Happy 14th Gotcha Day Emily 

May 13th, 2015

You make me smile. You make me cry. You make me laugh out loud, a lot. You and Momma giggling like school girls makes me smile. Your a beautiful soul inside and out (I’m not afraid to go back to prison). 

The drive that you have to live life to its fullest is amazing. Your leadership skills and ability to light up and command a room are incredible! Who knew that the scared toddler we met for the first time 14 years ago today would be so amazing?! Watching you blossom this year has been fun to witness. I know that our God has big plans and a great purpose for you Emily. Keep growing forward into that person he made you to be. 

Momma and I love you and are so Blessed that we are your parents. We are very proud of the young woman you are becoming.


HAPPY GOTCHA DAY Emily Rose

   
 

Did I Live, Love or Matter

April 12th, 2015

  

I love this quote and yes it goes hand in hand with 3 daily questions: did I love fully, did I live fully, did I make a difference. Three important questions that can help keep our attitude and behavior in check. 

I have a daily goal to LOVE fully, LIVE fully and make a DIFFERENCE in the life of another soul. Some days are better than others, that’s a given, but I keep trying.  Each day is a new chance, a new beginning to LIVE my life. 

If I am able to accomplish this daily goal even half the time, I’d like to think I could say, yes, I Loved and yes, I Lived.  Did I matter? Yes, I matter to God. That’s what matters.

Make it a great day!

Do More than EXIST

Do More than EXIST

March 30th, 2015

It’s been said that “to live is the rarest thing in the world most people just exist.”  I love this quote but I find it very sad. I guess your opinion of it depends on your definition of the word live.  In my opinion, waking up, going to work, coming home, and doing it over and over and over is not being alive.  

To me being alive is all about taking steps every day to make me myself a better person, to growing into that person that God created me to be, pushing the limits, having fun, laughing, helping other people, living in the moment and enjoying the moment, being loved and loving others, striving to find the purpose for my life, and setting an example for my family.  Living would require us to Reach, Stretch and Grow daily, God gives us these opportunities to do all of these on a daily basis. Have you seen them?  If you haven’t seen them, maybe your ‘center’ is off balance(you aren’t really the center, sorry but you’re not). They are all around us, these opportunities to grow and LIVE.


You see, I believe that we ‘get’ out of life what we ‘give’ in life. So I might suggest that if you fit into that “just exist” category that you need to give more. Giving more does not mean give more money. When I say ‘give’, I mean give more of yourself and your soul.

Give more energy into being fully alive. Give more energy into finding something positive in every moment of the day.  Give more energy to help others because helping them will lift you. You will figure it output if you open your mind and listen. The opportunity to wake up and live is there, if you want it.

God gave us potential, free thinking and He made us to thrive.  Stop the ‘existence’ and start ‘living’ to your potential. You were made for so much more.

 

  

5 Stages of Grief / Mad at the world

5 Stages of Grief / MAD at the world
March 25th, 2015

Let’s start with the basic question: What is Grief?  Grief is the human response to the loss of someone or something. The loss may involve a loved one, a job, a pet, or simply loss of a friendship. Anyone can experience grief and loss; however, everybody will handle grief differently. Grief itself, is a normal and natural response to loss. Grief can and does impact your body, thoughts, and emotions. It is important to acknowledge and allow the grief to happen because it promotes the healing process.  Healing is the ultimate end game of grief. We have to remember that just because we are healing doesn’t mean the loss never happened. Healing means that the damage caused by the loss no longer controls our lives.

These are the five stages of grief. I like to call them “the five stages of every situation of life.”

5Stages

I made this as a reminder to myself, but decided to share because maybe you needed to see this as a reminder as well. Many people do not even know this process exists and how necessary it really is.

Officially the five stages are:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

These 5 stages are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief. Not everyone goes through all of them or in a prescribed order.

I’ve learned that these stages can be and are used in many situations in life. That’s why I called them the “five stages of every situation of life” process. If you look at these stages and think about your life, I bet you come up with times you have used this process to get through a tough time. The situation doesn’t have to be a death that you are grieving; it could be anything, literally.

I truly believe that these 5 stages are crucial to healthy living. Not healthy as far as nutrition and fitness are concerned, but healthy emotionally, mentally, spiritually. I’ve grown to believe we can get stuck and can’t move forward with life if we don’t process these stages.  I’ve seen it time and time and time again. It’s not always a death, but the process is the same regardless. I believe that this process works for just about anything.

In my case right now, my family has three members battling cancer. My oldest sister has four new tumors, two in her neck and two in her right lung. My Aunt, my last Aunt on my Momma’s side and really the matriarch of the family is battling with pancreatic cancer.  My cousin is dealing with several tumors specifically on his spine. I can’t deny any of this, I tried. This is fact, they are battling cancer and the prognosis isn’t great!  Yeah, it sucks beyond all comprehension to even write those words, but that’s a fact and I can’t change that. I honestly got mad just from writing those words.

I am processing through these stages intentionally for my own well-being and for that of those around me. When I lost my Momma in 2005, I didn’t process through these stages. I didn’t do anything except eat and sleep and work until I found myself deeply, deeply depressed. It wasn’t until I was at rock bottom that I sought help. It’s interesting how at the very bottom of a very dark pit, we can begin to see clearly and begin to change. I did see a counselor, I spoke to my preacher at the time and various others to help me get through that loss and regain a functional life again.

As I deal with/struggle to understand all this, I have entered a new stage in this process, one step closer to acceptance. I don’t mind telling you that I am full of anger!!!!

  • I am mad at cancer.
  • I am mad that we still don’t have a cure.
  • I am mad at God for allowing Cancer to exist.
  • I am mad at what it’s does to families.
  • I am mad at what it does to the people who have it.
  • I am mad that children battle with this disease.
  • I am mad that I am helpless in this situation.
  • I am mad that I can’t fix this and make everybody better.
  • I could go on with this list

Yes, I am mad, but I’m working through it.  Being mad and full of anger is something I consider a waste of energy and not productive at all.  So, here I am compounding the issue with my own beliefs about anger.  I’m human, what can I say, I don’t get angry very often, but it happens. In this case, I’ll accept it as part of the process.

Please know I do not share this for a ‘Sympathy vote’, that’s not it at all. I share my journey as openly as possible with the hope of helping/inspiring another person. Maybe you needed to see that real people grieve. That real people get mad at the world. If that’s you, you are not alone, this is normal, just don’t get stuck there.

I will keep writing about this process as I work through all this ‘stuff’.  I’m certain I will be back to my happy happy happy self in no time.

Strong enough to Live It

February 28th, 2015

Sometimes I question situations I’m given. There are also times when I don’t give myself enough credit either.

I know it’s not about “me”, it’s about the service I’ve been called to do. I’ve come to believe that I am put in places or even placed in people’s lives because I’m strong enough to live it. Because I have an almighty powerful God with me, I can handle it. That is the only reason I can handle it, God being with me.

As Gandhi said, “be the change you want to see in the world.”  I want to see a world that is healthy inside and out. I am attempting to be that change. Being healthy is so much more than a persons weight. I want people to feel the value they have, because they do have value, no matter what season of life they are stuck in. Sometimes they can’t see that value though and need a little extra help to uncover it again. I believe I’ve been called to lift them up and help them take life back.  “Every day I wake up believing that my calling is to teach others how to take their lives back so they may help others.”

Being called into my passion is an amazing feeling and I don’t take that lightly. I rise by lifting others up and I’m thankful to God for allowing me to be the messenger.

So there ya have it. I’ve been given this life with an amazing wife and awesome daughters because I can live it. It took me a very long time to understand that, but I finally do….I think. So the next time you are in a tough situation or having a difficult time, try to step back from it and open your heart. Maybe you are being given an opportunity to help others grow into the person God made them to be.

#betheexample #bemore #findyourpassion #findyourstrong #talktome









Transformed Inside Out

February 18, 2015

Transformed Inside Out has become my way of thinking and my angle of “attack” when a soul is lead to ask me for help. There is so much I could say about this and the success we are having is remarkable and I’m honored to be a part of the process.

It’s said that weight loss is a mental challenge, to which I fully agree, the hardest part is between the ears. This is the hard truth that can hit hard as you work the process. Facing these issues that come up between the ears will either drive a person to success or drive them to give up. For example, sometimes a person doesn’t even realize that maybe we are an emotional eater. This can knock a person to their knees sometimes. I’ve seen people come to that fact, actually hear them say it, and watch them turn and walk away. Why? Because they aren’t willing to process it and find the triggers or understand how they got to that point. This is just one example of what might come up between the ears.

I’ll also throw out there an example that seems fairly common is a death of somebody close to you. I know I know, you’re thinking I’ve lost my mind at this point. I’m telling you that I’ve mentored more than one person who is still standing at the casket filled with loss, regret, pain, anger, frustration, feeling of being lost, not knowing how to move forward. These are only a few examples, but I’ve seen it. If I’m honest, I did it when I lost my Momma. Standing at the grave without any hope of moving past that is so overwhelming and almost tormenting to a soul. Does that affect a persons weight and life as a whole, you bet it does. The 5 stages of grief must be faced head on so you can gain acceptance and grow forward.

So yeah, I’ll absolutely say that it’s not always a foodie issue that causes weight issues. I had one person say to me “I’m sad because of my weight.” To that I said, “maybe your weight is higher because you are sad.” The cause of the sadness, the issue or whatever doesn’t matter, it’s all an issue on the inside of the soul that can hold every single aspect of your life in bondage.

I’m not a professional, but my experiences have taught me that something in their past is usually the root issue. If we are able to find that root issue and process it to the point of acceptance, we have much greater chance of success. Working through that issue, processing it all the way out to acceptance is a big part of being Transformed Inside out.

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Remember the Dash

Posted Feb 10th, 2015 in Memory of my Momma.

THE DASH

(Anonymous)

I read of a man who stood to speak

at the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on her tombstone

from the beginning to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth

and spoke of the following date with tears,

but he said what mattered most of all

was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time

that she spent alive on Earth….

and now only those who loved her

know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we owe;

the cars… the house… the cash.

What matters most is how we live and love

and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard…

are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left.

(You could be at dash “mid-range.”)

If we could just slow down enough

to consider what’s true and real,

and always try to understand the

way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,

and show appreciation more

and love the people in our lives

like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,

and more often wear a smile…

remembering that this special dash

might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy’s being read

with your life’s actions to rehash…

would you be proud of the things they say

about how you spent your dash?

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A weight loss journey is NOT only about weight loss

February 4th, 2015
This started as a post for Instagram and ended up with this. I still posted in Instagram though.

This journey isn’t simply about losing a few pounds. That’s always the main objective when a ‘newbie’ starts out, it was for me when I started. I have grown to know that this is not actually true though.

This is a journey to CHANGE your life, forever. Changing your thought process, changing your problem solving skills, changing your view of the world around you, growing into the person God made you to be! I firmly believe that the process has to start from the inside out. If you are full of anxiety, depression, anger, sadness, whatever the emotion is holding you in bondage, your success will be limited. That bondage is holding you back in so many aspects of your life. Break free from the bondage to the life that you were made for, the life that God designed for you. Dealing with the psychology issues is painful, but worth it. Talking about them and learning tools to help look at things differently is necessary in many cases.

Now then, I know people lose weight without changing anything all the time. I also know that few of these stories have long term success. The same 20 pounds is lost and regained over and over. I believe there are no pills, powders or potions that provide long term success. If you want lasting success, open your mind and allow your heart to change. Everything will change and you will be amazed at what will happen.

(Please know this is my opinion and this has formed over a 5 year journey of my own. I’ve worked with and spoke to thousands along the way. My opinion and approach to weight loss have evolved into what it is today, and it is just that, my opinion. I’ve seen success using this “inside out” idea. My goal for anybody I work with is this, “healthy, inside and out”)

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Conversation blew me away – POWERFUL stuff

January 26th, 2015

What you are about to read is an actual text conversation I had with a person I mentor.

I am sharing this(with permission of the other party) because this is POWERFUL stuff.  I am confident that somebody will read this and vision themselves in the exact same place in life.  Sometimes, just knowing that you aren’t the only person on the planet that feels like you do is all it takes to begin to change your life.

This person does have weight to lose, we’ve not really talked about that yet.  They are working on being healthy on the inside first.  I’ve learned that this will help the weight loss process greatly.  It is a process, all of it, but my goal for those I work with is to learn how to be healthy on the inside and out.  “Transformed Inside and Out”

Message I sent just to touch base in the morning.
Happy Saturday enjoy your family today

The response I got:
Thank you.  Having breakfast late but I actually got to have a natural nights sleep.  Haven’t had one in a very long time. I used to have to take a sleep aid now I am down to melatonin 3 MG. It feels great to be honest.  I have thousands of miles to go but baby steps is great.

I responded with:
Whoa. That’s a giant step forward. :-). Congrats.
One day
One step
One life season at a time.

I think Siri played a role in this message. This person understands the change. Understands they are starting over:
Thank you.  I don’t if for you it may  feel like you’re making an impact on my life, but having you there means more than you can imagine.  I cannot thank you enough. Thank you for helping me by leading me through the kindergarten journey I’m in.  I say that because I’m basically having to start life over.  And for you I’m grateful and much more blessed.  Enjoy your family as well.

Later in the day just going about my day I get the following message:
Pulled my treadmill out. Dusted it off. Taking a 30 min walk. I haven’t ran since HS. HATED IT. But now it’s like to one day attempt it.

I was blown away with the message and it made me smile. I couldn’t resist my smartalic response though. It’s what I do. Hehe:
Who is this??

My phone says a name….but they haven’t had the will to do anything, let alone walk on the treadmill

They responded with the following:
You have taught me in this little time that I can be my worst or best version of myself.  Shedding of the worst version little by little!  Can’t wait to meet that version I’ve only dreamed of.  Now heading towards here and this time with guidance and positive crave!

By this time my mind was blown to pieces. When somebody I mentor begins to “get it”, it makes me proud for them. Proud they are understanding what has to happen to truly change their life.  My response was this:
Wow I love this stuff!!!

It’s like you’ve been in a dark Forrest. Wandering. Not caring. Nobody cares. Now you can see a tiny tiny little light in the distance. It’s way out there, but you finally believe you can reach it.

About 2 hours later I got another message, more of a small novel.
I must share with my amazing mentor and blessing of a friend

WARNING – it’s long

30 with incline
40 no incline with little more speed
7 slow walk-cool down
Thoughts in my head during my walk were: you only have one life live it for yourself! No one can live my life for me BUT ME AND ONLY ME!

I’ve had the honor and blessing of raising three beautiful children to which two are now in their own,  and one that I have left to continue raising.  I used to look at my children leaving as a sadness but lately I’ve been rethinking that perspective, and I need to look at it more as a success. They didn’t leave me , they went out to find their own path that was a hardest thing to realize and learn to accept and more so appreciate!   as I was working out on the treadmill looking over at my daughters Navy graduation picture I realized I was part of her success in a little way, I raised her to be brave I raised her to be responsible, I raised her to speak her mind, I raised her to have goals and reach for them now its my turn I did the best I could and she is successful in what she does and I need to look at that and know my part in it!  I miss her she’s no longer here she isn’t dead she’s just in another state and I need to look at that with more appreciation. She’s happy fulfilling her own dreams.

The other thing that was on my mind was my mother.  In 2012 I lost her. losing her was like losing a part of me, I lost my my soul I lost my brick wall had been holding me up throughout my life. Losing mom was like someone took the ground out from under me. In just the way that I was living my life after her death; was not something my mom would have wanted for me.   I am mom with daughters, I know I would never ever want that for my children.  I know that they won’t forget me when my time comes.   I’ll still be a part of their heart and I would never want them in the dark and the heavy gloom, despair and the negativity of in the pit I allowed myself to enter AND KEEP FALLING AND FADING INTO.    So, now it’s time for me to live for me.  I will still be a mom, I will still be a wife, I will still be a sister, a friend but right now the focus is healing my soul repairing my heart and looking forward .  I am reclaiming my life, my reason for existing.  I can’t keep walking the same path expecting a different outcome or destination Definitely not a better one.  I have to change my route, I have to walk in a different path one  of discomfort, a path of the unknown, a path of real challenges not just physical but mental and emotional , and right now I feel like I’m ready to take that on. I’m not afraid of what I look like right now, I’m not concerned of what people think when they see me.  I don’t care because I don’t live their lives and they don’t mine.  I have to live this for myself! You only get one life.  Do what you were meant to do with it and that’s exactly my goal from here on out.

Time to come out of the dark!
My Other story is still full of hurt and a little anger maybe this is enough for now.  Sorry to bombard you with the long winded thoughts.

I shed also a few tears when thinking of mom.  Don’t know where that came from.
Will I be sore tomorrow and the next day.  Heck yes but it’s my reminder that today is the first day of the REST of MY life!  I just may roll out the red carpet when it arrives.  😄

Oh my goodness!!  I am blown away.  We have not yet spoke on the phone for any length of time, which is something I prefer to do early in a relationship like this.  I like to be able to hear their voice and get a feel for what’s going on in their lives. This person and I have texted a lot with one very short call.  I knew. I knew what was going on in their head when we first made contact.  The growth that has already taken place is remarkable. This was my response.
wow wow wow

I’ve read this novel several times, tears every time!!

The outlook on your kids is spot on!  You should be proud, very proud. You have every right to be proud because they are a product of YOU.

It’s ok to shed a tear for your Mom. You still miss her, and always will. My momma died nearly 10 years ago, I still shed tears because I miss her now and then.  That’s healthy to do. Let it out. Holding that in is what got you in the darkest pit of despair.

THIS is your time!  Time to kick and claw and fight out of that pit and shine like never before. Will you fail once in a while, yes, we all do. The difference is you will have tools to deal with that failure!

I could not be more proud of you. I wish I could hug your neck right now. And btw. In times like this you need to let this stuff out, feel free to text me. Ask if I’m available. Nothing like purging feelings and anger Huh?

How do you feel now, emotionally?  Physically won’t kick in seriously until Monday. :-).

End of text

There were a few more messages, mostly showing their gratitude for the guidance I provide, which aren’t crucial to my point of this blog.

My point of this blog is to show that the emotions we harbor or ‘tuck’ away DO hold you in bondage. They do hold you back in nearly every corner of your life.  That bondage will drag you deeper and deeper into a pit of despair.  That pit will grow deeper and you begin to think you can never get out.  I know, because I was in that pit after my own Momma passed.

Knowing there is somebody at the top of that pit who has dropped a rope to help you out is often enough to begin the process of healing.  Releasing that emotion does wonders for the soul.  Releasing the emotions(you name the kind of emotion) doesn’t mean you forgot them or don’t care, it means you can face the emotions in a healthy manner.  Learning and figuring out tools to deal with LIFE or look at life from a different angle is very helpful.

I’m not a trained professional, I use my personal experiences and that of a thousand people I talk to on this journey to help lift others up.  Not to mention that I have a ‘personal board of directors’ who pray for the folks who ask for help.  My PBOD know nothing about those who come for help, they just pray that God work through me and begin the healing process.  I believe that God is doing the work, He’s just using me as the messenger.

Healthy inside and out, that’s the goal. 

How is that New Years resolution going?

January 24th, 2015

It’s been said that the most common New Years resolution is to lose weight. To me, this is awesome news. We are the largest country in the world in every single form, how sad is that?! YET, of all the people who make that resolution, only 8% will actually follow through!! That means that 92% fail, give up or whatever, seriously?!?!

Do you want to know why most of that 92% of people fail? It’s because they don’t understand the change required for success. Going on a diet doesn’t work people. Buying a bottle of pills doesn’t work either. Are we seriously that shallow to think its that simple? Oh sure, don’t get me wrong. You can go drop 15-20 pounds quickly with a crash diet or bottle of pills. How many people keep that weight off with lasting success?

Let’s start with taking an honest inventory of ourselves. How did you get into the situation you are in? It didn’t happen overnight did it? What are the underlying issues that are causing you to overeat or causing you to just flat out not care? Self inventory can be hard, but this is something I believe to be crucial for long term success. There are solutions to the underlying issues, you simply have to be willing to work in them. Willing to work on YOU because you are worth it.

Weight loss is not rocket science at all. It’s not all that difficult, it’s hard work, but the principle isn’t rocket science. Eat better/move more/do it every day! That is the basic principle for weight loss, right. It’s as clear as that really. Here is what I’ve grown to believe is the absolute key ingredient that so many miss. You have to CHANGE in order to have lasting success. You have to break up with old habits. They are serving no valued purpose in your life so CHANGE them. They must go away, not for a week, not until you drop x number of pounds. Nope, you have to put them away forever. You must Change the habits. CHANGE is the key ingredient here.

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