would not have made it through the past year and a half, let alone this half marathon! Last year after the marathon was when things went down hill... I started gaining weight and my workouts were terrible if they even existed. I spent the year healing emotionally and spiritually and it is my goal to move forward from this point, be healthy all around and all the while glorify the Lord in all I do.

Friday, October 14, 2011

It's not about me, it's all about You God!

I went to Des Moines to pick up my race packet and to the Sports Expo they hold for the marathon today. I am actually now EXCITED for Sunday. One of my best friends, Mary, went with me to pick up my packet. She, along with so many, have been so encouraging and have expressed such confidence in me and it really helped having her along for the ride down. We stopped at a booth at the Expo. "Team 413" - check out their ministry: I talked with the founder of the ministry, Chris Gillespie. This man has an obvious deep love for Christ. He shared with me something he posted on his facebook page this morning:
"Is your heart hurting from the circumstances in your life? Do you feel hopeless and helpless at this moment? As a Christian, God may be preparing you to do something very special and is teaching you to understand the heartaches of others. He may be instilling sympathy, empathy, and compassion within your heart and soul through your own pain and tears. Don't give up or give in -- sometimes we have to hit rock bottom in order to bounce back to be a greater influence for His Kingdom!" © GRACE-WORDS
WOW - that really hit me. It is my prayer that God uses the heartache and hopelessness I've experienced and gotten through by HIS grace to be able to help others. It is my prayer that God can use my pain and tears to reach others for Him. Chris also gave me a card which said:
"Sometimes running is easy, sometimes it's hard, and sometimes it is just drudgery! Yet, we keep running! And, so it should be with life. God never promised a life of ease. He never promised that everything would go exactly as you want. He promised to be there with you all along the way. If it is easy, hard, or drudgery, keep moving forward under His grace. He is with you!" © GRACE-WORDS
I've been doing a lot of thinking and praying the past few weeks. I've been trying to figure out why I put 50 lbs back on over the past year and how I let my exercise habits get so bad after doing so well and running/walking a marathon a year ago. I realized something big... for so long I've wanted to lose the weight and work out for me... because I wanted to feel better and look better. As I've been reading the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan in Sunday School I've been convicted that this life is NOT about me - it's about God and bringing honor and glory to Him. I became convicted that I need to get serious about losing the weight because it will honor God. My body is His temple and I WANT to honor Him with my whole life.

I'm excited about doing this 1/2 marathon on Sunday for many reasons. It is a testimony of all God has done in me over this past year. He has done so much healing in my heart and life. I do not feel physically capable to embark on this journey. However, I know that, as the theme verse of Team 413 ministry says, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." It is in HIS power that I will do this half marathon on Sunday... and it is in His power and His grace that I will seek to live each day!

A big thank you to all my wonderful friends and family who have supported, encouraged, and loved me - you are a wonderful gift and blessing in my life!!

Running the race in His grace and strength,


Saturday, October 8, 2011


I just got done with a 13.25 mile walk/jog/bike workout. It was absolutely exhausting. I have NO idea how I am going to walk/job 13.1 miles in 8 days. Right now I do not feel at all ready and am afraid I won't even be able to finish. But, I am going to try. I'm just going to pace myself and not worry about how fast I'm going and just try to get it done. If I can do this it will be a huge accomplishment. I almost feel like it will be bigger than doing the marathon last year because this past year has been so difficult. I actually have tears rolling down my face right now because the thought of trying to walk/jog a half marathon feels so completely overwhelming. I am relying on 2 Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." If I am able to do this next Sunday I KNOW it will only be because of God's power at work in me!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What a difference a year makes

Sometimes it seems like just yesterday I was remembering this time of year and was filled with sadness and emptiness. I was dreading the change of the leaves as they reminded me of how in 2009 it was such a wonderful time of change in my life. I was dreading the upcoming holidays because in 2009 I was with the man I thought I'd spend the rest of my life with. I look back on this last year and wonder where the time has gone. I feel like I have wasted so much time over the last year, but in fact it has been a year of amazing Grace (both God's grace and my amazing Grace church family) and a year of healing. I am looking forward to re-joining the land of the living and serving God however He sees fit. In all I do, I want to honor You Jesus! <3

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Peace that passes all understanding

My church has been such an amazing blessing to me. I am challenged every week to a closer relationship with my Heavenly Father and my Savior. As a church we have been challenged to include Scripture memory in our disciplines. Memorizing God's Word is a healthy habit of the Christian life that has so many benefits! This is an area I have struggled with. In college we used the Topical Memory System and I became disciplined in committing Scripture to memory. That slowly faded and it is something I hadn't done in a long time. We are going through the Topical Memory System as a church and it has really helped me to be disciplined in this again. It helps me so much in my daily walk with the Lord to be committing Scripture to memory. Psalm 119:11 says "I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You." Yes, I still sin, but focusing on God's Word is so helpful in keeping my focus on HIM where it belongs. Our Pastor has been using the verses we memorize each week in his sermons. Today was on prayer. I want to share my sermon notes here.
The verses for this week are John 15:7 - "If you remain in me and my words remain in you; ask whatever you wish and it will be given you." and Phil. 4:6-7 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
Pastor Marty started by talking about how you would react if someone came up to you and said "Ask whatever you wish and it will be given you." Of course, context is important. A little kid could come up to you with some tootsie rolls from the street after a parade and say "Ask whatever you wish and it will be given you." That might not be so appealing. But what if you walked into Best Buy and the clerk came up to you and said, "Ask whatever you wish and it will be given you." - pretty appealing offer. Or how about a billionaire saying, "Ask whatever you wish and it will be given you." - yep, I could think of some things to ask for. Well, what if the God of the universe said "Ask whatever you wish and it will be given you." That's who is saying this.
There are two qualifications for prayer:
1. Stay close to Jesus and His Word.
Notice it says IF you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you. IF is a small word yet has big implications here. When you stay close to someone they begin to rub off on you. The more time I spend with Jesus the more what HE wants will be what I want. What's important to Jesus? Pleasing His Father, bearing fruit, bringing God glory. This is what should be important to me as well. My prayers should be a reflection of these things.
2. Pray with faith filled Thanksgiving.
Faith that God can build my character (James 1:2-5)
Faith that God is with us in the battle (Deut 31:8)
Faith that God can bring good out of it. (Rom 8:28)
Faith that God promises the grace I need (Heb 4:16)
Faith that God cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
Faith that God is sovereign - He is bigger than the challenge I face. (Rom 8:37)
There are 2 promises of prayers
1. It will be given to you.
Matthew 7:7-8 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."
John 16:23-24 "In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete."
Ephesians 3:20-21 " Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
James 1:5 "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you"
James 5:16 "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."
1 Peter 3:12 " For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."
2. The peace of God will guard your hearts and minds.
2 Chronicles 20
Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you."

I am so thankful to serve a God who loves and cares for me in this way. I am grateful for a peace that passes all understanding when life doesn't make sense. I am thankful that the GOD OF THE UNIVERSE wants to have a relationship with me and that He cares for me!

Two weeks

The 1/2 marathon is two weeks from tomorrow. I hadn't done anything at all the past couple weeks... motivation has been lacking and I've just been struggling. Yesterday I went for a 5 mile walk/jog. It actually went pretty well. It took me quite a while, but I did it and survived! I need to stay on track the next couple weeks to get it done! I'm planning a good week of workouts this week and then Friday or Saturday I will do a 10 miler.

I signed up today for the Living History Farms Cross Country Race on November 19th. It's a 7 mile course with lots of mud, creeks to cross, etc. I did it last year for the first time. It's just fun so I decided to do it again this year.

I don't know how to explain it but I have a certain peace and calmness in my heart right now that had been missing. I am so thankful to my faithful Father, my amazing church family, and my wonderful friends and family who have been so supportive. My hope and prayer is that my life would honor God in all I do. I'm thankful for this peace that passes all understanding today!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

One month

The big day is one month from tomorrow. A decision has been made... I will be doing the half marathon instead of the marathon this year. I am stopping myself from saying "I'm ONLY doing the half marathon." I just have such a mental block - to me it's not the WHOLE THING. BUT, I have to remember that it is still a HUGE accomplishment to be able to walk/jog/run 13.1 miles. A few years ago there is no way I could have done that. Now, I have done a half marathon, a whole marathon, several other runs and now this year will do another half marathon. That is nothing to be ashamed of!

Now that I've made the decision I am feeling much less anxious and overwhelmed about the it all. I have one month to get ready and am confident I will be ready. I don't have any illusions of how fast I will get it done, but I will get it done!

Pressing On,


Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Long Run

Last night I started having serious doubts about my ability to complete the DM marathon next month. Even though I had already decided I was going to have to walk a lot of it and take much longer than last year, I really wanted to do it. However, my body has been screaming at me... hips, knees, ankles. I had pretty much decided when I curled up to read a while last night that if I was lucky, I'd be able to do the half marathon.

I'd been reading The Long Run by Matt Long. I HIGHLY recommend the book - it is an awe inspiring story of a marathoner/Ironman NY fire fighter who was struck by a bus while biking and nearly lost his life. He received 68 units of blood in the first 40 hours following the accident and spent 5 months in the hospital. He had 40 surgeries in less than two years and has been in physical therapy since. Matt survived this horrific accident due to his high level of fitness and determination as an active runner and Ironman triathlete, both of which helped him in his recovery. During his physical therapy, just shy of 3 years after his accident he determined to do the NY marathon again. Prior to the accident he did the marathon in 3:13:56 qualifying for the Boston Marathon. While he was in therapy and training to do the NY marathon after his accident he had to do a lot of cross training and cut down on his actual running miles. He finished, but it took him 7:21:22. (scary - my FIRST one I finished in just under 7 hours and he did that after his accident. However, I have to remember he was in TOP shape before his accident and I'm far from top shape!)

As I was reading last night I thought, well, maybe I could try that... cross train and get my endurance up and maybe cut down on the walking and jogging and perhaps I can still do this. So, that is my plan. This morning I am heading to the gym and am going to bike and do the elliptical. I am planning on a 2 - 2 1/2 hour workout.

Two quotes hit me as I finished reading Matt Long's story last night: First: "I realized that the sooner I could do a marathon, the sooner I could feel like my old self." I think this is true for me as well. Running for me is not just a physical thing, it's an emotional and spiritual thing. It's something I need to do for my overall well being. The second quote was this: "What I needed to learn was that God worked on His own schedule." I need to learn this lesson in more than one way. I still recognize that this year might not be the year I do the marathon. I really want to... not only have I already registered and shelled the money out for it, but emotionally, spiritually, and physically I really feel like I need to do it. However, this might not be the year. If I have to, I will just do the half. The marathon will be there next year and the year after that and the year after that...

The second quote hit me for another reason too. I've had a hard time understanding some things in my life the past couple years. This week I received some news that caused me to question my life even more. (Here is not the place for that - if you want more information contact me) This quote served as a reminder to me that God is in control and His timing is not always the same as mine. I won't say I'm completely at peace with things, but God is working on my heart to bring me peace.

Off to the gym now....


Monday, August 29, 2011

Renewed focus and determination

So, last week I hit rock bottom.. the good thing about hitting rock bottom is that there's nowhere to go but up! I read a friend of mine's blog last week and her words really spoke to my heart. Rather than try to sum up what she said I will quote her... hope you don't mind Lisa...

"Life is not always easy...or fun. Sometimes it is very difficult (been there and done that) BUT I don't ever want to quit MY race. I don't want to fail. One day when I stand before God, the Great Physician, I want to hear Him say,

'Lisa, you have the heart of a runner.
Your heartbeat is strong and steady FOR ME.
You have ran a good race.
Well done.'

Hebrews 12:1-2
'...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith...'"

The Des Moines marathon is only 48 days away from today... less than 7 weeks. I am going to try to be ready to walk/jog the whole thing. If it gets close and I HAVE to only do the half I will do that and I won't feel bad about it... but for now my focus and determination is to do the whole 26.2 miles. Either way the main thing is that I am going to work to throw off that which hinders me and the sin which entangles me and run with perseverance with my eyes fixed on Jesus.

I'm so thankful to my friends and family who have been so encouraging to me.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sherri's 100% Whole Wheat Maple Zucchini Muffins

After a few tries I finally have this recipe down and ready to share!

3 eggs
1/3 cup applesauce (I use unsweetened)
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 cups well packed shredded zucchini
3 cups whole wheat flour
dash of salt
cinnamon and nutmeg to taste (I use fresh grated)
pinch of baking soda
pinch of baking powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat eggs, applesauce, lemon zest, lemon juice, and syrup together. In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet and fold in the zucchini.

Fill greased or lined muffin tins (makes 2 dozen regular sized muffins - can also make mini muffins) Bake 30 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.

Yummy and healthy!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Forgetting what is behind

One of my favorite verses is Philippians 3:13-14: "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

This is applicable in so many areas of my life right now. There are things that happened that I need to forget about and just look forward. This is somewhat difficult when things are constantly popping up to remind me of the past hurts. This has spiraled into a bout of depression the past few weeks which has led to not eating well and not exercising. This past week was really hard. It's so frustrating - when I get into that depression I end up eating junk food and not working out and that leads to further depression because I feel lousy about myself. When I am feeling depressed I need to work out even more than ever! But, when I'm in the midst of it no matter how much I tell myself what I know I need to do I can't seem to motivate myself to do it. It hasn't helped that I haven't been to see my counselor in a while - money has been tight. But, I am going to see her next week and plan to get back to seeing her every other week regularly. I still have a lot of work to do for my emotional healing. In the mean time I know I can do some things to help myself.

Last night I was looking through some pictures on Facebook of my half marathon and marathon. I noticed not only how much more fit I looked but how much happier I looked! I've been so frustrated about the weight I've gained the past several months but being frustrated about it isn't going to change it. I can't look back at what was and just wish to be there again. I have to get myself up and just start over again.

The marathon is 9 weeks from Sunday. At this point I doubt I will be able to do the full marathon, I am however hoping to be able to do the half. I don't know how fast I'll get it done, it may be slower than 2 years ago when I did my first half, but at this point I just want to do it. My goal is to get healthy and happy again! So, forgetting what is behind... I am pressing on!

With faith and hope,


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sixteen weeks and not feeling ready!

Well, today marks sixteen weeks until the marathon. When I decided to run the marathon again this year I thought, I did it last year when I was in the midst of a bunch of turmoil in life, I can surely do it this year. However, I gained some weight and have been really struggling with my runs. I have had a bad past few days of eating and lack of exercising. I'm frustrated and feeling a little depleted today. However, I am remembering that I have a goal in front of me and I have never been one to back down from something I set in front of myself. Even though life isn't as full of turmoil as it was last year, I am still going through the grieving/healing process. Running is something that has helped with the process... I enjoy my time out there, just me and God. Time I can pray and think...

My first two weeks of training I have missed some days that I had scheduled to work out. I am determined in the next 16 weeks to stick to my schedule and even if I have to walk more than run I am going to get my miles in. I would like to improve my time from last year, but more than anything my goal is to finish the marathon again.

This morning I didn't feel like getting out of bed. Buddy was meowing at me... I think it was God's way of getting me out of bed and to church where He knew I needed to be. I felt better being with my amazing church family and worshiping my God. Just as I got of bed this morning when I didn't feel like it, I need to get out and get those miles in even when I don't feel like it. With my eyes focused on the Lord and all He has brought me through I am determined to keep going... putting one foot in front of the other... in my training and in life... when I feel like it and when I don't.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Emotional Health

Well, this might be a record for the number of times I've posted in a week. But, I guess I just have a lot to say this week!

Last night I was watching a re-run of Dr. Phil. I don't think I've ever watched a complete episode, but this caught my attention. The woman he was talking to was with a man, the father of her child, and he consistently cheated on her. Dr. Phil asked her if she thought she deserved being treated better and she said "No". I couldn't believe what I was hearing. She knew he cheated and yet she stayed with him... she "accepted" his behavior even though she didn't like it. I found myself being critical of her and not understanding how she could do that. Then, I realized that for many months I allowed myself to be treated very poorly by David. While I wouldn't say, like this woman did, that I didn't deserve better. I knew I deserved better than to be treated the way he was treating me, but I was convinced that having "true love" for him meant standing by him regardless. When I got done watching the show I prayed and realized that if he had really loved me, like he said he did, he wouldn't be treating me the way he was. I realized that I allowed him to keep treating me that way by standing by him. I did NOT deserve to be treated that way and if he had truly loved me he wouldn't have done what he did. I deserve to have someone love me the way that I loved him. I am worth far more than being dismissed the way he dismissed me. I find myself conflicted... I love the David that I met and spent many months with, but I don't have those same feelings of love for the David who treated me so poorly and hurt me so bad. I have pity for that David, I have concern for that David, I pray for that David that God would soften his heart and make him the man God wants him to be.

I took my Grandma's wedding ring off my ring finger and just have her engagement ring on that finger now. It is now my "Promise to God" ring. I promise that I will seek to live my life with God as the center of my heart. I promise that I will not settle for anything other than God's very best for me in any relationship I have in the future. I've realized that I deserve SO much better than how David treated me at the end of our relationship. This is a new beginning for me and I'm so thankful for where God has brought me! ♥

Seeking whole health...


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

National Running Day!

Today is National Running Day! I know I've posted blogs two days in a row, but since it is National Running Day I thought I should definitely post something.

I got home today and was really not feeling like going on my 5 mile jog/walk that I had planned. However, I had posted on Twitter and Facebook that I was going so I figured I had to! Besides, getting up and moving is the best thing to do after a chiropractic adjustment. So, I got off my duff and hit the pavement!

I wasn't really feeling it... I just didn't have the oomph that I had yesterday. But, I carried on... walking and jogging and just listening to my body so as not to overdo it. As I was going, I was alone with my thoughts as usual. I was thinking about progress I have made over the past several months.

Number one: I no longer dread the thought of the 20th of each month, in fact many months it goes by without a thought!

Number two: I can walk/jog through the park David and I spent a lot of time in without tears streaming down my face.

Number three: While there's still a part of me that loves David and I will always care for him, I know that I am not responsible for his behavior. The best I can do for him is pray that God would work in his heart.

These are just some of the thoughts I had as I was walking/jogging today. It was very healing emotionally to think about these things. So, while today wasn't a walk/jog for the record books... I still did it and it had benefit for my emotional, spiritual, and physical health.

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kickin' ass and takin' names!!

OK, I usually don't update this often... but I had to write about my run tonight! First of all this was a scheduled day "off" but it was so nice out and I was feeling so good after my counseling appointment that I decided to head out for a 2 miler. I noticed my walking warm up pace was about my jogging pace from yesterday and thought - hmmm... wonder what my jogging pace will be?? Once I started I noticed I was going quite a bit faster than yesterday but not feeling like it. So, I kept it up... keeping an eye on my Garmin to try to keep my pace up while also listening to my body. At mile one I was about ONE minute faster than my pace yesterday! I kept it up... trying to push a little bit to keep the pace and at mile 2 I finished at ONE and a HALF minutes FASTER than my pace yesterday. Granted, I went further yesterday but I really felt great and certainly did not feel like I was going that much faster.

Today gave me a real boost of confidence that I am really taking a lot of the right steps - pun intended :-) - toward getting back in running shape and meeting my goal of taking about 30 minutes off of my marathon time.

It also taught me a big lesson. As I was running I was thinking about my overall goals of getting myself healthy emotionally and spiritually as well as physically. Doing that takes the same type of work. I need to be consistent and focused as I work toward my emotional health and spiritual health as well.

So... for now, heading to bed to relax and pray before I go to sleep for the night. Good sleep is helpful for ALL of my health goals!

Blessings to all...



I jogged 3 and a HALF miles non-stop!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

WOW! Time flies!!

I was thinking today while I was out on a walk that I hadn't posted in a while. I certainly didn't realize it had been almost a full month! Well, in the month since I won the bodybugg I have lost 10 pounds. I have been doing much better on my eating healthy and getting out to exercise. I jogged a full 3 miles without stopping which is the most I had done in a long time. I am doing another 5K this coming Saturday in Story City. I am hoping that as I continue losing weight and am consistent with my exercising that I can get myself back into running shape. I want to do the marathon in less than 6 1/2 hours. Last year I did it in just under 7 hours.

I am going to try to be more consistent in my blogging - but it is MORE important to be consistent in my eating healthy and exercising!

Until next time... I'm running the race to the finish!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

I've been MIA - but I'm BACK!

I've been missing in action lately. I have really been struggling with eating well and keeping up with my exercise. At the beginning of the year I decided I would run the DM half marathon and not do a full marathon this year. I wanted to focus on being more balanced... and getting myself together spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally. However, I soon realized that running and having those exercise goals in front of me is a KEY component of my spiritual, emotional, and mental health.

I was going through my Runners World magazines and came across an article from last winter. This is a quote from the beginning of the article: "Like many runners, you probably set a resolution last January. You planned to enter your first race, or set a PR. Congratulations if you did it. But if life got in the way - plans got pushed back, runs got derailed - don't despair. There's still time to make good on a goal, even if you have to rethink it a bit. 'Modifying a goal is truly the sign of a wise runner.' says Jenny Hadfield, co-author of Marathoning for Mortals. 'Instead of lamenting what you haven't accomplished, use the fitness you have to reach a target that's achievable in the time you have left.'"

This quote really spoke to me. At the beginning of the year I had these grand plans of logging all my miles each week and attaining a certain number of miles at the end of the year. I really slacked off on that and have hardly run at all until this past week. After my truck crash, my back hurt so bad I was afraid to run. I gained back about 40 pounds of the almost 90 I had lost and was feeling very discouraged. Then, I decided to do the marathon this year. But I still was struggling... buying a half a gallon of ice cream and eating it in two days certainly didn't help. UGH! I realized that Sunday May 1 marks 24 weeks until the marathon. Most training schedules are 18 weeks long which leaves me 6 weeks to get myself back in shape to even begin to train for a marathon!

I registered to run a 5K this morning but almost didn't even get out of bed this morning to go. I was so tired and it was cloudy and dreary outside. But, something pushed me out of bed... my own stubbornness and determination perhaps? Regardless, I got there and ran and walked a 5K in just under 50 minutes... SO SLOW! But, I did it and I was happy! Then they were drawing for prizes. I was disappointed not to win the 3 free training sessions at my gym... I could have really used that. They drew for some water bottles, and I thought, "That's what I'll probably win... if I win anything... I have too many the way it is!" They finally drew for the GRAND PRIZE... a bodybugg. This is a calorie burning tracker that they use on The Biggest Loser. I've always wanted one, but they are expensive so I didn't get one. Well, guess what.... Yep... I WON IT!

So, tomorrow marks 24 weeks until the DM marathon. I will lose this weight I've gained back... and more. I will get back to eating healthy. I will get back into my exercise routine. In doing all this, I will need to manage my time better. I will get my Sunday School stuff done, I will spend more time in prayer, I will go to my counseling appointments, I will get HEALTHY in every sense of the word. With God's help, with AMAZING friends I WILL do it!! Remember, I'm not stubborn... I'm determined!!

Running the race to the finish!


Sunday, March 27, 2011

"It's a God thing"

I've been using the phrase "It's a God thing" a lot lately. God has really been doing a lot in my heart and in my life.

It all started at the beginning of the month when I had my truck accident. While it wasn't God's fault it happened (it was my own carelessness), He allowed it to happen. I ended up finding a great car that I only had to pay $200 more than what I got for my truck. This car gets far better gas mileage than my truck (10-11 mpg more) so it is much more economical. It was/is a great opportunity to give God thanks and glory as He obviously had His hands of protection on me. Yes, this truck accident proved to be a "God thing."

A week later Barnabas, my pet rabbit, died. This was very difficult for me as I had Barnabas for almost 10 years, since he was 6 weeks old. He was truly my "baby" and it was a great loss. It didn't take me even a week to realize I couldn't live without a pet. I needed another living being around. I looked on Craigslist and found a cat in Huxley, where I'll be moving, that proved to be the perfect cat for me. He has the prettiest green eyes! He's 3 years old, front declawed, neutered, litter trained. We are a great fit! Finding Buddy was definitely a "God thing."

I've been planning on moving to Huxley and it seems a perfect apartment is opening up in the perfect time. I will likely be moving on my birthday, April 23. What a perfect way to start a new year. I am SO looking forward to being out of the apartment here in Ames where I have so many memories with David. I am looking forward to being in the community where my church home is and closer to my amazing church family! Yep, it's a "God thing!"

This next one is BIG! I got in my car to drive to church this morning and the song "Bless the Broken Road" was on the radio. This was mine and David's song. If you've never heard it, here are the lyrics:

I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

I think about the years I spent just passing through
I'd like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You've been there you understand
It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true


Now I'm just rolling home
Into my lover's arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you.

Until this morning, every time I'd hear that song I would change the station. I just couldn't handle listening to it. When I heard the song, I thought to myself, "Really? I can't handle this right now!" However, as I was reaching to change the station, God spoke to my heart. His Spirit spoke softly to mine that David was part of the broken road that would lead me to someone else. That was really hard to hear. A part of me still believed that David and I would someday still end up together. And, I can't say we won't, I certainly don't know what God has planned. Perhaps David is just going through his own part of his broken road. It would take a LOT to repair the trust that has been broken. Whether David is part of God's future for me or there is someone else, I know that what I am going through is just part of the broken road that will lead me right to where God wants me and to exactly who God has for me. Yes, hearing that song this morning, as well as the pain and heartache I have been and am going through... "It's a God thing".

As my counselor told me (and I wholeheartedly agree) "There is no pain without purpose." As Romans 8:28 says "All things work together for good for the purpose of those who love God." All things include the painful things.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring has sprung

I'm having a really hard time putting how I'm feeling into words. This weekend was a really hard one for me. I try not to get hung up on dates. Usually dates don't mean much to me, but in dealing with all the stuff with David they have. March 20th is the first day of Spring, and one of the dates we talked about getting married. Since we met at the beginning of Fall (season of changes) we thought it would be so neat to get married on the first day of Spring (season of new beginnings). March 20, 2011 would have been our 18 month anniversary. I've pretty much been an emotional basket case. I'm angry, I'm hurt, I'm sad, I'm lonely.

During this whole process I've been going through the stages of grief (I found this "model" to be the most accurate: However, I feel like all I've done is go through the first 4 stages: 1. Shock and Denial; 2. Pain and Guilt; 3. Anger and Bargaining; 4. Depression (reflection and loneliness) My counselor told me it would be normal to cycle through all the stages several times, just that it wouldn't take as long to get through each one. It seems like all I've done so far is cycle through these four stages and never getting beyond them.

Basically right now, today, I'm not OK. I know how many positive things I have in my life and I am thankful for all of it, but I'm just really hurting, angry, sad, and lonely right now.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

No more lies!

I realized this weekend that deep down I've been listening to lies based on how some people have treated me over the past nine months. The love of my life walked out of my life with no explanation and some other friends deserted me with no good explanation. When everything first happened I had the marathon in front of me and was just focused on that and still did pretty good with my eating choices and exercising. Ever since the marathon ended I have been struggling big time. I've had SOME good times but overall have not done well and have managed to gain over 30 pounds back. This weekend was really bad. I've been depressed and drowning my sorrows in food which has only left me feeling more miserable. Today I have been evaluating why and have realized that I have been feeling worthless which is how I was left feeling when David and so-called friends deserted me.

I have known in my head that I'm not worthless and that I deserve better than to be treated that way but I think deep down I have felt worthless. I spent over 2 years working hard to change my eating habits and develop a healthy lifestyle because for the first time in my life I got to the place where I knew I was worth it and was determined to make these changes to improve my life. I found success and lost over 80 pounds and accomplished completing a marathon. But lately I have been treating myself the way I have been feeling... I haven't been caring for myself and loving myself the way that God loves and cares for me.

I am not foolish enough to say I won't still struggle and have bad days now and then. But, I am really going to work hard to not live according to the lies but according to the truth. I am loved and cared for by God and by MANY wonderful friends. I need to care for and love myself and treat myself better because I'm NOT worthless!!

Pressing on and running the race,


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Yet another reminder that life is short

After work today I went and got a massage. I love the Butterfly Day Spa and Mary gives such great massages. It felt so good especially as sore as I've been since the accident. As I was lying there I was thinking about how a week ago I could have easily died. I wondered how I had impacted others' lives this week. Had I spoken an encouraging word? Had I done something thoughtful for someone? I wondered what opportunities I missed because I was busy thinking of myself. I was challenged and reminded once again to live each moment to the fullest, to live in the moment, to not take one second on this earth for granted.

When I was done with my massage I went to the store and came home and put something in the microwave for dinner. Then I took a bowl of lettuce and a couple baby carrots back to feed Barnabas. He was lying in his cage very lethargic. I set the lettuce down and picked him up and put him on the floor. He immediately laid back down, he couldn't stand up. I got his towel and wrapped him in it and held him in my arms. I called a friend who I knew could put him down for me as I couldn't afford to take him to the vet. I then called my friend Mark. He and his wife Michelle are huge animal lovers and I knew they'd understand how I was feeling. We talked a few minutes and he reminded me what a good life I had given Barnabas. I was encouraged by that... knowing that he was a very loved and spoiled bunny. He made my life better and I made his better. My friend whose husband was going to put him down for me called me back. As I was talking to her Barnabas took his last breath in my arms.

Life is short... what will you do with yours today?

R.I.P. Barnabas... May 2001 - March 8, 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011

New start, take 2!

Well, last week I determined to get back in my routine of getting back to the gym on a regular basis. My plan was to go every day after work and walk 2 miles. Monday was good and I was feeling great. Then I had the accident on Tuesday. I did make it to the gym again Wednesday, although it took me 43 minutes to walk 2 miles. Thursday I was busy running around test driving a new car, returning my rental, and buying a new car. Friday a friend and I went to my truck to get everything out of it, get the plates, and I had my counseling appointment. By the time I was done with all of that I was exhausted. Saturday I thought I might go to the gym, but a friend wanted to go to Des Moines to do some shopping. I am pretty sure I got much more than 2 miles in walking the length of Jordan Creek Mall and Valley West Mall twice. I was beat when we got done. I am still pretty sore and I am sure it will take a while until I can run again, but I am going to get to the gym this week and do 2 miles every day.

Friday, March 4, 2011

When the adrenaline rush comes to an end... another crash!

It's starting to sink in. I very well could have died on Tuesday. If it weren't for God and His protection I could be dead right now, instead of sitting here snuggly under my soft and warm fleece blanket.

I have been on an adrenaline rush ever since the accident. I've been in survivor mode... it's what I do when faced with major events in my life, it's what I've always done and it's all I know how to do. I was amazingly calm after the wreck and since then have just been doing everything I need to do - going to the chiropractor, working, getting a rental car, car shopping, buying a new car, getting everything out of my truck, putting new plates on, sorting through all the stuff that was in my truck, going to my counseling appointment, washing the blanket and canvas grocery bags I had in my truck as there was glass everywhere. There are insurance papers I got in the mail today that I need to fill out, but just can't cope with it tonight. I feel like I haven't had time to breathe since Tuesday morning.

I've been doing a lot of thinking since the accident. I realize that life is fragile and that none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. God has all of our days numbered and when our time on earth is done, He will take us home. He could have taken me over 20 years ago when I had major surgery, He could have taken me when I rolled my truck, He could take me tonight in my sleep... when it is MY time, I will go home to be with the Lord. But in the meantime He has me on this earth for a purpose. He still has work for me to do.

I was in such a hurry on Tuesday... thinking about getting to the dentist and not paying attention to the moment - which is why I rolled my truck. I really need to live in the moment and take each moment that God gives me and look for the opportunities He has for me in that moment. The name of this blog is Running the Race to the Finish... in a race, if all I think about is the finish line and don't pay attention to every step I take, I will fall and never make it to the finish. And, it's not just about running races... it's about living life with the goal of finishing well. Part of finishing well is living in the moment and seeing what God has for me to do in that moment. As long as God gives me breath, I want to serve Him with all I do.

For tonight... I need to take care of me. This probably means having a good cry. It will also mean having some time to just talk to God and thank Him for all He's blessed me with. And, lastly it will also mean just taking some time to relax and breathe.

Thanks for sharing in my journey,


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

He's Not Finished With Me Yet!

Well, my week of getting back to the gym started out great. Got my 2 miles in yesterday, ran 1/4 of a mile and was looking forward to getting back at it today. Problem is, I wasn't planning on rolling my truck and being without a vehicle.

Plans have a way of changing. My plans aren't always the same as God's plans. I was amazingly calm after the accident and can hardly believe the things I did and said in the middle of a traumatic car wreck. But, let me back up. I left work about 9 a.m. to go to a Dentist appointment. I took the gravel to avoid a train and went to turn right and took the corner a little too fast and caught the lip of the ditch with my truck. I thought I might be able to drive in and get back out, but it was a very deep ditch and the way I hit I went over pretty hard and pretty quick. It was the scariest thing I've ever experienced and I thank GOD I am alive and not injured. I quickly entered survivor mode and first thing I did was call my boss, Mark, to have him call 911. I knew I wasn't thinking clear enough to tell them exactly where I was. So, while he did that I called the dentist to let them know I wasn't going to be there. I find that pretty humorous now. I had to be responsible and tell them we would need to reschedule the appointment. I'm made both these calls while sitting calmly on the roof of my truck (which was the floor for the time being! ;-) I then called my Pastor. He didn't answer, so I tried opening a door but it wouldn't open. Then my pastor called me back. I talked to him, asked for prayer, assured him I was OK.

The Sheriff then arrived and it dawned on me to unroll the window and crawl out. So, after I convinced the Sheriff I was OK, I crawled out and walked back up to the side of the road. After answering questions for the Sheriff I realized I needed pictures to post to facebook! :-) What quicker way to let all my friends know quickly?!?!

After I got checked by the paramedics and was cleared to leave, my supervisor, who came out to check on me, gave me a ride back to work. I worked the rest of the day feeling fine... a little achy, few bruises that were sore, but overall ok. Almost 12 hours after the accident later - now - I am a little more sore, a little light headed, a little stiff. But I feel pretty amazing considering everything I went through today!

I'm sure more blogs will come from this experience, it has been a defining life moment and I look forward to seeing how God will use this to teach me and to bring Him Glory and Honor. I DO give Him all the Glory for the way He got me through this experience.

One thing I was thinking is from a Brandon Heath song. The link is here: It really speaks to me because there have been times I "Still wonder why I'm here; Still wrestling with my fears. But Oh! He's up to something. And the farther on I go I've seen enough to know that I'm not here for nothing, He's up to something. There's hope for me yet, because God won't forget all the plans He's made for me, I'll have to wait and see. He's not finished with me yet." http

Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's a new week!

Well, my grand plans for getting back to the gym last week were an epic fail. I've had stress headaches every day for over a week now and usually feel the worst after work so getting to the gym has been hard. But, I am determined to go this week no matter how I feel.

I've been amazed this week at how even though I don't think I'm stressed, my body has been showing signs of stress. I've been doing well emotionally, haven't been worried about stuff, been praying and trusting God, yet I've had these awful stress headaches. I know part of it has probably been that I haven't been eating as well as I should and I haven't been exercising. I can't believe it's been 4 weeks since I've worked out. UGH! But, I will get back on track... I'm not giving up. Remember, I'm not stubborn... I'm determined!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Not giving up!

UGH!!!! I'm SO frustrated with myself right now. It's been almost 4 weeks since I've been to the gym. I've been feeling awful physically and emotionally and I KNOW I would feel better if I were exercising regularly. I haven't been eating well and I KNOW I would feel better if I were eating healthier.

Getting this balance thing down is more difficult than I thought. I feel like I'm doing better regarding my spiritual life (although it could still use improving) and I'm doing better on a personal level as far as taking time for taking care of myself emotionally.

I have GOT to get back on track. I have GOT to quit making excuses. I have GOT to get serious about my eating and exercising!

So, it's easy to say this, but so much more difficult to actually DO it. I need a plan. Starting tomorrow I will go to the gym after work and work out for at least 30 minutes. Starting tomorrow I will get serious about eating right... I'm going back to what I did when I first changed my eating habits. No more caffeine, whole grains, fruits and veggies, eating natural and whole foods.

So, I'm posting this here for all of you to see...

I have to do this...As my doctor first told me when I first started making changes - my life depends on it.

I want to do this... My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and I need to treat my body as such.

I have to do this... I'm sick of feeling like junk.

I want to do this... I want my life to be a reflection of God's work in me. I want to live a life that is pleasing to Him and I believe that includes being disciplined in this area that I've struggled so hard with my whole life.

I know I can't do this without God's help. I am surrendering to Him and trusting Him to help me to overcome this battle which I have faced for so long. I'm a survivor and I will not give up this fight no matter how long I have to battle through.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day

When I turned my calendar at the end of January, February 13th-14th stared me in the face. Last year on February 13th David and I went to see Tim McGraw in concert and then we had plans for dinner on February 14th. Our plans on the 14th were canceled when he had to go into work, but it was still a great Valentine's weekend together. I was dreading these 2 days at the beginning of the month... worried about being flooded with memories of last year, my first year with a sweetheart on Valentine's Day... worried about thinking how this would have been/should have been our first Valentine's Day as a married couple... worried about being so sad and lonely.

However, here it is... and instead of thinking about what would have been, what should have been, instead of being sad and lonely, I am at peace. Yesterday I received a lovely bouquet of flowers from a dear friend with a note saying she hoped I have a great week and "God loves you and so do I" Today I had a wonderful day at church with my amazing church family. I have been surrounded by people who love me and care about me, people who have been a source of encouragement and blessing in my greatest time of need.

I watched Good Will Hunting yesterday. One of the quotes really struck my heart:
"You don't know about real loss 'cause that only occurs when you love something more than you love yourself." Sean Maquire (Good Will Hunting)
I loved David more than I've ever loved anyone... I loved him more than I loved myself. I cared more about his well being than my own. I experienced true loss when he ended our relationship. Instead of being overwhelmed with sadness when I heard this quote, I realized that I deserve to have someone love me that way. David loved me as much as he could, I believe he still loves me. And I continue to pray for him and love and care for him.

  • But, I am at peace knowing that right now, today, David can't love me like that.
  • I am at peace knowing that God loves me more than I can possibly imagine - He gave His own Son for me.
  • I am at peace knowing that God has given me absolutely amazing friends.
  • I am at peace knowing that I am loved.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I posted, in pieces and then in its entirety the "love passage" from 1 Corinthians as my status on facebook today. I did this because I have been staring at February 14th on the calendar ever since I turned my calendar from January to February. Whether single, married, divorced, widowed, dating... we live in America and February 14th has been "designated" the day to express this romantic love to your significant other. For some of us this is a sad day, others embrace it as "God is love" day. Others express love to all their friends on this day. There is no right or wrong as far as I'm concerned, it is what it is.
Last year was the first Valentine's Day I had a significant other. It was a day like many days for us, our plans were canceled as he was called to work unexpectedly. This was just one chance of many I had to show my love for David - understanding that he had to do what he had to do and knowing that my love for him wasn't dependent on whether or not we had dinner together that night.
I have never learned more about love than I have over the past year. For the first time in my life I truly loved another in this way. I gave my heart completely and loved even when it was hard and when others told me to give up. I still love him. I always will.
My encouragement to all my friends this month and every month; on Valentine's Day and every day - remember what love is and what love isn't. Love isn't just some giddy emotion or an excitement in the pit of your stomach. It isn't the flutter of your heart when you see them across the room. Love is a commitment, love is a choice. Love is through good and bad. Love is no matter what.
If you are blessed to have a love like this, cherish it, treasure it, don't take it for granted. If someone has given you their heart in this way, handle it with care - love them as you want to be loved. Remember, love isn't easy, but it is worth it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Good week, Bad week, Good week, Bad week...

This is how my year has been going so far. I'll do really well one week - get my workouts in, be doing well with my Bible reading/praying, eating healthy, etc. Then the next week is bad, etc... etc... Some weeks some things go well and others not so well. Some weeks most things go well and others not so well. Some weeks not much goes well and everything else goes not so well. This has been my year.

The past week I have been doing well with eating healthy and spiritual disciplines. However, working out has been on the back burner. I know I feel better when I am consistent in this, but I have just been having a hard time being motivated to go to the gym. I am SO ready for Spring. I long to go outside in the fresh air and walk and run and enjoy nature. I am SO tired of being inside. I'm ready for the snow to melt and to get out and breathe the fresh air without feeling like my lungs are going to freeze. As I write this, we are preparing for below zero temperatures and wind chill warnings in the area... sigh. :-(

Right now I am overall just feeling kind of blah. I don't have much to say. I continue to be thankful for my friends who have stuck by me through the times where I am doing well and times I am not doing so well. I am thankful for my counselor who is helping me along my journey to healing. I am thankful for a wonderful, loving church family who have been so supportive and encouraging. Mostly I am thankful to my God who never gives up on me and has given me wonderful friends, counselor, and church family and shows His love, grace and mercy through them.

With thanksgiving in my heart, even in the blah times of life,


Monday, January 31, 2011

Up to the Mountain

Down in the valley
surrounded by emptiness

Down in the valley

overwhelmed with brokenness

I trek up the mountain
climbing higher

I need a place to go
away from the muck and mire

I'm beginning a journey
to heal my broken heart
But part of the process
is allowing myself some time apart

So I trek up the mountain
enjoying the beauty all around
I sense peace around me
as I listen to all of nature's sound

As I reach the top of the mountain
and look down below

I see a babbling brook
the water gently flows

I stand atop the mountain
and am in awe of the colors I see
The clouds are so white
The sky so blue, I feel so free

I'm surrounded by
God's love and peace

I feel His touch
through the gentle breeze

The sun begins to set
over the mountain plains
The many colors of the sky
I'm in such awe I can't explain

I'm overwhelmed by

God's mercy and grace
So thankful He's brought me
to this safe place

Sunday, January 30, 2011

No pain without purpose

I kind of feel like a big jumble of thoughts right now, maybe not a good time to write a blog post, but here it goes.

Another week has gone by.... it started out great, then I had a few really tough days in the middle, and it ended amazingly.

Last Sunday I had a great time at church. The fellowship with my church family was sweet, the worship time was awesome, and God really spoke to my heart. I had an amazing peace in my heart. Wednesday hit me with a bad headache and just overall not feeling well. I was excited to go to Ekklesia Wednesday night and knew I would leave that time encouraged and rejuvenated. I ended up falling asleep on the couch and when I woke up it was too late to make it to Ekklesia.

I got on the computer and a young man from church was on Skype and messaged me. He asked me how my day was and if I had been amazed by God yet. I said I was amazed I made it through the day. He said, that's still amazement. I told him I was also amazed at his question. I have known this young man since he was a toddler and he's now a junior in High School. I was amazed at the heart for God and focus he has in his life. I told him that his question made me stop and think. He said he was glad I stopped to think and that it's always better to look at the silver lining, it's more colorful. I said sometimes the clouds are so big that it's hard to see the silver lining. And he told me that sometimes there are holes in the clouds filled with light.

The next day at work I was looking out the window and saw clouds, then I saw a hole with light breaking through. I was amazed at how I had this conversation the day before and God was showing me the truth of it by the beauty of His nature. It reaffirmed to me the love God has for me to show me that so clearly. I still had a couple rough days, memories of things with David and a dream about another friend going through a lot of struggles really had me down.

Saturday I met with my counselor and we talked about how God doesn't bring any pain into our lives without purpose. We had a great session and she gave me a tool for helping to deal with all the emotion that overwhelms me at times. This morning at church, Pastor Marty was sharing from the gospel of Luke. One of his points was how God oftentimes uses our emptiness to show us how MUCH He has to offer. Simon had been fishing all night and his nets were empty. Jesus got into his boat and told him to put the net out into deep water and let down the nets for a catch. Simon said, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything, but because you say so, I will let down the nets." After they did so, they caught SUCH a large amount of fish that the nets began to break and they had to call other fishermen over to help them. The boats we so full they almost sank.

I was amazed at how God used both my counselor and pastor to really speak to me about how He can use this time of pain and emptiness in my life. He really has been showing me how much HE has to offer me and He is filling me with so much love and peace in the midst of such difficult times it is truly AMAZING!

I feel like I could go on and on tonight. But, think I will close. I know I haven't mentioned anything about running, but God has been showing me that this race I'm running is more than about actual running. I have been running and working out. I can't wait for Spring when I can run outside. I am still on the dreadmill at the gym.... longing to be outside and patiently?? waiting for Spring!

Rejoicing in tribulation, trusting in God, amazed by His peace,


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Jesus - healer of my heart

Today has been a pretty amazing day. Yesterday I had a really bad headache and pretty much couched it all day. I took a 3 hour nap and basically did NOTHING all day.
As I was lying in bed ready to go to sleep, I was kind of praying, and kind of just lost in my thoughts. I woke up this morning before my alarm went off, headache was gone, and I felt refreshed and rested. The thought crossed my mind that friends must have been praying for me last night and was so thankful for them and their faith that God would answer their prayers.
I was driving to church this morning and heard the song, "God You Reign" on the radio. Then in church we sang the very same song. Part of the lyrics:
You hold my life, You know my heart
And You call me by name
I live to say, God, You reign
God, You reign, God, You reign
Forever and ever, God, You reign
God, You reign, God, You reign
I know You reign
Forever and ever, God, You reign
I was so encouraged by this song. Just the reminder, that He knows my heart, He knows the pain I've been in, and He reigns - He is in control, I just need to trust in Him.
Pastor Marty's message was on Luke 4-7, how the miracles He performed confirm the identity of Jesus as the Messiah.
Sometimes in the miracles the person reached out to Christ in faith, sometimes their friends had faith, (reminded me of this morning when I woke up assured of my friends' prayers and faith).
Other points from the message that spoke to me...
  • Jesus cares about your heart and soul... not just the physical need.
  • His healing is for all people.
  • He touched those who normally wouldn't be touched (the widow's son's coffin, the leper)
So, now what? What does God want me to do with this?
  • Have a humble faith. Jesus has come to heal our hearts and He cares about your heart.
  • Have utter amazement in God as he makes Himself known.
So, then I'm driving home from church and hear the song "Everything I Need" by Kutless. Honestly I had never heard the song before. Here are the lyrics:

When every step is so hard to take
And all of my hope is fading away
When life is a mountain that I can not climb
You carry me, Jesus carry me.
You are strength in my weakness
You are the refuge I seek
You are everything in my time of need
You are everything, You are everything I need
When every moment is more than I can take
And all of my strength is slipping away
When every breath gets harder for me
You carry me, Jesus carry me
You are strength in my weakness
You are the refuge I seek
You are everything in my time of need
You are everything, You are everything I need
I need You
You are everything I need
I love everything about You
You are strength in my weakness
You are the refuge I seek
You are everything in my time of need
You are everything, You are everything I need
Lately it has been so hard to take some steps, and my hope has been fading. I heard this song and was reminded, just like from the other song about God reigning, that God is all I need. He is in control, when I am in need He will be there and as the Scripture makes clear - Jesus can heal my heart.
WOW! What a day! So thankful for the way God has made Himself known to me and encouraged me in SO many ways today.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Life Happens

Life happens.

I met the love of my life, made plans for the future, and he walked away from me with no explanation.

Life happens.

I made plans to go to the gym this afternoon after work. But, the battery of my truck was dead and by the time I got it taken care of, it was too late.

Life happens.

You think you're making progress in the right direction and suddenly all you can do is cry.

Life happens.

You see characteristics in your life that remind you of the one person in your life that you DON'T want to be anything like, and even worse, close friends notice.

Life happens.

I could go on and on with anecdotes of life's happenings, but that is not the point of this post.

This past year I battled and worked harder than I have ever worked in my life to accomplish the goal of completing a marathon. My training was in the midst of going through the most traumatic experience of my life. I almost gave up, but fought through. God was faithful through it all, He showed me His faithfulness in many ways, one of which was my absolutely amazing friends. I completed the marathon in October and since then have struggled with eating healthy and exercising regularly which I had been doing so well on for several years. I had lost over 80 lbs but then found myself slowly gaining. I went through a period of gaining and losing for a couple months until I had gained over 20 lbs back. I have been very frustrated with myself but set out with a grand plan for the new year. I set out my running plan and determined to get back to healthy eating habits. I planned a 13.1 mile run on my birthday in April with a friend and planned on doing the DM marathon again in October. However, the struggles have remained and I find myself frustrated.

Last week I decided to finally start getting some counseling. This was a LONG overdue decision but one that I knew was a step in the right direction. I have had 2 sessions with my counselor and it is going well. Rome wasn't built in a day, but I know that each session is a step toward building a foundation of healing in my life. I have been doing some self evaluation and have realized that I have been SO focused on my healthy eating and my exercise that other areas have suffered. I tend to be the type of person who focuses hard and determines to do something, and in the meantime other things sometimes don't get the attention they deserve.

I want to live life well, and to do that I need to be well... not only physically, but emotionally, mentally, financially, and spiritually as well.

So, with this said, I have a new plan for the year. YES - I want to continue on my path of physical health. I NEED to lose more weight and be consistent in my exercise. But, training for a marathon is extremely time consuming. I have decided to still do the 13.1 with my great friend Wendy on my birthday, April 23. But, I am not going to run a marathon this year. I need to learn to focus on becoming well OVERALL. This means I need to be more well rounded in how I spend my time. I need to spend more time just journaling and looking at my life and seeing what changes need to be made. I need to spend time in God's Word and in prayer, talking to and LISTENING to my Father in Heaven.

It is my hope and prayer that at the end of this year and every year I will be healthier - in every area of my life, not just one.

Running the race of LIFE to the finish, and seeking to live WELL,


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Not gonna let the bad weeks get me down!

So, week 2 didn't go so well. I had some really bad eating days, only got to the gym 3 days instead of 5, and did not get my running mileage all done. I was struggling emotionally a lot through the week, and it seems I always fall back into that bad eating when that happens. Then, I don't feel like working out... it's a vicious cycle.

I did take a very important step this week. I took the step to begin counseling. I had my first session Friday. I really like my counselor and definitely feel like this is something that is going to help me with my emotional eating cycles and in my desire to be consistent in areas of my life where I lack consistency. I have a lot to work through after the past 10 months that I have gone through. I am broken and scarred far more than I imagined and I finally got to the point where I knew I that God was leading me to get help from a professional. I know that with God, my wonderful church family, my amazing friends, and this counselor, I will be OK.

I know that beginning this journey will be helpful to me in many areas of my life. It will help me to continue to run the race of life and finish well.

I will continue to press on, both in life, and in my goals for working out and eating healthy. I am on a journey toward wellness - emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

Thanks for your love, support, and encouragement along my journey.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Off to a good start

Well, I got the year off to a good start. I got to the gym 5 days this week and ran/walked 16 miles - 4 miles OVER my goal. I find it hard to believe that just a few months ago I did a full marathon. I feel so out of shape compared to when I did that. I know it will take some time to get my endurance and speed back up to where it was, and I know it will come a little easier when some of this weight starts coming back off.

I do wish I was being better at being consistent in some other areas. I need to work on my time management in order to get everything done that is important each day. This is a constant challenge for me!

I started a "Today I am thankful for..." journal at the beginning of the year. Every day I write down one thing I am thankful for. Given the tough year I've had it has helped me to remember to count my blessings.

This week I had to say "good-bye" to a friend from High School. Shawn Elmore, VHS class of '85 would have been 44 years old on Thursday January 6th. We said good-bye to him that day and celebrated the life of a man who could always bring a smile to your face and bring laughter to most any situation. I never saw Shawn without a smile on his face and I am thankful to have known him. He is gone from this world much too soon, but left quite a legacy and will NOT be forgotten.

Running to the finish,