Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tackling the Temple~Mind,Body, & Soul - Journey #999

 For those of you who knew me as a child, knew me as a teen, and knew me at various times during my adult life know that I have always been the chubby child, the teen with more weight than not, and have seen me extremely overweight OR looking great after one of my major weight loss periods!

Now that I look back at my childhood pictures - most of them I was, YES, the chunky child - the wear husky jeans, the 'I got the wrong genes!' child, the can't buy the cute clothes, or feel good next to the neighborhood hotties - yes, even as children we had "hotties" - the cute, petite, blond beautiful kids!  Guess my stigma started then.  At 10 or 11 I was in Weight Watchers with my mother - Oh yes, St. Bernadette's in Orchard Park - most of the time coffee afterwards somewhere at the Southgate Plaza - at least my mother had good intentions!   I remember taking my Weight Watcher ice cream to Mrs. Church's house for sleepovers, or to Aunt Carol's.  I really worked at getting that extra weight off even then.  Scary thing is, today the cycle continues as I work with my own daughter - who yes, got the same genes - short and prone to be chunky!  Thankfully it doesn't take much for her - she can cut carbs and play her softball and lose 20 lbs. at the drop of the hat. Not so easy at 30 or 40 and now, I'm afraid almost 50!

When I married I was addicted to Aerobics - went all the time and got down to about a 12 which worked for me - any smaller and I start looking anorexic in the neck and face area.  Then children came - it was definitely harder the 2nd time, but I did it yet again.   After I had my 2nd child I was much smaller than now - but I kept gaining from there - Seems I was ALWAYS working on "getting it off".  Honestly, can't remember a time when I wasn't "working" on getting it off.  It was a way of life for me - sadly.  Always so I could feel good about me, fit in, wear the same cute clothes everyone else wore, and look good for my husband.  After all, what husband wants a wife that's 100 lbs. overweight?  I was absolutely sure mine didn't - did he?  I don't care what anyone else says - it's NOT attractive.  They may love you regardless but it's nothing to look at, especially in your skivvies!  Wow, the things we do to our mental state with these thoughts. Who needs people to beat us down, we do this quite well to ourselves.

SO - here we go again.

This is me - Before and After a 102 lb. Weight Loss

Back in 2008 I worked extremely hard, started an HCG Fasting Diet with a Dr. nearby.  Basically, you took HCG injections daily (by yourself), spent hundreds of dollars on HCG, saw the doctor once a month and the weight just fell off.  And it did.  In a matter of about 7 months, I lost a whopping 102 lbs.  Most of that was in the first 4 months.   It was absolutely amazing.  I trained doing Cross Fit (which I hated but loved how I felt afterwards!), a little bit of Muay Thai (which I absolutely LOVED and would love to do more of!) , and even ran my 1st race.  I was the happiest I have ever been in my life!  At 43 years old I felt like I was in a dream.  I was buying clothes in the juniors and wearing my daughters shirts.  I even had some American Eagle shirts! (which if you shop there know they are made for the 'petite' world). Above is a before and after picture - the after was taken on my 43rd birthday.

I was getting tons of attention and loved it.  My marriage, which has always been a bit trying, was super strained.  I was walking a dangerous path and felt like the road to divorce was near after 15 years.  Wedding rings were off, our paths were going in opposite directions and sadly, GOD was nowhere in sight. Seems neither my husband nor I remembered our vows.  During this time I ate myself into oblivion, stopped with the HCG and the doctor (the money being invested could have built a small house I'm sure!).  I went from wearing cute clothes, working out - to eating anything and everything and blowing up like a balloon.  I refused to buy "NEW" clothes - so the consignment shops and Goodwill got lots of my attention as I rebuilt my FAT wardrobe.  I had given all my FAT clothes away - every stitch of them, vowing never to return to them.  What a mistake that was (or was it)?  The pounds kept coming and coming and coming - and my willpower and engery level kept going, going, going - down, down down. To this day, I'm fighting for it to return. Something has to be different this time!

It was at this time that I was reconnected with my foster brother and his family.  God knows just what we need when we need it.  I was invited to their church and went.  It was there I found my church home-my church family and was finally saved from the world as I knew it. I built a relationship with Jesus Christ, understood his place in my life, and spiritually was full to the top!  This was about 4 years ago. Although my spiritual life was AMAZING.  And it remains AMAZING - I love my Lord and Savior with every inch of my being - with every single pound! However, the weight continued to pile on.  Today, I have gained every bit of that 102 lbs. back. Much to my DISGUST - and yes, that's the only word for it.  It's totally disgusting and regardless what anyone tells you - there is absolutely no way to feel good about yourself, your life, or anything when you are 102 lbs. overweight. Not even loving Jesus more than yourself can get you over the mental state you are in at 100 lbs. overweight.  It's because we are HUMAN that it DOES matter that we're 100 lbs. over weight.  We are made of flesh and have fleshly ways.  Below, I am getting ready to start my 1st race with my trainer, beautiful and awesome Stephanie. She ran my pace and stayed with me every step of the way. Do you know how it feels to accomplish that after being 100 lbs. overweight?  So, gain it back - REALLY KELLEY?

See the hard work!  Praise God now for Paul Beckwith,,  for his time with me.  For Stephanie Roberts' time with me, for every single person that invested in me to reach my goals. Even the doctor and his HCG program.  It works people - but I can't speak to it working forever without continued maintenance because I failed the last part of the program.  I chose to maintain on my own and that didn't work too well, I was tired of pouring dollars into something that my Heavenly Father should be able to help me with and that's the honest to God truth.  Too bad I didn't turn to Him BEFORE allowing myself to get to rock bottom.

Paul Beckwith. Owner-
Muay Thai Training with Nik Rodrigues. I loved this, wish I would have kept it up and kept going!

So, here we are - Journey 999, the only way to describe how you feel when you feel like it's your last chance to finally get rid of the 'burden', the 'weight' that is truly riding on your shoulders.  Next step is 1000 - do I really want to get there,  to 1000?  No. No way are we going any further than 999 ~ that's enough times in 46 (almost 47 years) to gain and lose the same 100 lbs.

Today, I am sharing my story with you and with my Heavenly Father as this is the start of a brand new day. It is a testimony to Him that I absolutely KNOW now he was with me when I conquered my weight - (I didn't know it, but He was!)  - there's no other way to explain the strength, willpower, and desire I had to get the 102 lbs. off.  And yes, I make sure to include those 2 lbs. because they are important!  I worked hard for those 2 lbs. AND, gaining 2 lbs. can make or break a person in my situation, it has broken me. Food is an addiction, some of us aren't meant to eat carbs and whatever we want to eat when we want it and to do so when we know what it is doing to us is an addiction.  It's truly scary to admit and even scarier to think about having to conquer.

Today I rededicate myself to this journey - I claim victory over this journey.  I commit to keeping my Heavenly Father at the center of every step I take.  I commit to praying over this journey continuously and giving my Heavenly Father all the glory.  I am not worthy, but He is.    I want to ask that you will walk along side of me, pray for me, and work with me as I go through the next several months.  I will journal often to keep you updated - that's for 2 reasons.  ONE, I need the accountability for my actions and TWO, because this journey is not being taken by me alone.  I stand and walk with my Lord and Savior every step of the way.  Through Him I can do anything.  Through Him I can conquer 102 lbs. Through Him I may be able to help someone else as they battle to survive from drowning weight.  It truly feels like you are bound to concrete, in the ocean drowning without the ability to even begin to see above water.  Today, I know it doesn't have to be like that and that I am EMPOWERED (thank you Lysa TerKeurst, Made to Crave), I have DISCIPLINE, I have DEDICATION, I have  DETERMINATION - through Him I have every tool necessary.   To God be the Glory!  - if you haven't read Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst, it's a book about her battle with weight and how she gave that battle to Jesus and overcame by learning to crave God over food - it will continue to be a part of my daily reading as I take this journey.  With scripture and reality, Lysa tells it like it is and teaches us how to put God first in this situation.

Lysa teaches:  Define your week by obedience, not by a number on the scale!  WOOHOO.  Obedience to Him!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.     Galations 5:22-23
    ~Self-Control,  it's a fruit of the Spirit!  It's a gift - it's ours for the asking!

Martin Luther King said:   "Take the first step in faith, you don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step"   - TODAY, I take my first step!

"The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try and the faith to believe it is possible"  David Viscott  - the will to try (well, I've got that!) and thankfully I have the FAITH now to beleive it is possible as well!  Praise God for that.

Isn't it truly all about faith!?  The FAITH to believe in the unseen - the unknown?   Today I believe in what I cannot see and I know without a shadow of a doubt what believing in what I cannot see brings to my life - it GIVES ME LIFE.     Today, I surrender to Him this burden. 

Thank you Micca Campbell (An Untroubled Heart) for teaching us we must have a Faith Stronger than Our Fears in order to conquer our fears, our obstacles, even those that are self-inflicted upon ourselves (and there are many).

Dear Father,  First of all Thank you for all of those people you have placed in my path that have been your hands and feet at times in my life when I was truly lost.  From childhood through adult there have been many that I never knew were there for me only as a result of you.  I praise you and Thank you Father for each one.  Thank you for my Pastor, who was instrumental in saving my marriage, for my Proverbs 31 ladies, the authors of the books I have read that have been an incredible part of my growing relationship with you; the speakers, the leaders of the Online Bible Studies, and the many precious friends I have in Christ as a result of these studies. Thank you for my amazing church family.

Father, today I surrender to you this huge burden I carry.  I pray that you will continue to work in my life that I will re-gain and maintain the dedication and willpower I need to accomplish this task with your help.  I know it is impossible without you, but I know All Things Are Possible with you. I promise that I will give you my time and that I will be obedient to you during this journey.  I commit to giving only You the Glory for the results that I know will come and I promise to continue to be your hands and feet to help others as needs present themselves.

I love you Father, I praise and Honor you and givce you so much thanks.  Amen.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Fear Versus Faith - The Missing Mustard Seed

I have so many friends who are without jobs, or their spouses or parents are without jobs ~ and in many cases they have been without jobs for a long time. Their fear is huge, we live in the flesh. Being the practicing christian I am, I know the words God has given me to share with these sweet friends~ the awesome words in our Life Instruction Manual, the Bible. We tell them to pray, wait on the Lord, He will provide, surrender your burdens and allow Him to carry them....scripture after scripture full of our Savior's promises. In Psalm 91:1-4, the psalmist wrote:

He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust,
Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

WOW! He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge....It doesn't get any better than that!

I believe in my Lord and Savior ~ in fact, I have complete faith in Him (or do I?)~ I know he will provide ~ BUT He doesn't promise it will happen in OUR time ~ before the foreclosure of a house, for example OR before every bill we owe is in collections. It's in HIS time. Not mine. Not ours. This is where my own personal fear comes into play. I want to be rescued NOW before it gets bad! - not after I've lost my home, self-esteem, and desire to keep fighting.

I will also be rescued in HIS way. Not necessarily the way I have been praying for things to happen. ~ It's his time, his way. Even more scary, huh? It's all truly dependent on HIS PLAN.

So, does this mean I don't have enough faith in Him? Am I lacking?

The bible teaches, HIS TIME is the PERFECT time, HIS WAY is the PERFECT way.

The bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:17, "I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work".

In Acts 1:7 He said to them, It is not for you to become acquainted with and know what time brings [the things and events of time and their definite periods] or fixed years and seasons (their critical niche in time), which the Father has appointed (fixed and reserved) by His own choice and authority and personal power."

Yes, His time is the Perfect time ~

We need to remember, God sees things from a different perspective, He sees the whole picture! He doesn't just see what we want, but sees what is best for us in the grand scheme of our lives. All is part of a divine order and will be done in it's proper time.

We are taught to TRUST him and SURRENDER our burdens to Him.
We are taught to RESIST taking back what was surrendered.
We are taught to Pray over the situation.
AND, we are taught to Have FAITH - as Micca Campbell says in her book "An Untroubled Heart" - we need a faith stronger than our fear.

What is Faith? 'Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen' Hebrews 11:1

In Matthew 17:20,"Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

How do you keep faith? How do you accept God's timing? This is a struggle for me and for many others; however, it is my goal to work on building this faith - the kind of faith that can move mountains.

When you are facing a huge challenge and are attempting to wait patiently on the work you KNOW God will do in your life, how do you keep solid in your faith? How do you remain understanding with God on when and how he delivers? I would love to hear your ideas and thoughts!

Dear God,

Thank you for providing for our every need. Thank you for the continuous blessings of Your Word. Father, please help us grow our Faith in You. Teach us to wait for you and teach us to be content with your timing and your actions. We love you Father, you are the ever powerful - the only perfect - and we are so blessed to know you personally and to be on the receiving end of a love like no other. We ask these things in your name, Amen.

Must Read Books!

  • A Confident Heart, Renee Swope
  • An Untroubled Heart, Micca Campbell
  • Crazy Love, Frances Chan
  • Fit for My King, Sheri Rose Shepherd
  • Made to Crave, Lysa TerKeurst
  • Radical, David Platt
  • Winning Him without Words, Lynn Donovan & Dineen Miller