There was No Plan

This is my personal story, I am not a doctor, therapist or dietitian. 

Writer’s Note: This is a repost from my old Blogger account. I have had issues importing them to Word Press and decided to copy and paste them here instead. I began this blog to tell my story of losing weight and discovering who was there all along. My hope is for those of you struggling with this area to find a place where you can relate. For those of you who have been there from the start this may be a bit of a retread but I felt it was important for new readers to understand where it is I came from in my journey. The next few weeks will be reposts that explain this better. Not all of my old posts will end up here as I do want to move forward with this blog. However I feel for you dear readers it will help you to get to know me better. Thank you for taking the time to read!

        There was no plan. I did not set out to get healthy. Oh I made noises about wanting to get healthy of course. Then I would go and enjoy another ice cream cone. Reaching out to friends ( half- halfheartedly I admit) to start walking together were made. Nothing ever came of that. I knew I needed to do something, but just was not ready or knew what I should do. I used the excuse I could not afford to lose weight. In my head one had to go to a gym and buy fancy food to get healthy. That kind of money I most certainly did not have.

The first few pounds were lost with out me even realizing. Due to financial restrictions, I could no longer go through the drive- thru or buy the usual not so great food at the grocery store. I was forced to buy healthier and actually ration out my food. I do not mean to say I was starving by any means and believe me I still found ways to get “good stuff” when I wanted it. Slowly though my pants began to droop just a little. It was only after I posted a picture of myself on face book at Christmas 2011 did I see the difference. Well reading the comments that followed actually woke me up to the fact that I had lost weight.

That day, at my mother’s house I weighed myself. It had to have been over a year since I had ever stepped on a scale. The number was lower than I last recalled. At that time I was not sure what to do next or at all. Little did I know what was soon in store for me. If I did have an inkling I doubt I would have ever said yes.

This was my first year participating in One Word 365, something I had read about in Twitter and decided to give it a try. It seemed better than writing out a list of things that I knew would not happen.  My one word 365 for 2012 was YES. I would say yes what God held for me. I do not know why this word chose me, but it was all I could see in my head. I prayed this on New Years Eve and New Years Day I was tested. Don’t you just love when that happens?! I received a message from my friend Jackson* from church. He was offering to be my personal trainer for all of a dollar. He had helped another friend prepare for the army and thought I would be interested in getting healthy. I had never spoken to him about my health and the way he wrote it was very kind. Before I knew it I had replied yes to him.

We met at Starbucks the following week to discuss it. This was the first one on one conversation we ever had. Really, it was. He talked about diet and exercise and what my goals were. Of course I drew a blank, I mean does anyone really have a ton a questions when asked that? I text bombed the poor guy later that day with what I hoped to do and a million questions for him. We agreed to meet Monday through Friday around the same time at a park near his house. Consistency I would soon learn was key to what lay ahead.

I will go into more detail on my diet and workout at this time in a later post.

My only goal at that time was to be able to walk up a flight of stairs with out losing my breath. That was it. You know what? I learned through this process that it does not matter what your goal is, but it is so important to have one. At that time I did not know what I would later be capable of doing. As I grew more confident, my goals grew from just wanting to get up a flight of stairs. Soon I found I wanted more, to run further and faster. To try new things and not worry about other people in the park. I also learned that you do not need a lot of money to get out to a park and exercise. It is just a matter of getting out there and doing it!

   While I did not have a plan, I know that God did. He knew it was time for me to do this. Deep down I knew I was ready.

Was there a time when you got a needed push to make changes in your life? *Name has been changed per request

Humbled by Love

Last Friday was Valentine’s Day. Among some of my single friends it is referred to as SAD ( Single Awareness Day). As a single woman in my thirties, this day brings about mixed feelings. On one hand it is just another day, in fact it is my older sister’s birthday. A day as far back as I recall that ended with a heart shaped cake for her. But it also was a day to see those around declare their devotion for their significant other ( or at least those they hoped would be). Declarations which I have not experienced. Then I would start to feel sorry for myself. I thought to myself that there has to be more, thus I began to think about what this day should really represent or mean.

 

Beginning with my childhood, I remembered how the day was celebrated. In elementary school it was day to receive candy and everyone got a valentine. It was in middle school that things began to change ( along with everything else.) Actually I remember things changing earlier than that with classmates beginning to pair off as early as the fifth grade! My first foray into the dating world was at this point when some girls told me a boy liked me. Silly me I believed them and promptly asked the boy if he did. He told me no.

 In middle school and high school it was the candy grams, remember those? During class a messenger would come in and hand out a candy gram to someone ( usually girls but I do recall a few boys getting them). Then there were the balloons. Giant helium filled, bouquets of balloons that took up so much space in the hallways that one could hardly pass by them. Not to mention the couples making out with their balloons and backpacks blocking the way as well.

I would hold out hope to receive a candy gram. Whenever they were being passed out my heart would begin to pound in hope and anticipation for one. Hoping it would be from the boy I had telepathically told I liked him. Alas I do not recall receiving one from other than a friend. At least I had the candy to console me right? There was plenty of that too since in my family any holiday meant eating, and Valentine’s Day was no exception. Not only would I have eaten enough chocolate to make any one else sick but there was still a slice or two of my sister’s birthday cake waiting for me as well.

 For so much of that time I thought of love as simply one dimensional. The kind spoon fed to me through rewritten fairy tales and hollywood. Again and again I was told that love was found through missed signals and comedic twists. That the only kind of love to hold out for was one in which the prince or who ever had to fight their way through darkness in order to save me. The one who would wake me from my stupor, welcoming me into my new life.

 I longed for my prince to come. To wake me from my stupor. I longed to be loved so much that my heart would simply burst. I wanted that perfect hollywood movie moment, with just the right song and the exact right words at the most perfect moment. As time went on, I found I began to wonder if I would ever be loved at all. If too I was at all worthy of being loved because after all I was alone and therefore something had to be wrong with me. 

 I have to say that after much thought and prayer that in the end those fairy tales and hollywood movies were in fact right. Now hear me out. It occurred to me that the story of love that we hear over and over again; where the intended ( usually female) needs to be freed from some sort of spell or imprisonment.

That this story told the world over in its many forms is in fact the ultimate love story. The one of a God who so loved his people that he sent down his one and only son as a pure sacrifice ( John 3:16). To free us from the world of darkness. This is the only perfect love that exists. The one we all long for from our all too human partners. This is a love that takes us on warts and all, so to speak. This is the only love that can free us. That freed me.

 Before I knew Christ I was an angry, mean person. I reveled in how being angry made me feel. It gave me a feeling of power when in fact I had none.  In submitting to Christ and his love for me I have been transformed. It is not an easy process, submitting to him. Understanding that this love does not mean I always get exactly what I want in this life. At times it has meant to lean into him even when my Lord is silent to my urgent prayers. It has meant that I have learned much about his love for me. In seeing this love for me, I have learned about his love for others. I am learning still how to love others as God loves us all. It is only through this perfect love that I am at all the person I am today. It is only through this perfect love that I will become the person God intends for me to become in the future.

 I always thought that love would come into my life through a candy gram or a bouquet of balloons. I thought the only way to be loved was in the way hollywood dictated. There is no perfect moment with just the right music and words. That the lie that somehow I am incomplete without a partner is wrong. Love does complete me, but only the love from God can do that. My perception of love was just too small.  I am so grateful and humbled to have learned what love truly is  from the Lord.

  Only through learning about love from him did I wake from my stupor and  understand that I am loved. In letting go of idolizing and at times being jealous of what others have in a relationship, I understood also I still have much to learn. I had to examine my heart and ask myself what it is I thought being in a relationship would give me that God has not. The hard truth was, there was nothing.

 

That no matter how fast my heart beats for another or what life we build together, God is the only reason we will know how to love one another. That is what it means to love. That is where the perfection truly lies. This is the conclusion I came to, I am wholly loved more than I can ever fathom. That is far better than any candy gram or perfectly written and edited hollywood moment. Being reminded of God’s love for me, for us all makes this holiday rather worthy in my estimation.

 

 

To my dear readers, you are loved no matter the stage of life you are in. 

 

 

 

 

And Let Us Run With Perseverance….

This past Sunday I ran in the Miami Half Marathon. My time was 3hours and 22 minutes. It was harder than I expected. I ran when I could and walked when I had to in places. I kept moving even as  every muscle in my body screamed at me to stop. Not allowing myself to sit down because if I did that there was no getting back up again. I finished the race in a daze. The final quarter mile was the longest in my life. I just wanted to finally reach the finish line. I hardly noticed when I finally did. It took me a moment to realize that I had finished the race. Reaching the area where they were handing out medals, I discovered that they had run out of them for half marathoners ( more on that in another post)*. I could hardly take in the news. All I wanted to do was find my family and sit down.

 

The weather  on race day was wonderful! For this Florida girl the humidity was not too high and I even did not mind getting soaked as the rain poured down towards the end of the race! Though it was colder than I expected! I live in a beautiful city and as I went through the course I did my best to take in my surroundings. I do not get out to this part of town near enough and I wanted to enjoy it as much as I could. Even with the drawbridge starting to signal going up as I was halfway over it and then the train signal just before the end ( thankfully no train behind it!), it was a good day.

 I felt as if I would throw up. My mom provided a lifesaver mint which helped immensely. Slowly I began to come back to life. Turning on my phone, it buzzed again and again as messages of love and support came through, I had to set it aside as I felt overwhelmed. Later my family and  I enjoyed a celebratory lunch at Denny’s.  Too keyed up to rest I headed out to a super bowl party with my sister. The whole day felt like an out of body experience.   

I was asked again and again “How do you feel?!” The honest answer is I just do not know yet. I feel I am still processing.  While my friends and family congratulated me I replayed the race in my mind. Perhaps I am in shock that I did this. I have a tenancy of being too hard on myself. Telling myself that I did not deserve it. That if they only knew how much I walked, my stomach bothering me after taking gator aide at a water station instead of water. Feeling defeated instead of elated is how I felt at the end of the race. I know that is not the answer people want to hear but it is the truth. Confidence it seems will be a life long struggle. In the end, I ran MY race. I kept moving forward, pushing my body to keep going.

 

A lot of emotions have come to the forefront. I did not expect that either. Running in this race was the culmination of two years of hard work. It was an end. In some aspects it was the question of what is next? This goal has been reached, and that is it.  I fought hard to become healthy, to be able to do this. That first day, two years ago when I showed up at the park I could not have imagined ME running a race such as this. I simply responded to a friend reaching out, offering to help me. That moment was the beginning of my new life.

 

Accomplishing a long set goal is an odd feeling. Finishing the race yesterday was another beginning. In the book of my life a significant chapter has ended. Perhaps that is why I have such mixed emotions about it. Something that was part of my life for so long is now over. This is not a bad thing, but change is hard. It had become familiar and routine. All the preparation is done, I have run my race. Or more precisely I should say I am still in the race.  I wanted to run to honor those who could not finish their race at the Boston Marathon, I ran for those who want to run but cannot. I ran to honor all that God has done in getting me healthy.  

 

As I write this my backside is sore. I feel how tired my muscles are as I move around the house. Even my brain feels tired. Every now and again I feel the urge to cry. I started to at the start of the race. Once I reached the finish line I was just too stunned to react. My dad told  that I looked yellow, not even white when we reunited after the race.  I cried just now while writing this post. I told you this brought up a lot of emotions. 

 

Now it is time to figure out my next goal. Honestly I do not have one right now. I have a vague idea of wanting to get more into yoga. I believe I will run another half marathon, perhaps next year or the one after Lord Willing. Next time it would be nice to not run alone. As for this year I would like to do a few fun runs ( color run or electric run), perhaps a 10k at Zoo Miami. 

 

 

I am so grateful to everyone who has n a part of my journey. From my friend who offered to help me get healthy, meeting me five days week to work out. My friends and family who have encouraged me all along. Most of all for the Lord who knew all along I would cross that finish line Sunday!

 

 

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out with us. (NIV)

 Thank you to the following people in my life:

Wendy Delfosse, Megan McDonnough, Ana Amentetos, Kelsie Delgado ( for making this day possible!),* *Jackson, Linda Doherty, Janet Mickely, Michelle Amigo, Christine Connelly and many, many more!

 *Not enough medals were available as full marathoners chose to complete the half instead during the course of the race. I will be receiving mine in the mail.

 ** Name changed per request