Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Gonna Finish What I Started

About four months before Joel suddenly went Home to Heaven, we had embarked upon a health journey together. While our journeys were a bit different in the specifics, the end result intention was to be the same…we longed to get to get to the healthiest adult versions of ourselves we’ve ever seen (or at least get as close as we safely could).

Austyn’s adoption party! Just so happens to also be the day I was at my very largest…ever. 🙁

My biggest cheerleader in this fight for good health was my precious man! During the time we were were married, I had been up and down on the scale repeatedly (which, in and of itself, is not healthy). He never doubted me. Never doubted my ability to get to a healthy weight and stay there. Never doubted my goal of running my first 5K someday. (I was scheduled to participate in one several years ago, which sadly ended up being the day of my previous husband’s funeral.) He never doubted anything I set my mind to do. However, I was my own worst critic. I guess I’ve tried and failed at so many different things in the past that I began to believe that was my “lot in life”. Attempting, yet never reaching the prize.

Upon Joel’s death, I promised him I wouldn’t stop. I would hold up my end of the deal, no matter how the large the challenges I encountered (and boy…have there been challenges!). I so long to please him, to please God, and to please myself. And…ultimately, our children need their mama to be around for a long time, God willing.

So, I’m excited to announce that since October, I’ve lost 70 pounds! Aside from the trauma I’ve also experienced over the last several months, I really do feel great! Now…Joel had promised me little rewards with each measurable goal that I reach along the journey. While I don’t have him to do that for me anymore, I’m asking God to step in as the husband He’s promised to be and provide little pick-me-ups as He sees fit. He, of all people knows the incentives that will keep me motivated.

I’m getting there…little by little. Considering all I’ve endured since my health journey began, I think I’ve held out okay.

As for you…if you are a praying friend, will you fervently join me in asking God to help me reach me the Goals He has for me please?! I so want to continue to please Joel, and I trust God will give him (Joel) a little glimpse when this is all said and done. Thank you friends!

#HeIsStillGood

Thursday, February 6, 2014

It’s a Process

I love to scrapbook! I consider myself pretty crafty, in general, but there’s something about scrapbooking that puts it near the top of my fun things to do. I love how it combines my passion for photography, crafting, coordinating colors, and memory making! However, there’s one thing about scrapbooking that I don’t like…GETTING STARTED!

I don’t know why, but I struggle to actually start a new scrapbooking project. I’ll sit and ponder various ideas about how many pages I might need, which pictures need to be included, what the cover page might look like, and the list goes on endlessly. I generally end up at the point that I finally have to stop all the processing and planning and just…get…started. And…without fail…once I get started, I’m usually very productive, and the project ends up getting finished.

It’s a process.

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I remember when I was early in my widowhood journey. I wanted the days to fly by. I couldn’t wait to go to bed at night so I could just go to sleep and not have to think for awhile. Thinking was hard in those earliest of days. Thinking always took me back to him and all the “why” questions still whirling around me.

All-too-often, friends (most of whom had never walked in similar shoes) told me that one day I would feel alive again. In my heart I believed them, but my head refused to let me go there just yet. It seemed too far away. I wanted to be already through that tunnel, but I wasn’t even in the middle where the light at the end would start shining.

The day came though. It took me by surprise actually. The light shone…brighter and brighter. I was gaining speed, and I was moving closer and closer to it until I finally felt it. The warmth of healing settled over me. The pain…certainly not gone forever…but, the ability to live, truly live, arrived once again.

It’s a process.

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My recent journey…on the road to health and wellness…has seemed long and very curvy. I experienced about three months of incredible highs this fall only to be followed by one (what I thought to be) little choice to enjoy Thanksgiving (the food part of it, that is). I was getting so close to that first big goal of mine. What would one day off plan really hurt? Honestly? Nothing…if it had just remained one day. Instead, it turned into the week of Thanksgiving, then the Christmas season full of food fiestas followed by the actual Christmas Day meal(s).

Well, if I had given up for that long, what’s a few more days to finish out the year?

January arrived. I was still venturing widely off that road to health and wellness. I knew my birthday was around the corner, yet somehow I would stay on course until then. I had already proven at Thanksgiving, however, I couldn’t pause for just one day. Oh…the self-defeating thoughts flooded my mind.

The birthday and “fun” food came and went. The pounds came back too. Not entirely from an autumn of hard work…but enough to notice. Oh, what happened to me? Disappointment overwhelmed me. I wasn’t done. I would start again. And, I did. I had many “day 1” re-starts.

Just one more cookie, and I’ll get back on track.

Just one more dinner out, and I’ll cook my healthy meal tomorrow.

Just one more…

Even so…I refuse to quit. I refuse to throw in the towel. God is with me on this journey, and He’s not giving up on me yet. I just have to remind myself of that over and over and over. That and the fact that…

It’s a process.

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Friday, October 11, 2013

As Promised…

scaleI’m not going to waste many words…simply put, let’s cut to the chase.

If you stopped by here on Wednesday and read what God’s been doing through me regarding my health, then you know I promised to come back today and share the results from yesterday’s weigh-in.

Friends – I had a phenomenal week! I lost 5.6 pounds, bringing my total to 24.6 pounds GONE in 5 weeks!

I can’t tell you how stunned I was to read that result on the infamous scale. I did absolutely nothing different the week before when I lost less and the week before that when I lost even less. But…that’s the finicky-ness of weight loss! I could come back next week reporting a gain of a pound for no logical reason at all.

I’ve learned that our bodies are constantly changing and adapting to what we’re putting into it. I guess it’s getting used to my new “habits”.

Regardless, I’m one happy gal! I’ve had many “non-scale victories” (loose clothing, loss of 7 inches, etc.), but it’s still nice to see results on the scale too.

Thanks for all of your support! I’ll continue to keep you updated as I travel this journey to optimal health!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

When God’s Up to Something…

No. I didn’t fall off the proverbial cliff or get lost on my way to my little Out of Deep Waters world. And…no…I don’t work for the federal government. So, where have I been?

I could almost ask myself the same question, but since I’ve been with me (most of the time, that is), I kinda have an inkling of my whereabouts.

Let me just say this…God’s up to something.

Now – I know He’s ALWAYS up to something. He’s God right? But, He’s up to something new…in ME! Actually, a lot of new.

He’s actually been answering the cries of my heart, in many areas. Things I’ve pleaded over and over with Him about. However, that comes with some difficult territory.

Sometimes He has to allow us to experience a little muddy water before we can receive that purifying cleansing. Oh…friends…I’ve been deep in that muddy water as of late. Much – not of my own choosing – but it’s still all part of the process. I’m thankful, nonetheless, as it’s all part of the refining process of prayerfully allowing me to look more like Him each day.

As Christ draws me closer and closer to Him, the enemy also tends to turn up the heat. I’m used to that. I’ve witnessed a lifetime of it, but it always seems to catch me off guard.

Just as Christ began working on my heart’s desire (my TRUE heart’s desire) to work on my health goals, I faced another crisis. The worst crisis I’ve walked through since losing my late husband to suicide. That’s huge folks! The enemy knows this area of my heart well. He knows that, in the past, whenever I’ve walked through a fire of any kind…I’ve turned to food for comfort. It may not happen right away, but it will happen. Satan also knows that I typically celebrate those victories of surviving those fiery trials with food.

As God has been so faithful in walking me through another journey to optimal health, the darts of temptation to eat my way through this most recent crisis were aimed right at me. Just after my last blog post when I alluded to the “changing Leah” here, the gavel slammed down, and the enemy tried to render his verdict. It went something like this…

Leah, why do you waste such effort to lose weight over and over and over? You know you’ll never reach that goal weight. You keep trying, and yet, you keep failing. You’ve gotten close before, but you give up before you ever reach that “magic number”. So, sit back and just relax. Don’t put forth such effort. Enjoy life. Enjoy food.

He is such a liar! The Father of lies scripture tells us (John 8:44).

And, I refuse to believe the lie anymore.

God promises me…

His strength (Philippians 4:13)

He is a restorer of health (Jeremiah 30:17)

His presence during difficult times (Isaiah 43:2)

A hope-filled future (Jeremiah 29:11)

His protection (Psalm 91:14)

That when I’m weak, He’s very strong (2 Corinthians 12:10)

His saving love (John 3:16)

He wants me to be in good health (3 John 2)

And so much more…

I clung tightly to Abba during this most recent crisis, and while it may not be completely over, I trust Him (not food or anything/anyone else for that matter) to get me through it. I trust Him to deliver me from these “deep waters”.

Through that trusting, He’s been so faithful to me. I’m thrilled to share that as of last Thursday (I weigh in every Thursday), I’ve lost 19 pounds in 4 weeks! The bondage chains have been loosened, and the prison walls are cracking…I can smell freedom!

Be sure to stop by this Friday, and I’ll share my “scale numbers” that I’ll find out this Thursday in addition to what it is I’m doing to lose the weight and reach a state of restored health! See you then!

Before I go…just wanted to share a picture that keeps me motivated. This was me just slightly over 6 years ago. I was in a weight loss journey at that time too and had lost a significant amount of weight. But, I allowed life to derail me, and I never reached my goal weight. This time is different! I refuse to quit!

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A “skinnier and healthier” Leah in August 2007

 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I’m Being Rescued Again!

It’s still just after Labor Day right? Oh…sure it is. Ha! I said I’d be back right after Labor Day in my last post, but I’ve been a teeny bit busy wrapping my head around a new thing God is doing in my life.

While I don’t want to share too much right now…that will come later…let’s just say He’s redeeming my weight loss woes! Oh yes He is! Big time!

The last time I checked in with you regarding my weight loss journey HERE, I was a bit downtrodden, to say the least. But, I asked you to pray, and for those of you that did…don’t stop! The prayers are working!

I promise to give you details later…including amounts of weight loss, etc. But, for now…just continue to pray. This is the LAST of the big areas where I’ve been in “deep waters” for a long time. I’ve been praying and praying and praying for God to rescue me, and I can honestly say He’s rescuing me now! I just had to grab onto the life preserver, and I’ve been hanging on as He tows me gently back to a safe place.

This journey is not a short one. I’m still in the beginning, but I have hope. Huge hope! Not in me. Definitely not in me. But, I have enormous hope in the God of the Universe. He’s been so ready to deliver me from this bondage, but for some reason I haven’t let Him. Dumb…but true. Until now…

Hang on dear bloggy friends! A new Leah will be emerging very soon!

Just wanted to share a few pics from a beautiful day I shared with my hubby hiking in the woods last weekend. I can’t wait to do even more of that as God rebuilds this run-down body of mine! You are a blessing!

 

Me and my amazing hubby!

Me and my amazing hubby!

 

A view of the Blue Ridge mountains - and to think...we get to live here!

A view of the Blue Ridge mountains – and to think…we get to live here!

 

Aaaahhh...such tranquility from this little river!

Aaaahhh…such tranquility from this little river!