Tuesday, December 14, 2010


It is times like these, yes even during the holidays that oppression sets in. It is not of the Lord, and certainly Christ would never want us to live under such a heavy cloud. God gave me a vision yesterday, and I think this not only applies to me, but to those of you who are experiencing harsh times.
Here is the vision:

I saw a person who had fallen into a lake of mud. It was really more like quick sand but looked muddy. Weird I know. Anyway, that person was struggling to make their way to the top of the mud to catch a breath and see sunlight. Their movements were slow but the person was very desperate to get to the top. Anxiety flowed through them as they kept thinking "I can't breathe, this is too hard". The pressure from the mud all around them seemed unbearable, as if it was squeezing around them.
Eventually I saw this person rise to the surface, just enough to allow their mouth and nose to breath in fresh air and to see the light.

I have been pondering this vision for a while. I had to wonder why God did not just reach down and pull this hurting soul out of the miry muck. It's like this verse in Psalm 43:2 "You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?". This person was doing the best they could just to breath and not fall deeper and deeper under oppression.

I still do not know the full answer to this, but this is what I do know. God calls us to seek Him--to move towards him, even when we feel like we cannot move. Every muscle and fiber of our being is His. He can snap his fingers and any illness or burden can be lifted in an instant--he has done this before. But most of the time I believe he has called us to a higher level--a level that requires a little bit of sweat and endurance on our part. It would be easier if he just rescued us and we didn't have to do a thing, but we would never have learned anything. How did we get into that mud hole/quick-sand in the first place? What was it that drew us to it? It certainly didn't smell good or look appealing. There was work involved to get there, so there is work involved to get out of it.

What draw's us to get out of it? It's the hope and love of God--the promise of tomorrow and the healing of today.

Matthew 11:28-29
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

1 Samuel 10:18
...“This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I brought Israel up out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the power of Egypt and all the kingdoms that oppressed you.’

Psalm 9:9
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Psalm 103:6
The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.

Psalm 146:7
He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free,

Music is such a great resource to sooth the soul. We all have things going on in our lives that it is really hard to communicate. I believe music does it so well for us.

Children sleeping, snow is softly falling
Dreams are calling like bells in the distance
We were dreamers not so long ago
But one by one we all had to grow up
When it seems the magic's slipped away
We find it all again on Christmas day

Believe in what your heart is saying
Hear the melody that's playing
There's no time to waste
There's so much to celebrate
Believe in what you feel inside
And give your dreams the wings to fly
You have everything you need
If you just believe

Trains move quickly to their journey's end
Destinations are where we begin again
Ships go sailing far across the sea
Trusting starlight to get where they need to be
When it seems that we have lost our way
We find ourselves again on Christmas day

Believe in what your heart is saying
Hear the melody that's playing
There's no time to waste
There's so much to celebrate
Believe in what you feel inside
And give your dreams the wings to fly
You have everything you need
If you just believe [x4]

Just believe

Monday, December 13, 2010

Did you know?-Butternut Squash

So, I guess this could end up being a multi-post day. ;-)

On my lunch break I was reading this holiday magazine "for Women First" and I came across this recipe for Butternut Squash. It's simple, supposed to be super tasty and created by the "Pioneer Woman". This magazine was published last December but I am sure you can find this recipe and many more on her website ThePioneerWoman.com.

Butternut Squash Puree
1 Butternut Squash
2 Tbs Butter
4 Tbs Real Maple Syrup
Dash of Salt.

1. Slice squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out seeds and membranes. Place both halves face down on rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 min. or until squash is fork tender from the oven.
2. Place butter in a mixing bowl. With a spoon, scrape out flesh of squash; add to bowl with butter. Let sit 1 min. or until butter melts
3. Add maple syrup and salt, then mash mixture together until large chunks are broken up. Serve mixture as is, or place in a food processor and puree until smooth and pourable.

4 Reasons to love Butternut Squash
1. Optimal Immunity
Enjoying just 1/3 cup of this golden vegetable daily bolsters the body's defense against winter colds and the flu. It is packed with beta-carotene (a phytonutrient that neutralizes immunity-sabotaging free radicals and stimulates up to a 33 percent increase in blood levels of infections-fighting T cells)
2. A Happier Mood
The tryptophan in this sweet squash can boost feelings of happiness by as much as 20 percent.
3. A Healthy Heart
Contains significant stores of folate and fiber.
4. All-day Energy
Is packed with omega-3 fatty acids to boost the body's ability to convert stored fat into energy.

Wow, sounds like a great way to stay healthy and lose weight. I am all for this and should buy some today. ;-)

Different-A Tribute to the "special people"

OK, you might be wondering what in the heck does the title of my post mean. LOL! Well, I'll tell ya.

I believe God has made us all different. In fact, even for twins there are always things about them that are different from the other.

Really, what I am referring to are the differences in personalities that separate some of us from the pack. Have you ever felt different, or have you ever felt like you didn't quite belong? Are you in a place where you wish you could be friends with more people or possibly be understood by others?

Well, you have come to the right blog my friend because I am in that same club. I find myself wondering why I cannot connect with certain people, or why is it that my personality does not fit most scenarios. I am a creative person to the core. I love to sing, paint and cook. My thoughts most of the time revolve around one of those things. My sense of humor is different too--I find that not many people truly understand me, but then every once in a while I find that unique sole that just "gets me". Can you hear the Hallelujah Chorus? ;-)

Being different can also be how we process things--how we deal with life’s issues. Are you a sensitive person or do you just let things slide off your shoulder? Do you show your feelings on your shoulders or do you hide them under the surface? How about your relationship with Christ? Do you want to go deeper with him and seek out his voice for understanding?

Many of these things factor in how we live our lives and how we interact with others. God has shown me that He made us all different in a way that we are unique. We are all "quality" people when we allow him to do a good work in our lives. It's OK to be different--to be set apart. It's not easy. It's not always fun. Sometimes it’s lonely. Sometimes it’s confusing and upsetting but if we look at it through God's lenses, it makes a little more sense. ;-)

I would like to dedicate this song to all of my "groupies" who are different. Love you!!!

Trying out new recipes

Hello all. Not much to write about today, so this post might be random.

I went to see the new Narnia movie this weekend. It was pretty good. I really enjoyed watching it 3D. I do have to say that the 1st and 2nd movies are still my favorite, but they did a pretty good job with this one.

Also, I tried out a new recipe. It was good, but different. I didn't add bacon to it, so I think next time I will. I think it would add a lot of flavor.

Corn and potatoe chowder. I couldn't find a good recipe to use, so I just winged it.

I used about 8 red potatoes peeled (Cut to small bite size pieces)
1 bag frozen super sweet white corn
4 green unions (cut up small)
2 large garlic cloves (minced)
2 boxes of low sodium chicken stock
I let all of this cook for a while then I added...
Table Cream
Sharp Cheddar Cheese (add as much as you want. I think I did just less than 2 cups)

Let all of this cook until the potatoes are cooked through. You can serve with a small dollop of sour cream if you want.

Well, this week is going to be pretty full. Working 45 to 50 hours and then fun times to be had with friends.

Have a great week everyone.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

O Holy Night

The most beautiful Christmas song EVER!

LOL!!!!!!!!!! Sike!

Holiday Highs and Lows

Experience:I have been really looking forward to all of the fun festivities this Christmas is bringing. I am so blessed to be a part of 2 different volunteering opportunities. First, I am going to ring the bell at Wal-Mart with my roomie and then the second I am joining some other really great friends (C.A.M.A.) in working at "Feed the Children". I am not sure what we will be doing exactly, but I am excited about it. I have wanted to volunteer for some time but really never followed through with it. I guess it just takes a little shove to get started. ;-) I think that helping someone in need is beneficial especially if one is having a hard time.

Highs and Lows:Two Christmases ago things were really hard for me. There was so much drama and heartache going on I didn't want to even celebrate Christmas. Last year it was better but very different from the Christmases of long ago. My family was separated and everyone was doing their own thing. I got to spend most of my Christmas with my Mom which was nice. This year I am finding a mix of major heartache and joy combined. It is a really weird thing to experience both at the same time. I want to celebrate the Holiday's, but then again I don't. I am finding myself straining to just focus on what is good about this season and not be an emotional basket case all the time. Sigh...... So that is my low. Just trying to hold my head above water to breathe and listen for God's voice.

My highs are much better of course. ;-) I am looking forward to being creative and baking things. I think I will start a painting again. I have had a picture in my mind for some time now, and since I am blessed to have a little bit of a Christmas break this year, I will start it. Painting, making bread and just wanting to bless others is a very therapeutic approach to sadness. I thank God for these talents that He has given me to pull me through the muck.

Handel’s Messiah:(This will be a topic for another post including pictures and video later.) I was so blessed to be invited to watch Handel’s Messiah performed live. The opera was AMAZING!!! The talent that these people have is SPECTACULAR!! What an amazing treat to be a part of. Thanks Cara for inviting me. I will cherish that moment.

On that note, I found a song from another concert for Handel’s. Amazing. This is a great start of a most wonderful time to celebrate Christ's birth.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Call to the High Places

Especially for the Unmarried (Warning, this is long but if your ready, it is REALLY good)
The Call to the High Places
By Natalie Marie Nyquist
Jan 4, 2005 - 8:12:00 PM

The word of the Lord is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. For who is God but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God, the God who girds me with strength…He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me upon my high places. ~ Psalm 18:30-33

“Lord! Why are all the girls my age falling in love and getting married (or so it feels), and I have no one? How can I survive this painful thing called singleness, especially when so many friends are getting married?” Every girl cries these words at some point; most of us must face them again…and again…and again. How do I best live this unasked-for life of singleness? Granted, this season seems bearable and even grows pleasant for a while—until another wedding invitation comes in the mail or another friend emails the joyous news that she is courting. Familiar panic and frustration squeeze in our throats, and we feel like emptying the house of anything that hints of marriage, family, romance, love, or happiness. Anything that will mock our own state of lacking (seemingly) all of these treasures.

As young women, our longing for romance and marriage is a desire at the core of our beings. This hope is part of the foundation of our identity as women; thus the wrestling we face when we are told to be content as singles or to “put our emotions to sleep” can be overpowering. The answer I have discovered is simple, yet so profound that I can barely scratch the surface of its truth, even in a full-length book. It lies in keeping our eyes fixed on something higher than earthly romance: the High Places. Just what are the High Places, you might ask?

The High Places. Was it the desire for a strong hand to hold mine and share this timeless moment? Yes, if I listened to the message whispered from every side. Everything is sweeter when you are with your boyfriend, husband, special friend, you fill in the blank. Without him, all is loneliness and melancholy. With him, all life turns into a passionate intoxication of delight. From secular love songs to Christian novels, the climax of a woman’s life always comes when she is finally with her man. Sound familiar? Perhaps it does, not only because it is touted in our culture, but because a similar cry echoes from inside us.

What is this thing that draws us? That will not allow us to remain content in the valley our entire life? This tug women feel cannot be captured in mere words, nor confined even within the vast reaches of our own hearts. It is what I refer to as the call to the High Places. Not to a man, romance, or marriage, which the world magnifies as the ultimate goal: but to our Father’s High Places. What we translate as a girlish longing for romance runs far deeper. Our Lord, the mighty and loving King of Kings, calls us to come with Him to a life the world will never understand. He has a much higher purpose for our lives than we could ever imagine (Eph. 3:20).

The only desire that can carry us through the hard times ahead stems from a love for our Lord. We want to go to the High Places because He is there. We want to follow Him. Anything short of this commitment will soon weaken under the rigors of our journey. If we set out hoping marriage will be a nice bonus to the equation, we’re preparing for dissatisfaction and disappointment. A loyal, committed love for our Lord that is faithful even when feelings rebel: this is what can keep our eyes fixed on our goal.

A desire to trace the footsteps of our Father is not enough if there is no commitment. It will sometimes be easier to stay where life is predictable and comfortable. The High Places held a holy wonder that sparked terror deep in my heart. In the core of my being echoed a question unbidden, which I was incapable of answering: “Do I really want to go there? Do I really want to be laid bare before this Holy God in all His majesty?”

Most of all, a fear hovered at the back of my mind holding me back from action. “What if God does not give me what I really want?” It sounds foolish when spelled out in black and white, but that does not invalidate its grip on me. How about you?

In Hannah Hurnard’s allegory, the shepherdess Much-Afraid earnestly wanted to go to the High Places, but she also battled fear:

“I am afraid,” she said. “I have been told that if you really love someone you give that loved one the power to hurt and pain you in a way nothing else can.”
“That is true,” agreed the Shepherd. “To love does mean to put your self into the power of the loved one and to become very vulnerable to pain, and you are very much-afraid of pain, are you not?”

Oh, not pain! The thought makes us shrink inwardly, tension making our body rigid as we brace ourselves to face the dreaded monster of pain. Haven’t we had enough? Why is God allowing so much suffering in our lives? It is a paradox I cannot understand, but I accept its truth because I trust the One who told me: pain is a necessary step to growth and maturity. We cannot reach the High Places without sacrifice. Accepting that fact now and not hoping to somehow find the invisible path around pain will give you a head start on this journey. Yet these fears will not surrender their hold willingly. We dread giving up our treasured dreams to the Lord, because…what if He takes them away? How can we bear to give up something so close to our heart? To do so would rip a gaping wound, and pain is to be avoided at all costs—right?

Dare we trust our Father to faithfully provide for us? Are we willing to give up the dreams for marriage and romance and allow Him to do with them as He chooses? Are we committed to seeking the High Places even if it becomes clear that our journey will not include the firm grip of a prince’s hand to help us over the tough spots? Is our passion for God’s glory strong enough to withstand the screaming of emotions?

Oh, to be able to echo the words of Much-Afraid and say to Him, “In all the world I have no one but You. Help me to follow You, even though it seems impossible. Help me to trust You as much as I long to love You.”

God knows that we are weak. We do not love Him even the smallest percent of what we should, nor do we give Him half of the devotion He deserves. Yet no matter where we are on the path, God simply offers His hand to us. “You love me only this much?” He asks. “Well, then I will give you the strength to love Me just a little bit more today, and a little bit more the day after that, until you are so full of love for Me that there is no room for anything else.”

If only our own fairy tale promised a beautiful ending. Right now we do not know if our knight will ever come. Sometimes we would prefer not to have so many reminders of that fact, yet the same fairy tale is echoed over and over wherever we look. And it draws us…something in its nature draws us to sit before the story yet again as our minds ask God again: “Will I ever have this?” We feel an ache inside that only increases as we feel the beauty and power of the story.

A lovely young princess is captured by the evil adversary of her kingdom and taken to the villain’s fortress, where any hope of rescue or help is seems futile. This maiden is very beautiful, with curls that tumble to her waist and captivating eyes the color of a summer sky. Her purity and virtue are known throughout the land. A young warrior loves this maiden with all his heart and is willing to sacrifice his life if it means she can be set free. He fights through unspeakable difficulties with amazing courage and chivalry until at last he conquers the evil and rescues his princess. With a tender look and kiss upon her dainty hand, he lifts her onto his horse, and they gallop into the sunset. Returning to their kingdom amidst great rejoicing, they are married and live happily ever after.

While the world wishes us to attempt to fill that hole in our heart with wild adventures and passionate romance, God says that these things are merely a symbol of a deeper reality. They are a signpost, pointing the way to the ultimate relationship that brings fullness of joy and pleasures forever! Is this not what we really seek in the dreams for our own fairy tale?

Psalm 20:4 exclaims, “May He grant you your heart’s desire!” In the next chapter it says, “Thou hast given him his heart’s desire and Thou hast not withheld the request of his lips” (verse 2). God has put these yearnings in us not to frustrate us, but for His sovereign purpose--a purpose that goes beyond what we can comprehend in our limited vision. Despite what the world would have us believe, those fairy tales are not the ultimate goal. The story may end with the couple living happily ever after, but real life continues and something deeper and stronger than these must be our highest focus. If we keep them in their place, fairy tales and their real-life parallels can be a beautiful, fulfilling part of life. Pushed onto a pedestal they were never meant to occupy, their worth is twisted and distorted.

Most of us have been guilty of clinging to something, whether it is an attraction to some young man, a fascination with romance itself, or a dangerous emotional attachment. We cannot know true love for anyone or anything until we let that thing go utterly, completely, and forever into the hands of our Father. Not on the condition that our true love will then appear on our doorstep, but because it is the only path to true peace.

The Lord has created us to be young women with all the intricacy and complexity that entails, yet He also governs the expression and use of these feminine gifts. This is the goal of our journey to the High Places: to first understand ourselves and our desires, then to live a lifestyle pleasing to the Lord that brings complete satisfaction and fulfillment. The soul sigh must be surrendered and our grasping hands loose their hold on the things that will not fill our void. God did not plant this need inside to be satisfied with anything less than Himself and His best.
A verse I've often repeated to myself was the last half of Job 1:21: “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” If Job could praise the Lord with confidence in the midst of his trials which were so vastly greater and more difficult than mine…then I must praise Him in the small annoyances and heartaches He graciously allows.

Knowing God is the greatest adventure of all time: a life-long pursuit, the ultimate romance, the fulfillment of every yearning. Apart from this relationship life is a mere shadow of its full potential. Remembering that even life at its best is only a dim reflection of Heaven proves that we have a wonderful future to anticipate. Be encouraged! It is far too easy to get bogged down in all the emotional confusion of guy-girl relationships and unfulfilled longings. At the end of the day we must come back to the same simple truth and accept it without conditions or reservations. Our lives are in the loving and capable hands of the Father. Our quest is to seek Him and follow Him to the High Places by whatever paths He chooses. "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (James 4:8).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Surrender for You are Holy

We are caryers of your presence God. We are a generation marked by Your love. Purified, set apart, holy unto you God. Just one look on your face. Just one glance of your eyes. My whole world is changed--only to see your face. I don’t want to go anywhere without you God, without your presence. Take me into your holy place. Purify our hearts God, purify our hearts. There is no one like you, you are Holy.

It is times like this-the Holiday season- that really makes me reflect on what I want. I am thankful for God. I am thankful for his Holy Spirit. I am thankful that He is a GREAT leader and a wonderful conforter. ;-)

To You I surrender, all of my dreams, everything.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Trading My Sorrows

OK, so I had the most disturbing, gross experience this last week in regards to a match on one of the match making websites that I joined. Ugh! Without going into detail, he turned out to be a major pervert and I have to wonder if he was involved in pornography. Seriously!!! He said all the right things in regards to being a Christian. Said he was born again and very involved in his church. Then he has to pull the “perv” stunt, so I threw him out! See ya SUCKER!!!!!! You sicko!
Anyway, I closed him out and decided to do the nice thing and let him know I was doing that. He ended up sending me multiple texts (which I did not read thanks to my beloved friend protecting me). He showed his true colors right at that moment, which made me feel much better about my decision.

All that being said- I am struggling. It is extremely difficult to go through all of these emotional roller-coasters concerning finding a mate. Part of me just wants to give up and become a hermit for the rest of my life (not really, but sometimes I come close). Anyway, as I was praying this morning, God gave me this phrase "I am crushed but not abandoned". I love that! God is certainly on my side, protecting me on many levels. I could have gone on a date with that guy and something bad could have happened, or I could have been suckered into something horrible but I didn't. THANK YOU JESUS!!!!! So I found this song on YouTube and claiming as mine for the day.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Where You Go I Go

You know, we serve an amazing God, would you agree? Many of us go through so many trials and tribulations that it is difficult to remember who God really is, or maybe look back on the promises He gave us a long time ago--or yesterday. Some of us (and I am including myself in all of this) may even blame God for the disasters in our lives, the disappointments and let-downs. We think, "How could He let this happen?", or "Why is He making me go through this?". Its mind boggling isn't it? God is unfathomable. He has depths to him that none of us will ever have a chance to see until we meet him some day.

It is not really until we come face to face with true, raw emotion do we cry out to Him and seek him for answers. We may or may not receive one, who knows. He is All Knowing, Omniscient, Loving and Powerful. He is from Everlasting to Everlasting. He loves us unconditionally. He wants to hear what is on our minds, what is in our hearts. I know this in my mind, but do I really know it in my heart? Yes, there are times where I truly think I understand it a bit more.

I have been reflecting a lot in the last several weeks on where is He in my life? What does he want from me? Where is He leading me? Besides all of the sifting and burning of my soul, the pulling and tugging of my spirit--besides the fact that I don't always understand Him and I am angry with Him at times--I know ONE truth.

I will not compromise. I do not want to make choices out of desperation, but out of wisdom. I will go where you go, I will pray where You pray. No matter how hard it is I want to follow You!

Here is another song by the same vocalist. Amazing. Be ready to be moved people.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Journey-Facing Reality and Moving forward

Life is a long journey. It involves choices you make and also you’re affected by other people’s choices. There is good and bad combined in everything we do. Currently I am experiencing both regarding choices I have made in my life. I am feeling some of the affects from the bad choices I’ve made, but I also can see blessings coming my way for good choices that I am making today. I have had to come face to face with life--literally going full force into a major reality check within the last 2 weeks. What brought this on? E-Harmony- since deciding that I would like to pursue the idea of dating with the hopes of marriage, truth has really hit me in the face.

What do I mean exactly? Well, one example it my weight. I don't want to be like this for the rest of my life. I certainly do not want to be a mom or a wife like this, and certainly would not want to try and do mission’s works being like this. So what am I going to do about it? I am going to make a choice. I know what I want and I need to go for it. No more excuses. Just need to make better choices. Now, I don't eat horribly all the time, but I also know I don't focus on all the 4 food groups every day either. So here's to a new change in that. I also want to implement the "Crack the Fat Loss Code" method again. I now know how important it was for me to function and feel better.

I am copying a segment from a blogger whom is an inspiration to me and many others. His name is Sean. I think I used some of his quotes in past blogs as well. If anyone wants to visit his blog, you can do it here. http://losingweighteveryday.blogspot.com/

Anyway, this particular paragraph really spoke to me.
Remember, I'm still a food addict, always will be. I'm recovered, but aware. How does it work? If you want this to be the very last time you ever need to lose weight---If you want to make this THE TIME when you really do it, for real...You must realize the vital element of dropping the excuses and rationalizations that make us feel better about bad choices. You must remind yourself how important this entire journey is---you must embrace 100% self honesty and self responsibility in your choices and circumstances. When you do that---you realize, it's not someone's fault if they brought something yummy or the restaurant's fault or the holiday's fault...or anything or anyone else. It's us and our choices. We have the comfort in knowing that we can still have anything we want---there's no deprivation, but we also know that we have a Calorie Bank and Trust account that must remain intact--the integrity of that calorie budget is and must be maintained, because when we start making rationalizations to "break it," or "have just a little more, or just this time," those thoughts and actions are the beginning of the end. And the end, well--that's a very sad place. "Oh well, we'll start again some other time," right? NO--this is the time, now--today---we must embrace consistency---that's how I lost 212 pounds the first 365 days---It was consistency....maintain it, take pride in it, defend it from your emotions and circumstances at every turn, and get ready---because amazing results are coming your way. And those incredible goodies...make sure you eat some every now and then...because that's what normal people with normal, healthy relationships with food, do.

Another good example of going face to face with reality is what my goals in life are. A guy who I am communicating with on E-harmony asked this question, "Going forward from today, what are 3 main goals you would like to achieve in your life?” WOW! That was a really good question and seriously, it made me think. I sat there and pondered on this for many minutes. What are my goals? What and how would I like to accomplish them? This question is an amazing thing because it made me come to terms with the fact that yes, I want way more in life than I give myself credit for. I am not some person who should be sitting around, moping that I don't have a life like this person or that person--trying to live a life of comparison. No! My life is different. I have a calling. I have aspirations that are ACHIEVABLE!!! I do not have to think that all I am good for is a sit down job, just working to pay off bills. UGH! How DEPRESSING! No, I am better than that. I have passions, wants and interests. I want to shoot for my goals. Make some tangible changes in my life and start "doing". HA HA! This is so liberating!!!!

So, facing reality isn't a bad thing, it's a really good thing. Understanding who you are and how your life's journey is affecting you is important. Everyone has the good and bad from choices they made-no one is perfect. It's all about how are we dealing with them today. How are we stepping forward with purpose? Are we making a difference or would we like to make a difference? Come join me on the “Reality Journey” and let's move forward from today.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Modern Slavery - Human Trafficking

As I wrote in my last post, I talked about getting informed, being aware of what is going on next door--right under our very noses. This is so sad and it breaks my heart.

This video portrays some of the true realities of Modern Day Slavery that is going on around the world. The sad thing is, children are being used for man’s pleasure. AWFUL!!! It really sickens me that people are so sick as to think it's OK to use a child for their own personal needs. These kids are living in an actual hell.

Dear God, may we always pray for our kids, may we watch out for their best and keep them safe. May we raise them up to be men and women of God so that they can go out and make a difference in this world. I pray for those children and adults being used and abused for man's carnal pleasures and I pray for your justice to be brought down on those people doing this.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Awareness-Did you know?

Ok, this is a serious post and definitely not for the faint of heart, so please bear with me.

I am a strong believer in increasing awareness of what is going on in our neighborhoods today. I may write about this issue periodically because I want to be a part of something bigger. An issue that I am learning more and more about is how big human trafficking is in the United States. Most people hear about this issue in other countries but do they realize what is going on in their very own neighborhoods? Is anyone aware of how many runaways are abducted for Human Trafficking?

Did you know that...
The U.S Department of state in June 2010 released their 2010 Report on Human Trafficking. Here are some of the quotes from that report.

"Worldwide, the State Department estimated there are 12.3 million adults and children in modern-day slavery – including forced labor, bonded labor and forced prostitution," Inter Press Service reports. "That means just under two people in a thousand are victims of human trafficking. According to the report, the "U.S. is a source as well as a transit and destination country for people forced into labor, debt bondage and prostitution"...."Involuntary servitude is not something we can ignore or hope doesn't exist in our own community".

This video explains it all.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Too funny

Ok, so you know in my last post I talked about possibly joining e-harmony. Well, I bit the bullet and did it.

I have to wonder about what some of the guys are thinking when they post pictures like this as their profile pictures.

Or how about the muscle man look. Man o man, this is certainly the match for me.

LOL! Oh, but the best one I couldn't find to post. It was a picture of a guy standing with a Hooters girl giving him a side hug. Really????

I am certainly learning a lot this time around on my journey through e-harmony. I am trying really hard to just have fun with it and not take it extremely seriously. But I sure do get some good laughs out of it, thats for sure.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Finished Painting- Easter Lilly

So, here is the finished product. I am really excited about this one and I think it came out really well. I am so looking forward to displaying it in my bedroom. ;-)
I was trying to be extra creative but also wanted to show you what it looked like in all the different light settings so I took several shots. This is the close up with flash.

This one below is with full flash.

This one below is with soft flash.

This one below is without flash.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sometimes the answer is simpler than you think

Life has certainly been interesting. I have been adjusting to a lot of change (new roommate, loss of a roommate, lack of furniture in the house......). Change is change, but who said we needed to handle it well? Actually, I don't think I'm handling it badly, it's just not always fun. When you have a new roommate in the house, everyone has to get used to each other--especially if you haven't known the new person since just a bit before move-in day. Sometimes I wonder about things like, will she like me? Will we get a long? I hope we become friends. Sigh...... This all takes time.

On another note, I have been thinking about whether or not I am ready to hit the dating websites again. To be honest, it scares me. Am I ready for all the rejection that comes with it? Am I ready to actually go on a date? Should I lose 5000 pounds before I can even go on a date? Will guys even like me right now? How should I act or feel????? Am I taking this too far??? ;-) Seriously, I think I am taking this too far. I know deep down that it is not always about how you look (although it matters) but how you portray yourself. Are you self confident? Are you easily swayed by other people’s opinions? Are you rooted in the Lord? (Being rooted in the Lord is certainly an issue that I am trying to make better) I know deep down that if I were to just really focus on my relationship with God, then all of the other things will come into place. I cannot do this on my own. I have to walk in God's footsteps in order for things to become clear, and for the path to be easier to follow.

It’s funny because now that I think of it, it's just a normal process. We all have to put ourselves out there in order to have relationships, and it is no different with meeting a guy. I know that I have to give all of my fears and concerns to the Lord and know that He will guide me in the right path. It's just so scary. I often wonder, will I ever meet a guy who will love me for who I really am, not just what I look like? I think this way for myself as well. Will I find that man who I will love no matter what he looks like? Where is he? Does he love the Lord? Is he working on himself right now, preparing himself for marriage? What is he doing right now? What career path is he on? Does he love missions? Does he love kids? Is he a good family guy and easy to get along with?

What am I doing in order to prepare for things like this? How am I preparing spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, financially? It's all overwhelming. When I start to get on the right path, I tend to try and work on everything at once, then I get overwhelmed and fail big time. Sigh...... It's a one-step-at-a-time process. No one is perfect. We all have flaws and it will take a lifetime to work out all of our kinks. But, I am so glad that God is on our side, because I don't know how else I would get through all this healing and change without him. I want to be that type of person someday who is well balanced and has a good view on life. I don't think I am there yet. One can only guess what that actually looks like.

But the answer is quite clear and simple- Focus on the Lord and he will make your path straight.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


So last night I was able to hang out with some great friends Matt, Missy and their sweet little boy Caleb, and we watched the Biggest Loser. AMAZING! I missed last week’s episode, but man, I cannot wait to watch next weeks. It is completely inspiring.

I know that I fall down and sometimes my fall lasts a week or 2, but I always get back up and start where I left off. Watching that show last night really inspired me. I am not inspired to work out 6 or so hours a day, but I am inspired to be consistent, to eat well and to have an overall feeling that I am doing something good for myself.

So here's to becoming another biggest loser. ;-)

So, we have a new roommate coming in tonight. My other roommate and I have met her 2x and she seems really sweet and fun. Hopefully we will all start settling down soon and get life back to a normal flow. I really want to start painting again. I have this painting that I am doing for my room and I want it hanging on my wall. Maybe I can get to it a bit sometime later this week. Fun times. ;-) I will try and get some pictures posted of my progress with the painting.

Oh, also on Monday night we had a prayer and worship night. I decided, after some coxing from friends, to try and play my djembe drum during worship. It was fun trying it out, although I am not sure if it sounded all that great the whole time, but hey, I tried right? ;-)
The picture below is simalar to the djembe that I have. The bottom part of the drum doesn't have special carvings on it, but it's pretty sweet if I do say so myself. ;-)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cars, cops, tow men and boys

So yesterday I was on my way to a wedding for a co-worker and got into an accident. My fault of course. Seriously upset with myself, but it's over now and just waiting on my car to get fixed. I had to have my car towed to a Auto Body Shop of my choice because my insurance kept telling me that I am only covered for 1 tow (I would have towed it to my house and then figured out later where to take it). Come to find out this morning that I can have more than 1 tow not out of my pocket and that if I send my car to a body shop referred by my insurance, I do not have to have an adjuster come out. They can just fix it. What a pain!!!!! So now I have to have it towed a 2nd time and it could take a while before all is done but the good news is I also found out I am covered for rental car, so hopefully will get one on Monday.

So, while I was standing in the middle of the road (while my car was attached to the other persons car) I was waiting around, hoping to find some help. I of course forgot to bring my cellphone with me that day, so I had to wait for the lady who hit me to finish her calls and let me make a call. She apparently called the police (which by the way was literally 1 minute away from the crash) and they never showed up. In the mean time we are standing dangerously in the middle of the street and I am trying to tell her we need to try and move our cars because we are blocking everyone from getting through. Only one person out of the 25 or so cars that drove past slowed down and asked if we were OK. Turns out someone I knew saw me in the middle of the street but decided to drive on without helping. The wedding was more important I guess. Gotta love peoples priorities.

Finally, I talked the other lady into moving our cars to the police station and finish exchanging information there. Once she was done, she left and I had to wait in the station for an hour for the tow truck. Here is the conversation I heard while waiting.

Police Secretary- Ya, I had a mastectomy
Police Man- Oh really, did you catch the cancer too late?
Secretary- No, a year before I found out I had a mammogram and they didn't see any lumps.
Police Man- Wow, I don't think I could go through with that. You are a strong person.
Secretary- You know, you gotta do what you gotta do. It's either remove the breasts entirely or do Radiation and hope that no cells remain.

And so the conversation went on and on and on about how her breasts were removed and some conversation about her mammogram. I was like "seriously? this is what I get to listen to while my friend is getting married!--NICE!!!". By the way, there were like 5 male policemen to 1 secretary. Quite hilarious.

Finally, the tow truck man arrived. Let me tell you the minute I saw him I thought "Umm, is he trustworthy?". He had shaggy dog hair, no front teeth and his side teeth jutted out making the lack of missing front teeth very prominent. His shirt had multiple holes that looked like he had taken a cigarette and burned holes all over the thing. Not a very good first impression. He proceeded to tell me that the location that I wanted to drop my car off was not a secure location and that there were no key drop offs there, so he would need to take my car to his "Yard". (At this point I am in internally freaking out wishing my dad were with me) He said he was 99% sure that was the case. So he called his boss and they finally decided to just take my car to the location I asked for. (By the way, I found out it was a reputable place and they DID have a key drop off). On the way to the drop off, he proceeded to tell me what he thought about Colorado policemen and how incapable they were of doing their jobs. All in all it was a very interesting time.

Anyway, today (Sunday) to add to all of the chaos I get a phone call from my mom stating my 4 yr old nephew had an accident on his bike and had to be taken to the hospital via ambulance because there was blood everywhere. Turns out my little nephew biffed it by colliding with another bike. He apparently took off his helmet before doing this too. So now he and his mom are waiting to see the doctor and who knows what all of the damage is. Poor guy. He busted his nose open and looks so sad. Please pray for him and my sister as they are going through this.


Friday, September 24, 2010

OH, it's that type it is?

Have you ever felt like society today has put pressure on us girls that we have to be beautiful at all times? In other words, if we do not have our hair or makeup just so, then we are not pretty? Ugh!! Sometimes I feel that big time and it really ticks me off. Now, I know it's best if we try and make ourselves presentable and not look frumpy or drab (at least not every day) but come on!--we're only human. There will be days where you just don't have time to straighten your hair or curl it just so. Sometimes a pony tail is really the only thing that will work for you on that day.

I had a situation yesterday where a lady (we'll call her Whiner) decided to tell me like it is, in front of whoever was close by to listen. Here is how the conversation went.

Whiner- “Annjeri, you didn't want to straighten your hair today? “
Annjer- (Pause.....) “No, I am doing different things with my hair.”
Whiner- “Oh, but you looked so pretty yesterday............”

Ummm, hello!!! Thanks a lot! Basically what your saying is you look awful today but yesterday you looked soooooo much better. Now that you have made me feel ugly in my pony tail, I now have this complex that if I don't straighten my hair then I am not pretty. How rude!!!!! (I have to mention that this person is someone who constantly talks down to people and treats them like their a toddler, so my annoyance was brought up by many levels because well, that person is just way too annoying). Needless to say that Whiner is pretty young (younger than me by the way) and styles her hair and wears clothes from the early 90's!! She wears high water pants (every day) for goodness sakes. But I am not going to go and tell her that her style is really not to my liking, could she please change the way she looks. I think not!

Anyway, I find it hard to style my hair just so in the first place because I have naturally curly-frizzy hair, and it takes time and a lot of energy to blow dry it, straighten it and then give it a bit of wave every day. Most days’ I do not have the energy for it. I usually wear my hair curly with bobby pins to keep it out of my face and really never hear a peep from anything about how I look until that one, glorious day of the year where I wear my hair fully down, straight and silky--and that is when all the people who see me tell me I look pretty.

I just want to let all you ladies know that no matter how you style your hair, even if a certain way you do your hair may be more flattering to you, YOU ARE STILL BEAUTIFUL!! Keep that in mind when you walk out the door each day and don’t let a “know it all” tell you otherwise. ;-)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Insanity and New Hair.....

Well, I love this time of year. I am not too happy that the weather is warm and the trees are already changing over, but again I still love this time of year. Fall is coming, cooler weather over the horizon, and the holidays are drawing near.

I got to thinking about my own life and how there are so many things happening, and really there are many changes taking place as well. I am overwhelmed by what is taking place, yet excited to see where God leads me for the future. Currently, stress and busyness have taken its place in my life and I am trying to figure out how to handle it. My eating and work outs are always affected when I feel this way, as well as how I present myself. If you haven't noticed I haven't been posting much about Crack the Fat Loss Code because I kinda fell off the wagon with it last week and honestly most of this week. Things have been so stinkin busy that I haven't even really cooked a meal but one time in 1.5 weeks. That is not good. That means I make bad choices and I end up eating more bread or pasta dishes and then I feel gross. So, tonight I am making a nice healthy meal that should last me for a few days (Chicken, asparagus and rice). That will eliminate some of the stress.

Last night I had my hair done by a good friend of mine, which made me look so pretty and I feel so much more confident in myself. We stripped my hair of the dark brown that I have had for a while and now I am cinnamon. LOVE IT!! To give my friend Cara credit, she said "I am going to SPICE you up!!". ;-) I love being pampered and honestly, I do not take care of myself as much as I really should. I don't even remember when the last time I had my haircut. My friend was like "When did we cut your hair last? It really needed it!”--Ugh!!! Today as people saw me they were complimenting me left and right, and even some were wondering what had changed--"You look different" they would say. This made me realize that I have really not been paying attention on how I look. I usually pull my hair up in a pony tail or I scrunch it with moose and pull it back in bobby pins to keep it out of my face. I probably am constantly looking like I am in high school or something because in all honestly, I still do my hair the same way I did back then. That was 13 years ago people. Seriously!! Of course my hair cuts have changed, just not the way I style it. So I am going to try and straighten it more often. It’s hard though, because I get hot when my hair is straight but we will try it and see. ;-)

Anyway, as I was saying before I am trying to deal/cope with stress. I am not a person who handles life very well when I have something going on every evening. Even if it means that my evenings are full at home with cleaning or organizing, then going places and doing things without much rest. I used to be the type of person who had something booked for every evening of the week and somehow I coped. I don’t know how. I don’t know what my sanity looked like back then. Maybe I just wasn’t sane and now I am. HA HA. I love when I have some evenings where I can just lounge after work and read or watch a movie. Sometimes I will even just go to my room and lay down with my eyes closed for a little while and let the quiet rejuvenate me. If I don’t have any of those moments then I feel like I do today—exhausted-emotional-ready to just throw everything to the wind and say “let those people deal with it because I’m done”. It certainly doesn't help when I am sleeping poorly either.

I know I am rambling and sorry if this post is a bit lengthy but it’s good to get some of these thoughts out. I really want to have a life where I know I can juggle eating well, exercise, work + over time, fun with friends and family and then responsibilities like paying bills, cleaning and organizing my house. Sheesh, it’s no wonder why I am no way ready to buy a home. I think that would send me over the top into the great land of insanity.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fun times...

Well, happy Monday everyone! ;-) Got to love Mondays. I have to say that yesterday I was totally not paying attention to what awaited me at work today. I am so glad too. I certainly did not want to focus on the fact that my job is super crazy right now, and who knows how many hours I will be working starting tomorrow. Yippeee!! Actually, the upside to all of that is my paycheck will have a little more cushion in it--so glad for that.

Last week was also a crazy week for me eating wise. I certainly did not make the best of decisions--and I paid for it. I ended up getting really stressed and allowed myself to go off of my eating plan. I therefore ate more carbs than I should have (which included some sweets) and therefore felt nauseous, headachy and my stomach constantly felt yucky. My body felt really week and I didn't have a ton of energy (which I am not sure what that was all about). Anyway, I was so tired last week that I only exercised one time. So this week I am getting back on plan. I can't stand having stomach aches and feeling like I did from eating too many bread or pasta products. So tonight I am going to make a healthy meal and start fresh.

This weekend my roommate and I went through our storage room to get it organized, cleaned out and ready for our new roommate to come in. I am giving a ton of old clothes and random junk to Good Will, but I found a lot of fun things too. I apparently--at one point-- went shopping a few years back when I had lost a ton of weight, and bought brand new jeans, Capri’s and workout clothes that still have their tags on them. WOW! This was so exciting. It was like getting presents all over again. I of course cannot fit into any of these items right now, but they are certainly giving me even more of an incentive to lose weight so I can fit into them. I am also keeping some of my favorite shirts that I wore when I was 1/2 of my size now and I really want to be able to wear them again. So all of that is exciting.

On the exercise front, this week I am going to focus on cardio 3-4 times and try and do weight train 2 of those times. If I get to the gym more than that, we are doing well. I am just not going to overdo it. I think the week before last week I went gung-ho on my work outs and that might be why I was so exhausted the next week. Who knows?

Anyway, here is to a new and healthy week.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 3-CTFLC Week 3 and proud of myself, sort-of...

I will start off with saying that I am not proud of myself with how I ate last night. I had a very stressful day yesterday--I was extremely exhausted and way too emotional for my own good, so I had a food melt down and ate things I shouldn't have.

It was a learning lesson. After all was said and done, I realized that I still could have made good choices even within my melt down yesterday. But today is a new day, and I will move on. That's the way life is right? If I just let myself mess up and then never regain my balance, then I will never be a healthy person. Instead, I choose to regain my balance and start new. This is a life long journey. This is not a crash diet. This is not a phase. I am worth it!!! ;-)
OK, this is going to sound silly but I will mention it anyway. As I mentioned in my blog post yesterday, I have been decorating my bathroom. My prior roommate owned a lot of the "extras" that we had in our bathroom, so I have been slowly replacing them. I bought some metal shelves to go over the toilet. Have you ever put those suckers together? Golly Gee Willakers Maynard!!! They come in a million and one pieces! Sheesh. Oh, and the instructions. LET ME TELL YOU the instructions are REDICULOUS!! But I did it. I put each and every piece together with my own two hands. LOL!! Again, I know it sounds silly, but I felt proud of myself. Since there are no men in the house to do these things for me, I have to learn on my own and it's pretty sweet. ;-)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 2-CTFLC Week 3 and more.

Well, I started week 3 of the program. This weekend I carbed up a-lot and didn't really focus on calories or making sure I had the appropriate snacks in place. I have also decided that I tend to be obsessed with weighing myself all of the time because I just want to see results like NOW! This type of mentality is not good for me. I get depressed when I do not see the scale move when I am working so hard. Soooooo, I am not sure how often I will weigh myself each month but I am going to try hard and not focus on the scale. Instead, I will focus on watching my calories, doing the carb up and carb down days, excersize 3-5 times a week and get my water in. That is certainly more than enough to keep me occupied.

On another note, I started buying stuff for my bathroom. I have lived in this house for almost 2 years and me and my prior roommate that I shared it with could not agree on a color or scheme. FRUSTRATING!!! So, our bathroom remained colorless. I basically had a shower liner and that is pretty much it (other than mismatched and worn out bathroom mats). Sooo I have been looking and searching for what I want and finally decided on getting a chocolate colored shower curtain, and my new roommate has brown mats. Hopefully soon we can figure out colors to go with it. It is fun decorating, and I can't wait to find pictures to throw in splashes of color. Very fun.

I can't wait to start up my canvas painting again. I think once we get the house back in order after my roommate completely moves out, and then I can start being more creative again.

Well, that's all for now. Tootles.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 6-CTFLC Week 2- Confused...

Good morning. Today was weigh-in day for me--second time this week. I got too antsy for my own good after our holiday weekend and weighed myself on Tuesday as well. The results are the same today. The scale cannot make up its mind if I lost anything or gained. It wiggles back and forth and won't stay in one place. Ugh!!! It is very frustrating. So on Saturday at the gym I am going to weigh myself and see where it is. It will probably be a little different since I will have eaten breakfast by that time, but I will try and account for that. When I weigh myself at work, I do it before I eat or do any major water intake.

I guess I feel like I am busting my butt and the scale isn't moving in the right direction. Sigh... But, I know I cannot give up. I have to keep moving forward and eat well and exercise. I know that this is good for my heart and over all well being. Not seeing the scale move is frustrating. Since I weigh way more than I should, I want to see it go down, even if it is a pound or 2 a week. I know that the more I exercise, the more muscle I gain and muscle weighs more than fat--so this must be one of the reasons why I am not seeing a huge change. There were a few days this week that I could have eaten more veggies, so today and the rest of this time I will concentrate on that more as well.

On a good note, I have noticed some toning in my legs. I haven't noticed a lot of difference in my waist or arms, but I can tell I am toning up. This week I have been focusing on incorporating multiple types of exercise into my routing. I did the elliptical (Monday), bike (Tuesday) and yesterday (Thursday) I swam 12 laps or 6x back and forth. I think today I might go back and do some elliptical and then tomorrow work on increasing my laps.

Anyway, on another note, I am excited for fall to come. I see signs of it as the leaves are turning different colors, but the weather is acting weird. We keep having warm days and then some cool. I cannot wait to decorate for it. ;-)

My roommate and I are also planning on going to one of those "paint your own pottery" stores soon. We found a good deal online and so I get to use my creative side in something else. Very exciting and fun. ;-) Oh, and one more thing--can you say "THRILLER!!!"? Yes, I and my roommate are going to learn Thriller in the next 2 weeks for her 80's Totally Tubular Birthday Party!!!! That will certainly bring a ton of laughter. Tee Hee!! ;-)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day 5-CTFLC Week 2 and Coffee MMMMM......

Good morning!
Today is day 5 of Crack the Fat Loss Code. Today I am doing what they call a "Baseline" day. What does this mean you ask? Well, it's feeding your body what it needs or what it is requiring. So, I get to have 2 meals today in which I eat a carbohydrate. Yippee!! ;-)

Yesterday I went grocery shopping and bought almost all of the items I needed. I purchased Ezekiel bread which is on the "allowed" list. ;-) I have to say it's pretty tasty. I added a tiny bit of peanut butter because it is EXPENSIVE in the calorie sense (200 Calories for 2 tbsp).

This morning, I measured out real creamer for my coffee to go with my toast and I am savoring it. I have been using half-n-half which is OK, but I can't stand the taste of coffee with it. So, right now I am really enjoying the "real" creamer. Yummmm...

Also, I started counting my calories today. Last night I sat down and planned today's menu. Can I say that it is exhausting trying to figure out what you’re going to eat for the whole day? I think that since I am counting my calories it really makes me look at what I am putting in my mouth. You can't have too many nuts, or too much cheese. You have to have protein for at leave 4-5 of your meals during a day, so you have to be creative. It is also important to watch how many carbohydrates you consume and how much fat you are eating. At least with this lifestyle plan, they give you good examples of how to fill your day food wise so you know what you should eat and what you shouldn't.

Today is going to be another big workout day. I plan on trying to do more than 35 minutes of cardio. Maybe an hour’s worth and then weight train. Since my muscles are so tight every time I go in for massage therapy each week, I need to incorporate a stretching routine as well. It will be interesting to see how many hours a week I spend on working out and stretching. It’s like a part time job! LOL

Have you ever felt--while trying to get your life in order and back to a healthy balance that the whole thing consumes you? I mean, there might be things here or there that are not related to weight loss or just getting healthy, but for the most part that is your LIFE?? I have people asking me all the time what I have been up to lately and I have to strive to find some other answer other than "Well, I am on this getting healthy kick". Sometimes I slip up because I can't think of anything else to say and that is what I tell them. They pause--look at me funny--smile at me and then ask me what I am doing. In my mind I think "Why did you say that??????". Now they look at me differently and then move on to whatever else they may be doing. Sigh..... At some point I know this will just become a habit, a way of life and I won't actually have to think about it so much, or spend so much time planning. I will just know what to eat, when to eat it and just move on--with life.

I have also been working on a canvas painting which I haven’t touched in 2-3 weeks. I feel like our house is in semi-chaos what with a roommate moving out and my other roommate and I are painting our laundry room. My hope is that when things settle down I will actually start working on it again. On top of that, I am searching for a new church, and am praying for new fellowship around my area. Big changes are happening—sometimes at a slower pace than I like—but it’s all good. ;-)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 4- CTFLC Week #2

Well, I am on my way into week #2. Sunday the 4th was my first day and basically, I was supposed to only have 1 carb meal that day. Well, I ended up breaking down and had several carbs (including some sugar) that day. Uggg.... I chalked it up to a carb up day since I had been off of major carbs for 7 days.

Today I weighed myself and found I am pretty much at the same place as I was last Friday. I might have lost a few ounces but the scale could not make up its mind on where it wanted to stay this morning sooooo... I am basically marking it as a zero weight loss or gain. Which is OK, I am trying hard not to be disappointed in myself. I know I have to live life and there are days where I need to eat more carbs in order for my body to function. I just am scared right now to eat more carbs because I don't want it to show a gain. Sigh.......

I am also working out now, which last week I couldn't because, well, I wasn’t' eating carbs. ;-) So, I have been going strong since Monday. Yesterday I did 35 min. on the bike, weight trained and then went home and after dinner I helped paint some of the laundry room. Today is a rest day to give my muscles some healing time and then tomorrow I will be back at it again. I know that when we build muscle, it weighs more than fat so that might also be the cause of a lack of weight loss. Who knows?

On the up side, since I have cut out regular bread from my diet, I feel so much better. I am not bloated like I used to be either. So, today I am going to buy some Ezekiel bread and see how my body handles that. I sure hope I do OK because I miss eating bread. ;-)

So, I am still on my journey of learning how to eat properly. This takes time. It takes learning. It means finding out how to fill the body with the proper nutrients to make it work and not starve. This is a lifetime experience, so I have to be patient with myself. I am also starting to count my calories again because I want to make sure that I am not over-eating in my 5-6 meal a day plan, or I could be under eating. I am also going to buy a food scale today, because most of the information out there goes by ounces rather than regular measurements. It will make my life so much easier I think.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day 7-CTFLC Week 1

I made it to day 7!!!! Yeee haaaahhh!! Do you know what this means?????? This means that tomorrow I can start eating carbs. Praises be! ;-)

I just wanted to say that I am so very thankful for my friends and family who are sticking by me through this and praying for me. I cannot tell you how much it is helping me. Some of the things God is showing me is too private for a public blog but I can tell you--THANK YOU--and please keep praying. This is a long journey. God is bringing healing, and I have so much weight to lose, but this is the time to do it. ;-)

So, yesterday (day 6) was a tough one for me. There were times where I just wanted to give up and not care--but God reminded me of why I am doing this. It's not the short term benefits that I should be looking at, but the long term ones that I should be striving for. Grant it the short term goals are what keeps us going though.

I am feeling revved up today--or I should say this afternoon. I actually had a pretty rough start to my Saturday. I had bad stomach pangs and felt a bit nautious for quite a while. I didn't want to eat anything. I ended up eating my first meal at 10am, but I am feeling a lot better now, with only a little bit of issues.

I know that I need to keep gong strong even through my weekend, so I chopped up a simple green salad, mixed apple cider vinegar, olive oil and garlic and pepper and had a pretty tasty salad. I grilled some burgers on the stove top this morning so I am combining my salad with that. Super yummy and very simple.

I do have to say that garlic, even though I used it often before I started the program has now become a main staple in my home. I bought a few bulbs at the farmers market and they are so fresh and yummy. I am pretty sure I always have garlic breath, but hay, it tastes great. Also, there are so many people at work getting sick right now and I know that garlic is a great way to stave off sickness, so the more the better. ;-)

All in all, my day is going pretty well for day #7. I have had coffee with real creamer but am not too worried about it.

Hope you all have a great holiday weekend. Tootles.

Friday, September 3, 2010

God, only God can.......

God, may your Spirit open up the seals, break through and let your light shine. May the hurts and pains flow away. Come Lord Jesus Come, Come Lord Jesus Come. May the life long hurts--the bondage keeping us from walking towards you fall away. Wash it away God. You are the Only one that can take care of them. Place your hand over the wounds, the scars. With every tear and wail- may they fall away Lord. May every part of us be whole--be made new. Show us the way Lord. May the tears make our hearts soft for you Lord. Amen.

Song "Fling Wide" by Misty Edwards

Awake, awake, O north wind
Awake, awake, O south wind; blow over me
Come, O winds of testing
Come, winds of refreshing; blow over me


Let the winds blow, let the winds blow (7x)
Let the winds blow


Fling wide the door to my soul
Open up the door to my heart
Have your way, have your way
Have your way, yeah


I won’t be afraid; I will face the wind
I won’t be afraid; I’ll embrace the flame


Take me through the fire, take me through the rain
Take me through the testing, I’ll do anything
Test me, try me, prove me, refine me like the gold, like the gold

Amazing isn't it? The reality is, God, only God can walk us through the hard times. I am amazed by how many times I have said yes to Him, and yet I still tend to walk on my own path. How easy it is to try and do things my way, instead of asking Him for help. He reminded me today that I said yes to Him last year when I visited IHOP. I said yes to what He asked me to do, and yet I ended up caught up in the issues of life-of bondage. Whew! Practically took my breath away when He told me this.

Here is the reality of one of the issues I have been dealing with. In order to lose weight, I tried taking it on all by myself. I have struggled and struggled and struggled--feeling sorry for myself for not being like those other people who can go on with life without worrying about their weight. POSH!!! It is what it is. I am not like them. I never will be. God created me like I am, and like it or not, it is what it is. I can't change how I look without God's help, and even then if I get to my goal weight it won't stop there. I still have to lean on Him for life. FOR LIFE!!! I often struggle with this reality. I often wish it were different.

Funny, as a kid I used to day dream that there would be this weight loss pill that you would take once a year and WALLAH, you were thin. HELLO!!!! Wouldn't that be lovely? Or not! Think about how many people in this world who would be truly obese yet hid the truth by a weight loss magic? No one would be healthy.

Anyway, the thing is--the reality is-- we all struggle with something. It doesn't work very well by doing it on our own strength--we have to lean on God. That is my reality today, and I pray that I am reminded of that every day.

Day 6- CTFLC Week 1--Great news

Day 6 and 5 pounds lost! Wahoooooo!!! This is an exciting day people. I am charging forward. I am CRACKING THE CODE!!! ;-)

So, it's possible that most of the weight I lost is water weight, but who cares right? It's 5lbs less than I was before, so that is exciting enough. I have to think- the more pounds I lose, the less weight will be on my back and on my knees and ankles. Oh, glorious day! It will be a major celebration once I find out how much weight I lost at the end of this 8 week cycle. But that's not only it, I will have become healthier. I hopefully will no longer have issues with cholesterol and high blood pressure. Very exciting.

In other news- Yesterday was a tough one for me. I was hungrier than the day's before, and I felt weaker too. I did however break down and have a cup of coffee with real creamer in it. It's was DELICIOUS!!!! Oh, how I miss my coffee. You can have coffee on this plan, but the book states it's better to have sugar free in everything you drink. I however cannot stand most sugar free drinks, so if I can't have it, then I usually don't drink it. But yesterday I was cold and just wanted the yumminess. ;-) I really wasn't feeling too guilty about because it was really a treat for me.

I am looking forward to a 3 day weekend. I am hoping to get some painting on canvas in, but also we are painting our laundry room yellow--SO FUN--and might work on that some as well. My cousin Tammy is in town so I am hoping to see her too, but we will see.

I also should be able to start exercising on Sunday since that starts Week #2 and I begin to eat regular carbs again. We will see how the first workout goes. I bet it will feel great. Elliptical, HERE I COME!!!!

Well, healthy eating everyone and have a great Holiday Weekend!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day 5-CTFLC Week 1

Yeah for day #5-

I have to admit, even though I am determined to stay going on this journey, today is probably a little less easy than yesterday. I didn't sleep well last night because of my back, and again getting up many times to use the restroom. Sooo, today I am a bit tired and just feel blah.

I am still wondering if I am taking in too much salt. My ears still feel like there is pressure there so I might need to check my blood pressure in the near future. I hate having issues like that--it sucks!!

Last night I decided to change up my eating a bit so I grilled some steak and chicken for the rest of the week. I didn't get home until late, so I didn't give myself much time to tenderize the steak so it came out tough. Bummer, but still edible. ;-) I am so glad we can eat most lean meats. It breaks up the monotonous.

Today I am a little hungrier than yesterday. I still had to force myself to eat breakfast though. I was a bit hungry when I woke up, but when it came time to eat I wanted to gag. LOL! I will be glad when we can have grains soon, and then I can eat oatmeal on some days. It will be a good change-up from eating eggs every morning.

As far as water goes, I am doing my best to drink through-out the day. 70+oz is what I am getting in. There are so many theories on how much a person should drink. I heard a while back on the news that the idea of how much water a person should drink isn't really what it was a while back. I've heard you should drink 1/2 of your body weight, which would be like chugging a ton of water each hour. What are your thoughts and what have you heard to be healthy? For now, I am just going to stick to the amount recommended in the book unless I hear of something better.

Good to know: Here is some information that I have been reading about for fat loss--thought it was pretty interesting. This is a quote from the CTFLC book.

"The best part about manipulating the body's energy stores is that, ultimately, we can get the body to store less fat altogether, giving you higher sustained energy levels. That's right; when you manipulate glycogen stores over a long period of time, the body takes what it's eating and forces it to be used for sustained energy levels, instead of storage as fat.

The body is stubborn, but it can be trained. It wants you to survive; that's why it stores fat. It thinks that by saving up plenty of energy, it can keep you healthy in case of emergency. But that's just your cave dweller brain thinking! Today we don't need to hunt and gather our food, so there is rarely a time when we'll need to save all that fat in case of emergency. Just the opposite is true: our food is too convenient, too readily available. With the double-to triple-sized portions being the norm rather than the exception, we are eating too much and storing too much fat.

We need to teach our cave dweller brains the modern way of thinking. We do not need to be walking around with excess baggage, because we can learn for ourselves how best to eat for maximum performance. The payoff is rediscovering the joys of eating again. "

I love what the author sais here. I am learning that if I can train myself now how to live, I won't have to stress out about it much later, and I can still enjoy life and eating. This isn't a "diet". It's a way of life--coming to terms with how the body works is my ultimate goal so that I can live a good life, not one filled with being uncomfortable because I am big, or one where I am filling my body with toxins from the medications I am taking. I am so looking forward to the day when I am off the medications because then I am going to do a full body cleans to get rid of them. That will be a day to party for sure. ;-)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 4-CTFLC Week 1 and more fun

Wahoo, I made it to day #4!!! This is exciting for me because normally I would have given up because "it was just too hard". I won't lie, there have been temptations, and when hunger is "LARGE" in my mind, I want to eat whatever.

This time around is so much different. I feel great--albeit a bit tired and somewhat weak, but really it's been great. My body is definitely doing weird things though. I can feel hunger pangs here and there, but for the most part I am really not that hungry. I actually had to force myself to eat breakfast this morning. Weird. I am wondering if some of the lack of appetite has to do with eating the same thing every day. Well, hopefully tonight I will buy some new veggies like mushrooms and onions to put in my food to change it up some. They have meal plans for each day, but when you are on a tight budget, you eat what you have.

The difference between how I feel now verses before I started CTFLC is amazing. My daily routine used to consist of the following: Wake up, make coffee, drink 1-2 cups coffee, wait to eat breakfast, feel famished, getting a headache, starting to feel my blood sugar crash--oh, I guess I should eat. That was my usual pattern and I would end up eating around 9am. Since I get up so early every morning, including weekends, which means by the time I wake up and eat it's been 3 hours or more! Not good! I would get shaky and just feel like crud because I would make the choice to not eat until it was too late. On the other hand, in regards to just eating during the day, I would not focus on my protein intake for every meal. Sometimes it was just carbs so I would feel yucky no matter what.

Now, since Sunday I have had to re-think everything. Since it's better to eat 4-6 meals a day, I now have to think about the timing of everything. I try and get 5-6 meals in a day (small protein meals--some with veggies and protein shakes). So now, I don't feel my blood sugar crashing since the first thing on my list is to "EAT". Go figure eh? Even though I had no appetite this morning, I knew that if I chose to skip my first breakfast I would be in trouble. It's now more important to me to make sure my body has the appropriate nutrients to function. Did I actual say that? To function--WOW! It's no longer about what "I" want, but what my body needs. Sure, there will be times when I might eat something that is delicious because I want it, but I am learning to eat for my body, not for "MY" emotions. Cool huh?

I know that I am very early in this process, and I am sure there will be some mistakes I will make down the road. But, at the same time, this go around feels great. It feels right. It feels healthy. I am so excited to see where God takes me on this journey. It's not really ALL about weight loss is it? It's about Spiritual, Mental and Emotional things. What a BIG change I am making in my life--for ME!! Not for anyone else, but for me and for God. I know He wants me to be healthy and not be on medication my entire life. That is another thing I am excited about--getting off medication. It's actually a little embarrassing for me because I hate telling people that I am on different medications because my body just cannot handle being over-weight any more. Sigh.... But, this will change. I have to get a blood test done soon, so I am hoping it shows the need to take me off some medications.

This week I have just been lying low--not exercising much. I know that if I choose to do that, it might drain me too much. I think I might try some cardio tomorrow but not do too much and see how it goes. Next week is when exercise is actually "allowed" so that will be great. ;-)

On another note my mom and I had a great time last night at a girls pampering party at a store called Beauty Brands. In order to gain more clients and just more customers, they offered free mini-services if you signed up. Also, they did raffles which mom and I didn't win anything, but we did come away with many free give-a ways. They had paraffin wax treatments, 5 minute chair massages, free hair treatment and straightening, etc. It was just great fun and a good time to spend with mom. ;-)

Will do another update later. Tootles for now.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 3-CTFLC Week 1

So, from now on any time I write about my journey through Crack the Fat Loss Code, I will probably label it as CTFLC--it's so much easier.

Anyway, I wanted to tell everyone about one of the yummiest snacks I have found yet during this Carb Deplete cycle. Take 1/2 Cup cottage cheese; sprinkle a little Splenda and Cinnamon on it and WALLA! You've got what tastes like HEAVEN! Yummo as Rachel Ray would say. ;-)

Did you know?-- That Apple Cider Vinegar is a fat burner? Yup, sure is!!! It's a great tasting fat-burning vinegar. Not only does it taste fantastic, but it also burns fat because of the cider vinegar's changes in our digestive and enzyme profiles. You can use it as a marinade for chicken or fish, or combine it with Extra Virgin Olive Oil to make a yummy salad dressing. I personally have only used it for salad dressings and it tastes super yummy. Just take 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar + 1 tbsp Olive oil + fresh minced garlic and add salt and pepper to taste. It's fabulous! ;-) Tonight, since I am supposed to eat broccoli, I am going to put the dressing over steamed broccoli. Tasty!

Today is day 3 of my new life style. I am actually doing pretty good. I can tell that I might be eating too much salt though because my ears feel like they have something pressing on them from the inside. Weird eh? So, my goal for the next few days is to try and watch how much sodium I am taking in. Also, I have to meet my water intake which is 70-90 oz of water daily. I am sailing through that just peachy. The downside to all of that is I am in the restroom many times a day and through the night. Sigh.... NEED SLEEP! I know that one of the essential things to weight loss is sleep. When you lack that, then your body does not function properly. Sleep allows your body to heal and recoup from the day. Soooo, I have to figure something out to get my body to relax and sleep better.

On that note, I am so looking forward to Fall for many reasons--its cooler, its cooler and did I mention its cooler? LOL. No really, I love how cool it feels in the fall, but I also love the color changes and the feeling of "holiday" coming my way. Sigh.... it needs to come now!! ;-) Anyway, cooler means I can keep my window's shut in my room which also means more quiet. Our house back's up to a very busy street, and my roommate and I have our bedrooms facing that very same loud busy street. Large Semi's and extremely obnoxious motor cycles travel past us all the time. Grrrr...., so needless to say, I need to keep the windows closed.

Ok, so here are some other great things I am learning about the CTFLC journey. It's done in 8 week cycles. Programming our bodies to learn how to use fat and carbs properly takes time, and the healing process from years of over eating, too many carbs and an influx of too many fats and proteins also takes time. The 8 weeks program the mind, body and hormones to get into a healthy eating program. Once the 8 weeks is up, you can start the cycle again depending on how much weight needs to be lost. If you have hit your goal weight, then you start on the maintenance program (I talk more later about each cycle and why it's so essential). I think it's important to mention that depleting carbs 20grams or less a day is not necessary when restarting the cycle each time. The body needs carbs--it cannot function without them. So what I am learning is the 7 day Carb Deplete cycle only is necessary in the very beginning. When I am finished with the first 8 weeks and if I want to start over then I can begin with week #2, which brings carbs into the diet at a slow and regular pace.

Can you tell I am excited about this? Well, I certainly am. This week is hard because I am not eating bread, grains or wheat but I keep going because I know that eventually I will get to eat them again and I will be a healthier person for it. ;-)

Monday, August 30, 2010

New Life Style August 30th

Are you worth it verses are you worthy of having it--or are you entitled to it? Ever told yourself that when it comes to food? I certainly have. I have come to the realization that none of us deserve that good food. God gave us food to live and also to enjoy, but not to horde or consume in an unhealthy way.

Instead of believing that I am worth it to have this food, or that I am worthy of it or entitled to it, I would say that "I am worth it be healthy", "I am worthy of this weight loss" and "I am entitled by the grace of God to live a healthy life".

New update on Crack the Fat Loss Code- Day's 1 and 2 of week #1- Carb Deplete week.

I am a little behind on my posts, but today is the 2nd day of Carb Deplete week.
Yesterday (Sunday) I decided to start the plan. I could definitely feel the lack of carbs and caffeine yesterday. I was hungry almost all day and felt tired. I also could tell that I was detoxing--on the first day!! WOW! I usually don't feel like I am detoxing until a few days in, so it goes to show how much my body needed this. Today I am doing pretty well. A little tired and I can tell that I am a bit fatigued but nothing major. I also weighed myself this morning and found that I am at the weight that I ended up at last year after losing some on a weight loss challenge. So this is a good start.

So here's the scoop- Carb deplete week is a 7 day, 20grams or less of carbs. What does this mean exactly? Well I'll tell ya. ;-) No carbs can come from grains or wheat--AT ALL. They essentially come from dairy and veggies. There might be some others, but that is mostly it. The plan is to get rid of all of the Glycogen (starches) out of the body. This is kind of like when someone does a full engine flush in their car-- taking out the old, and then eventually putting back the new.

You might be asking--What is the purpose of this? Well, as we grow older it gets harder and harder to lose excess fat. Why is this? It's caused by over eating and/or eating the wrong kinds of foods. Another cause could be that we may be eating the right foods, but aren't combining them correctly or eating them at the right time of day. So this New Life Style plan is designed to re-generate the body and tell it how it should work. We should never allow our body to control us, but we should be controlling it. God gave us a perfect working machine (the body) and if we do not give it the right kinds of fuel, then it will not work properly.

As I am learning all of the processes of this new plan, I am gaining so much knowledge. This is great stuff guys. I would definitely recommend this book as a must read. Check it out at the library or go buy one. I hear you can get it for under $10.00 at Wal-Mart. It's called "Crack the Fat Loss Code- Outsmart your metabolism and Conquer the Diet Plateau" By Wendy Chant, MPT, SPN.

So, for week one there are limited things you can eat each day. The reason for this is of course to eat more protein and veggies and less carbs. The goal is to get 4-6 small meals in each day with the focus of continually feeding the body-not starving it.

Anyway, I am excited to see some results. Next week starting on Sunday I will be adding carbs back into my diet. Wahoo! ;-)