People cope with their hard times in all sorts of different ways. The way I deal with mine I’m sure looks a lot different than the way you deal with yours. There’s no one right way to deal with them. You just keep pushing and moving forward. I’ve never really been comfortable sharing my personal life but I feel like I have a story to tell. Let me start by telling you how hard life can be.
Hard is when your mom passes away from a tragic accident and you’re only 15.
Hard is seeing your family fall apart because of this loss.
Hard is moving forward in life when all you want is one more hug from her.
Hard is living without my mom.
Hard is receiving a special needs diagnosis when you thought everything was okay.
Hard is watching your husband cry because of the unknowns.
Hard is watching your baby be flown off to another hospital, hoping he will still be alive by the time you get there.
Hard is being taken back to the ICU and looking at your child’s chest with so many tubes and wires hooked to him and feeling so helpless.
Hard is wanting to have another baby but being hesitant because of the “what if’s”.
Hard is moving forward when all you want is a breather.
Through all of these hard times there has also been so much beauty. My grandparents are my saviors, they’ve been by my side through everything. My oldest sister graduated from graduate school this year and my middle sister runs her own successful boutique. I’ve recently rekindled a relationship with my brother. I have an incredible and supportive husband who always rescues me. My mother and father in-law love me like their own and my two babies are even better than I could have imagined.
Hard times don’t have to control you, instead they have the potential to shape you. I would be a completely different person and have a completely different life if I had let these hard times control me. I am so grateful for the people in my life that helped me move forward. I have hope in spite of the hard times. Like I said in the beginning – I didn’t stop pushing through and moving forward. You can too.
I got this little succulent at the start of all the chaos this year. Isn’t it just the cutest? I had no idea what it would become, what it was supposed to look like, or even how to take care of it.
When the weather started to change in the spring and it became warm enough to put the little guy outside I did. What happened next surprised me. That cute little plant took over. It grew and grew until I had to remove it from the pot it was in. Tiny new plants grew on it’s leaves and one good gust of wind sent them everywhere. I suddenly found myself pulling these tiny babies out of all my other plants.
I have since done some research. This succulent is nicknamed “The Mother of Many Daughters” & “The Mother of Thousands”. How cool is that? From a tiny adorable little plant to one that can’t be stopped and certainly one that makes an impression on anyone who gets close to it.
Every single time I bump the table it sits on, every time even a wisp of the wind blows, every time I look at that plant- it sends its tiny little ones on a journey to find new soil and new life grows. I have even found this plant growing in places it shouldn’t be able to.
I believe that’s what God sees in each of us.
He looks at us and he sees this minuscule person (my words not God’s) who has no idea what the right soil and a little “son” time will do. He sees how our lives can effect everything and everyone around us even when we are not consious of it. We may bump into people by chance, the wind may blow us to and fro and what we see as life’s crazy journey, God may be using to move us right where we are needed.
Today, trust that though you may feel tiny and insignificant, God can make you like this plant. Strong and mighty, powerful and effective, full of life that changes everything around you even when you aren’t aware of it.
Times have been crazy, the storms have been extreme and the soil may seem pretty rocky, but remember who is raising you up. Remember who loves you more than you can imagine. Remember Jesus today and what He did for you on that old rugged cross then remember that he didn’t stop there. He rose to raise you up too. He gave his life so you could thrive in yours. No matter what you are facing today, no matter what Covid has stolen, or what the political climate brings, remember who is walking you through it all. You can live today, you can grow, you can change, and you can make a difference.
Maybe, just maybe, you were created for such a time as this.
Oh, I have got to tell you guys- there have been so many ups and downs in this journey. I don’t even know where to start. It was about a year ago that we began taking our health more seriously and we really made so much progress.
I’m not going to pull any punches here, instead I’m going to state the obvious and say that this is hard. Like really hard.
Our lives got incredibly busy over the summer and I found that I was compromising probably more than I should have.
We also traveled more than we usually do, and, in the spring, we found ourselves in San Antonio Texas visiting our son. I don’t know about you but one of my favorite things to do while traveling is to eat. I absolutely love to try different restaurants and this short vacation was no different. Let me tell you- we had some of the very best Mexican food we have ever had on this trip.
Actually, we had it twice and in large quantities.
I rolled myself out of that place.
My mouth is salivating just thinking about it.
Then, as summer began, we went on a cruise to celebrate our 25th (closer to the 26th) anniversary. We had planned this trip with friends and were looking forward to just relaxing, celebrating, and eating… and eating… and eating.
Oh, that cruise food.
I tried to eat in moderation on that trip.
I really tried, but by the third day I had completely thrown moderation out the window and I was fully trying all the food.
And I do mean ALL.THE.FOOD.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again- when this girl does something, she does it right. Good and bad.
We got back from that big old boat and felt like big old boats ourselves.
We did manage to get back on track when we disembarked but oh it was so much harder. My husband kept going to the kitchen and threatening bad reviews on yelp. (He is seriously funny and usually in trouble…)
Thankfully we quickly got back on track (for the most part) and continued to maintain our progress.
I got an opportunity to visit my son again- this time we would meet in Dallas TX.
Guys, there is only so much resolve that I have and mine was melting away by the minute.
Texas is known for its BBQ and we found ourselves experiencing not only mouth-watering barbecue, but great little unique restaurants, some of the most amazing food trucks and family’s home cooking that fit every single bill.
My pants however did not fit anymore. (Okay- so they still fit, but not comfortably)
I guess the best part of this journey is that it doesn’t end. When I make the best choices, (tonight for example while I am writing this- I’m craving sweets and junk food, but instead I ate some amazing mango chicken and veggies) I see progress in myself.
And when I make the not so good choices… well the truth is that doesn’t mean that I’ve failed or that I’m not going to make the goals I’ve set.
Our minds tell us all sorts of things and when I got on the scale recently, I realized that all those months of good healthy decisions were not lost. Some of the pounds may have come back, but many of them haven’t. That means that where I’m starting today is much farther along than when we began this journey many months ago.
And what has happened inside of me is so different than where I was in my yo yo diet, you are not good enough, you will never succeed years.
Now, the scale is an object, but I am not. The scale is just a number, my pants are just a size, and my heart is no longer tied to any of them.
Do I get discouraged? Yep, but I also get motivated and hopeful. I get to see where I’ve been and where I’m going.
I get to try and fail and try and win. I get to pick myself up and next year as I write an update to this- I’ll probably have a few more wins and a few more losses to report but all of it will be a story of this amazing life that I’ve been gifted with.
I have been so blessed to have been able to visit my son and celebrate our anniversary in such an amazing way this year. When I put all of that into perspective, I wouldn’t change a thing. All those memories were worth a few numbers on the scale.
Soooooo completely worth it.
You are worth it too.
Start writing your story today. Quit worrying about perfection and just appreciate the progress.
You will win some and you will lose some but, in the end, it really is the journey that matters most. Take the leap today and enjoy the trip.
Sometimes looking back can really motivate you forward. It’s crazy how far we’ve come. The new thoughts that naturally run through my mind now before I grab something to snack on are amazing. Is it processed? Does it contain massive amounts of sugar? How am I going to feel tomorrow if I eat this today?
To be clear- I still make some bad choices mixed in with the good. Sometimes I make multiple poor choices in one single day. In fact just the other night I sat alone in the living room, I was bored, lazy and tired so I did what I knew I shouldn’t do.
I put a bag of potato chips on my lap and some good dip to go with them and I ate. I ate and ate and ate. The funniest part of the whole thing was that the only chips we had were from a fall picnic the day before and they were a flavor I didn’t even like. Every time I took a bite I was like- yuck I don’t even like these. So I put more dip on each chip to cover the flavor and pressed on.
Listen when I put my mind to something I do it right. Good
I laugh at this today because it shows me a few things. One, I have not arrived yet. This girl has a long way to go. Two, I have come so far. Less than a year ago when I began this journey to health, I would have let that moment be just another in my list of reasons to quit. I mean doesn’t it show that I can’t possibly win this battle?
The answer is a firm NO. What it actually shows is that I am just a normal girl who sometimes makes bad food choices. (let’s just focus on food today and not the whole rest of my choices… I may need another bag of chips and more dip if we go too far here.) But when I look at the big picture- when I really look back at all the days I did make good healthy choices, I’m pretty proud of my progress. My clothes are fitting great, I feel tons better, and I don’t stress the scale like I used to at all. In fact, sometimes I seriously forget to even get on it.
Most importantly- I’m thankful that I got started. I’m incredibly thankful that last January I decided to do this. What if I hadn’t? Instead of quitting because of a bag of chips and a couple days of eating everything in sight, what if I’d never even started? Those are the scary questions for me. I certainly have lived those years too and they are the ones I regret. I wish I had started sooner, but man am I glad I started at all.
Listen if you need to make a change today. Make it. Don’t wait till tomorrow and beat yourself down for what you did 3 days ago. Give yourself permission to try and never give up. I can’t wait to hear from you a year from now and see your progress and listen to the pride in your voice as you take steps to accomplish your goals.
Want to go to college?
Take a class. Want to lose a few pounds then start by making a small
permanent change today that will bring you closer to that goal. The point is-
START. You will never get closer to your dreams by sitting on them. Get up,
pick up those dreams and fly.
Life is worth living and a year from now I want
to look back again and this time see how far WE’VE come together!
As summer has come and gone life has gotten extremely busy. We started off this summer by going on a cruise. Oh what a wonderful trip it was. We relaxed, we played hard, we enjoyed time with friends, and we ate. If you have ever been on a cruise then you know how easy it is to go way overboard with meals… and snacks… and buffets.
I’m not going to lie. We loved every single minute of it and when we came back from the cruise we jumped right back into our healthy eating plan and all was going so well. I have to be honest, I was even a bit smug about it to myself. NOT GOOD.
Pride comes before the fall.
I admit I’m laughing while I type this because soon after my smug little attitude had me feeling like I had this whole healthy lifestyle thing in the bag, I took another trip. An amazing trip that was filled with family, food and tons of fun. Did I mention the food? I ate at some really great restaurants, experienced some of the most amazing food trucks, and really just ate myself to utter bliss.
Honestly I don’t think that my couple weeks of gluttony really were the problem. After both of my trips, I came home and got back to business and began to eat right again. BUT, and it’s a big BUT (pun slightly intended) when I came home from the second trip, I started slipping back into my old ways. I ate good, then not so good, then good again. The scale wasn’t moving a ton and I wasn’t very concerned about it. My husband was also slipping so we weren’t holding each other accountable like we had in the past either. (I guess this is all his fault then right?)
Finally we began talking about getting back on our plan. We talked a lot. We would tell each other that after this next picnic we would get serious about it again. I never realized how many next picnics there are in one single summer.
Do you know how fast the weeks fly when you’re making excuses?
Finally, we sat down and came up with a date and stuck to it and I’m so glad we did. Now I’m going to be completely honest with you- the thing that really made us realize how much we missed eating better was how we were beginning to feel. The weight loss was nice, but how we felt was so much better. By the end of a summer of bad food choices, all that extra energy was starting to diminish. I noticed that I was weighed down, tired, my stomach was off, I just wasn’t feeling like myself and neither was my husband.
We’ve been back on our healthy plan now for a couple weeks and I can’t believe the difference. Why did we ever go backwards in the first place? As for a quick update- when summer started both my husband and I had lost approximately 23 pounds. As fall quickly approaches we have both gained back around 7 pounds. What I realize is this- we didn’t ruin what we started. We just had a setback.
Can we have a vacation and let loose a bit? SURE. But there has to be accountability too. Our choices today really do affect our tomorrow and we need to not lose sight of that. I’m also very proud to say that those pounds didn’t upset me in the least. They are a reflection of some not so great choices but they are not any indication that our goals will not be met. In fact, they are motivation for me to get back on the wagon and start again. I’m making progress in this journey even if I take a wrong turn from time to time. You can do the same. Don’t give up, don’t give in, just keep going. Sometimes the journey is more important than the results at the end anyway.