Friday, December 30, 2011

Welcoming in 2012

So, I figured I better write this today because I'm sure tomorrow will be hectic and I'm not sure if I'd find the time to do this.

I think it's important to be reflective as 2012 approaches. I think looking back on the year that is just about to pass is good for our minds and souls. It allows us to see the good, the bad, the areas we've grown, and the areas we still need to grow in. It helps us to set new goals and find different areas of growth to strive for in the upcoming year.

Yes, 2011 brought hardships for us (and many of you I'm sure). We saw Jeremiah gone nearly 1/2 of the year. We saw many financial hardships and set backs. And let's all not forget my nearly month stay in the hospital with complications to a biliary obstruction and then subsequent pancreatitis.

But, 2011 had good things too. We were blessed to have health insurance during my illness. The long absences were able to cushion our bank account somewhat, so that when the hours for Jeremiah were scarce we were still able to make things work.

Jeremiah has been given the opportunity to do some interesting training, and also set some of his training into motion. Jeremiah is currently in a temporary position (through February) and he is enjoying his job very much. We're hoping that 2012 will bring an extension or some permanence to that position.

I've been able to continue and maintain my lifestyle changes for over 18 months now. So that means 2011 is the first complete year of my changes since beginning this process. I'm proud to say that I've lost lots of weight and inches in 2011. And I know those lifestyle changes have helped me to feel better inside and out. I look forward to continuing the lifestyle changes I've made in 2012. I look forward to continuing to eat well and exercising somewhat regularly. I'm not sure how much weight loss is on the table for me in 2012, but the most important thing is maintaining those healthy changes I've made for myself, and hopefully finding new ways to be healthy is 2012.

Joseph is becoming such an interesting and loving child. In 2011 we will leave behind the last bits of "Baby" Joseph. He made great milestones like potty training, doing school like work with me, and becoming a big helper that has chores. He is a bright, inquisitive, funny, loving little boy and we are looking forward to seeing more of his personality bloom in 2012.

We were also able to move into our first house in 2011 and that is so very exciting for us. Having a house means Joseph has a yard to play in and that our family has more room to be comfortable. We are thrilled to have place for all of our possessions, to not be living in such close proximity with neighbors, and to have our own washer and dryer.

Yes, 2011 was a tough year. But, doesn't each year bring it's own hardships and problems? Yes, 2011 was hard, but we were still blessed and provided through it by a great Lord.

We are looking forward to all of the blessings and joys that 2012 will bring. May all of you have a happy and blessed 2012.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Be the Little Blue Train

Have any of you ever read the book, 'The Little Engine that Could'? I think it's time to revisit this book for a lot of you. Maybe I'm overemotional, maybe I'm overly irritable. But I'm getting a little frustrated with the "I cannot, I cannot, I cannot" mentally.

I mean c'mon folks, don't we all have enough conspiring against us on a regular basis? Why add to that by being your own worst enemy?

Stop with the excuses. If you want to do something, do it. Do you think that little blue train would have made it up the mountain if she sat there thinking, "Well, I'm really tired" or "I would rather do something else" or "This is going to be way too hard to even try."

If you want to lose weight stop with the excuses. Begin eating healthier, less processed foods, and smaller portions. If you want to change the way your body looks then start exercising, even just walking. No one is holding a gun to your head making you keep your unhealthy butt on the couch or shoving processed, unhealthy foods in large quantities down your throat. You are doing it, and only you can stop it.

I'm so sick and tired of seeing people complain about how unhealthy or overweight they are, but they aren't willing to do anything about it. And I will reiterate this again even though it was in another of my blog entries, if you watch your portions and calories and move a little bit more there is no reason why you should not lose weight. The only reason you would not lose weight is if you have a metabolic or hormonal imbalance that would need to be treated by a doctor. So when you say diet and exercise don't work for you, it's bologna. No you can't guzzle down pop, booze, and huge amounts of processed foods and expect results. Only you can change the path you're on.

Listen, I'm not saying anyone is perfect. It's a struggle for me to stay on course as well. But I spent so much of my life learning how to be unhealthy it's going to take a while to truly learn how to be healthy. Quit waiting for tomorrow to start on the right path, trust me there will always be another tomorrow, and if you wait for tomorrow to get here I can guarantee it will never come.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Weigh-In (12/18/11)

My last weigh-in was 11-18-11. All stats will be in comparison to that day.

•2 lbs lost (for a total loss of 58lbs)

Inches lost: 1.5 inches (since 11-18-11)

•Hips - 1/2 inch
•Thigh - 1 inch (1/2 inch from each)

Onto the pics. The top one is from this 'goal' outfit on 9-19-11. The second is from last month's weigh-in on 11-18-11. The last picture is from today 12-18-11.

Friday, December 9, 2011

You're not my Judge

I don't know where I'm at. I don't know where to start. I'm hoping that if I start writing some of this excess emotion and burden will be released from me and I can start moving forward without the excess weight it's causing.

But before I begin, please I beg of you; I do not need to hear the cliches. I do not need the empty words that float around from one mouth to the next as if to serve as some kind of pat on the back to those who need it. I don't need to hear about God not giving me more than I can handle, or how these trials are shaping me, how this is part of being a grown up, or how this will pass. I don't need it, I don't want it. So please keep it to yourself.

In all honesty I truly feel like things have been on a downward spiral for weeks now.

Life is stressful. Things don't go as planned. It causes us to be Gumby-like. Bend this way, reach that way. Sometimes bend until we snap or at least crack.

It's no secret that we've struggled to find our footing financially in Michigan. It's no secret as to the amount of stress this has caused. As I've stated before, we left two nice paying, full-time jobs, with benefits to move back here. Mostly that is my fault. I wanted to be here, I wanted to be in the place that I thought was home. Years have matured me and brought me to the realization that home isn't necessarily where you're from. After careful introspection I've found that we've traded what were not necessarily problems but mere inconveniences for a set a heavy, ugly, nasty problems. The grass is never greener on the other side. And I think there is definitely something in the phrase, "You can't go home again."

I carry a lot around with me. I'm a sensitive person, and I have this deep seeded feeling that it's my job to make everyone happy and fix everything. It's taken me a long time to really and truly realize how unrealistic and impossible that it. But regardless of how much of that I let go, I still have thin skin. I still feel a heavy burden when people aren't pleased with me.

My sensitivity allows me to be a passionate, compassionate, empathetic, loving, caring, concerned person. However, it also opens a lot of spaces for people to use and misuse me, and I don't know how to properly channel that. Think about it this way, I'm like a big piece of Swiss cheese. I have big openings that allow my love, passion, kindness, consideration to flow through. But those holes go both ways. So when someone spews their hostility, disdain, or other forms of nastiness I absorb them as easily and deeply as I exude love and tenderness.

I keep to myself a lot. I'm quiet. I'm reserved. I'm not always socially active. It's not who I am. Probably a lot of it comes from my need to protect myself. The less people I let in, the less people I have to deal with hurting me in ways that I can't properly deal with. It doesn't mean I'm a bitch. It doesn't mean I'm stuck up. It just means that I am a scared person that has been wronged so many times that I've found keeping my distance is the easiest way to protect myself.

But regardless of the amount of people in which I socialize, I am a good person. I am kind. I am generous. I am loving. I am considerate. I am compassionate. Regardless of that, there are some people in my life that dislike me for reasons that either are completely out of my control or for no reason whatsoever. In all technicality I was born a bastard. No, I wasn't raised in a Christian home. Yes, I have a past. And yes, I've done moronic, immature and irresponsible things as a teenager. Those things don't define the person I've become or the woman I am today. But for some people they do. I'm not good enough, never will be, and nothing I ever do will ever allow me to measure up to some people's standards. It's unfortunate, it's sad, and it's probably one of the most frustrating problems in my life. It's something I cannot resolve on my own, and it's a burden that will be thrust upon me until those people are no longer a part of my life.

I'm an educated woman. Yes, not as educated as my mother would like. I am Baptized and have been covered and saved by the blood of my Lord and Savior. I'm a woman of strong ethics and morals. I'm not promiscuous and do not now nor have I ever had a sexual transmitted disease. I have good credit. That is an indication of my fortitude to keeping my word, promises, and the importance I place on taking care of my responsibilities. I plan for my child's educational future. I constantly think of others and put myself last in almost every situation. I am a good cook, a so-so housekeeper, and I take pride in knowing my family is always taken care of. I don't have a drug problem, in fact the only medication I take on a regular basis are prenatal vitamins so that my body is healthy for the opportunity to support and nourish another child. I rarely drink. I don't smoke. I have debt, but it's been out of necessity of living and making ends meet and I'm proud to say that I've not accumulated any new debt for over a year. Yes, my health is sometimes an issue. But over the last 18 months I've done a complete turnaround of my lifestyle. I exercise regularly, eat healthy, and focus on strengthening my body. I've raised a brilliant, kind, and polite little boy. I'm an Army wife who's husband has been gone about 1/2 of the last 2 years. I tithe always. I donate my time and energy to my church. I donate my finances, and time to those less fortunate than me. I am a strong pro-life believer and have stood in the rain and cold on different occasions to picket abortion clinics.

I'm not that bad.

I'm definitely not as bad as you think I am.

Definitely not as bad as you treat me.

I'm definitely not so bad that you have to try so hard to make my life harder than it already is. Or treat me in the way in which you do.

But I'm praying about it. And even though I'm not perfect, and even though I still cannot completely handle it, God is making me stronger. And He has reassured me that you will have to answer one day to Him. You will have to justify and explain why it was your place to hate, and abuse me. You will have to explain to Him why you didn't love, encourage, and build me up.

And I'm thankful everyday that my judgement will come from my loving Savior who is kind and forgiving, and not from you. Because I know in your eyes (and everyone else you gossip and complain to about me) that I've already failed.