when you're weak

while in houston ... not while recovering
My mom drove me to my first post operative appointment this morning. I was hopeful that after the appointment I would feel ready to go back to work and armed with a brace that would allow me to bend my knee.

Instead, I walked out of the appointment in tears and wearing a new brace that allows me to bend my knee up to 30 degrees. Except it hurt to bend my knee and scared me.

My mom told me all day how well I was doing and to focus on the small things. Because those small things will lead to bigger things. She also told me to be patient. That it will take time, that it will hurt, but that I will get there and will be stronger at the end of this journey.

It's taken me a few hours to see that she is right, but I am getting there. Currently, I am seated on the couch. It's the first time really since coming home from surgery on Friday that I've sat on the couch instead of lying on the couch. And my knee is bent at about 30 degrees.

I don't know when I'll feel close to myself again. Hopefully in the next three weeks. I've got physical therapy to start. It's a long road - longer I think than I realized - but I will get there.

During this time, I know God will be at work. I'll be leaning on Him and trusting in Him more than ever. I don't really have a choice. I can't white knuckle my way through this or depend solely on myself. I need help. And I need to let people help me. I also need to ask for help.

More than anything, I hate asking for help.

It doesn't matter what it is. Even the smallest things like someone holding the door open for me. Or someone helping me carry out items to the car. Or someone going to an appointment with me. But those smallest things are the kind of things I will need help with for the next three weeks (and hopefully not any longer).

So I am praying. And remembering that I said I wanted my word for the year 2013 to be faith. That alone reminds me that I have to have just that - faith.

This is a setback, as my mom reminded me today. It is not the end of the world. And it is an opportunity for me to trust in Him rather than focusing on the things I can see. As hard as this it, it's such a wonderful reminder to know He is there.

He met me while driving back from the orthopedic surgeon and then the department of public safety where I picked up my handicap sticker. I opened my YouVersion Bible to start reading the Soul Detox Plan from SheReadsTruth. The first two verses were exactly what I needed.
"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth." Colossians 3:1-2
God has this. He will see us through all of it and knows how we will navigate the details. He will also provide me with the strength I need. And when I don't have the strength, I have prayer, my husband to cuddle with, dogs to give me kisses, and a mom who knows exactly what I need to hear.

(title from "hold on" by phil wickham)


weight loss wednesday (week 22)

Starting Weight: 265 lbs.

Goal Weight: 155 lbs.

Today’sFriday's Weight: 221.4 lbs.

Total Loss: 43.6 lbs.

I thought about not posting this week. After all, it's not like I can really weigh in what with my walking on crutches and wearing a knee immobilizer. But if I skipped posting, then I thought the knee surgery would win. And I refuse to let this surgery and injury win any more than it already has.

Also I am learning a lot. Some good; some not so good. And I wanted to make sure to share all of it.

Pounds Left To Lose: 66.4 lbs.

What I craved this week: I want comfort food. I think that's pretty normal seeing as how I am at home recovering. And I have enjoyed some comfort food - like Americone Dream ice cream from Ben & Jerry's. But here's the thing... In the past, I would have eaten the entire container of ice cream in one sitting. This time, I ate the container of ice cream over several days - three separate sittings. Would it have been better not to eat the ice cream? Yes, but at least I now know that I can be satisfied with a serving instead of an entire container.

rocking my dirty 30 shirt while healing
What I noticed was different about my body:  This is a hard question this week. All I've done lately is lie on the couch and sit in a chair. It's hard to walk on crutches because my knee hurts and also because walking on crutches itself is hard.

I also haven't showered in several days. The surgeon said I could shower 48 hours after surgery so long as I kept my knee straight and redressed the knee. But it's just me, my mom and my husband. And just standing is exhausting - let alone showering. So I've been content with sponge baths and hair up in a bun. Fresh deoderant and body splash also goes a long way!

All of this has made me want a better body, yes, but more than that, it's made me appreciate the body I have right now.

My body has stretch marks. And it's not as toned as I would like. But it is still my body. Right now, my body is healing. It's providing me with the strength to heal. Right now my body is amazing, and even though I might not notice it in the mirror, I feel it inside.

Workouts planned for this week: None.

I honestly don't know when I'll get to workout next. Yes, I have the ability to do upper body work outs, but right now, it's hard to sit up for longer than a few minutes. So I am resting and healing.

It's funny, though. I chose not to work out for weeks. I made other aspects of my life the priority. But now that I don't really have a choice, I want to get back into the gym more than anything else.

I'm going to hold onto that desire. Because I know it could disappear easily. It would be so easy to just give up. But I don't want to do that. So even though I can't work out now, I can focus on how I will work out later.

I'm looking forward to swimming, going to spin class, walking/running a 5k outside, and learning how to ride a bike. I am going to focus on those things as I recover. Because I will be active again.

Personal Goal(s) for this week: I want to remain focused. Focused on future work outs. Focused on eating well this week. Focused on drinking lots of water. Focused on being positive. Focused on not giving up.

Favorite Quote(s) for this week:

Thanks again to Sam at The Ruby Turtle Hippie Times for this format. I am linking up with her, and you should too!


This week has been hard. I shared a little about my fears, but there is so much more to what has made this week hard.

It's been hard because I've had a lot of realizations hit me all at once. Most of them have to do with healthy living and weight loss. Some of them have to do with other aspects of my life.

I've realized just how much I've half-assed this healthy living. I've made so many bad choices with my eating. Even when I say I won't, I always choose ease over what's right. It's why I haven't made it to the gym in the morning or after work. It's why I end up going through the drive-thru instead of eating food out of my kitchen.

Yes, I work a lot. But I need to stop letting that be the reason I don't eat healthy. No amount of money is worth giving up my health. I really have realized that this week. I am more important. And I need to put myself first. That doesn't mean I give up on working or anything like that. It just means that I put myself first and ensure that I have time to eat well and sweat at the gym.

I've also realized how important food is. Having my mom here for the week has ensured we eat well. There's been spaghetti squash with feta, stuffed bell peppers, and healthy turkey wraps. Honestly the food has tasted better than the processed crap I usually eat.

I've also eaten less. It helps that I can't make it to the kitchen whenever I want. And it helps that my mom has been the one to prepare plates and meals. I know that I have to continue it all when she leaves. And I know that I want to continue it.

I'm in charge of my journey, and it's time for me to truly take charge instead of letting circumstances and life to take charge. I have to put myself first... Otherwise I am always going to be last.

And I refuse to put myself last any longer.


somehow you got through it

Sitting in the orthopedist's office waiting to learn whether I needed surgery or just lots of physical therapy, I was never scared of having knee surgery. Even in the days leading up the knee surgery, I wasn't scared. I've had enough surgeries (6 total including this one) to know that surgeons tend to know what they are doing and I don't have a negative reaction to anesthesia.

What scared me, and still scares me, is everything that comes after knee surgery. The pain killers. The immobilizer. The crutches. The learning how to walk again. The spending entire days on the couch. The physical therapy. The having to depend on other people for everything.

I felt a bit sorry for myself. I never really mentioned that to anyone, keeping those feelings to myself and doing my best to be positive and confident. But over the past few days of recovery, the thoughts of fear have crept in and tried to take over.

Part of it was that I knew what to expect with this surgery. That made the surgery itself easier but the recovery seem more daunting. I had my first knee surgery while in junior high on my left knee. My second knee surgery was for my right knee and happened the summer before my freshman year of college.

My first knee surgery was a piece of cake compared to my second and now third. The second knee surgery was tough. I remember lots of tears and lots of pain. More tears and pain than I've had with this third surgery thankfully.

Telling the anaesthesiologist, the nurses and the reverend that this was my third knee surgery made me realize just how bad my knees are. They all looked at me with a bit of shock. 27 is a bit young to have to undergo so many procedures for the knees. The fact that following the surgery the surgeon explained just how loose my knee was also made me realize just how bad off they (and I) were. The only reason I didn't have surgery earlier was because I refused to allow them to be that bad.

all bandaged up!
Now, though, I have to face my bad knees. With physical therapy and rehab. With the knowledge that I will always have to be extra careful. And with the determination to lose this weight and strengthen my legs as much as humanly possible.

It's kind of funny that I'm so focused on what comes next when right now I'm not comfortable. I'm better than I was when I first came home from the hospital, but pain still grips me - sometimes it's constant and sometimes it's fleeting. There's a part of me that's beyond ready to rip my immobilizer off and start bending my knee; there's also a part of me that isn't so sure I'll be ready to move from an immobilizer to a regular brace.

I told my fears to my mom, who is staying with us and helping me heal while my husband works, and she told me I think too much. And I do think too much. Especially when I'm resigned to sit on the couch and rest.

I want to take these fears and turn them into something else. Determination, maybe. Or drive? Goals and successes, too. Anything but fears that stop me in my tracks and make it difficult for me to move on and conquer the things I've set out to conquer.

Up until today, I've spent a lot of time watching TV and trying to read. A lot of time sleeping too. I know watching TV and sleeping are good while recovering, but I don't want to spend all my time doing those things. That's part of the reason I'm here today - documenting my fears. It's also part of the reason I submitted documents to officially become a contributor to another site. And part of why I finally started working on my novel again today.

I always want a week at home to write and spend time on household projects. But I've seen this week as more of a sentence than a chance to write. With a little attitude adjustment from my mom, and a friend calling me out on twitter, I am changing my mind set. My mom has the household projects under control, and I've got my MacBook in front of me.

I suppose writing is my first step towards turning my fears into something else. My next step? The first post-operative appointment I have scheduled for this Thursday. And then? Going back to work.

But I need to not focus on everything that comes after this first step and instead focus on healing and writing.

And I need to remember that knee surgery and bad knees are not the end of the world. They're just a reason to work even harder and prove to myself (and everyone else) that I will overcome.

(title from "age of worry" by john mayer)


a knee update

It's been a roller coaster of emotions and of pain since surgery Friday morning. My husband has been there with me every step of the way - even falling asleep on the living room floor Saturday night holding my hand because he knew I couldn't fall asleep by myself. He's helped me off the couch and into the bathroom and then back onto the couch. He's been my cheerleader as I've used my crutches to make it through the downstairs of our house.

I'm doing okay. My mom says I look great and sound great. And compared to the last knee surgery I had 10 years ago, I am doing much better. But it's still hard. And I feel like the farther I move from surgery the more it starts to hurt.

I want to be able to get through this just with ibuprofen, but my lack of pain tolerance makes that impossible. So I tried just taking a pain pill very four hours which worked for a little while and then stopped. Now I am back to a combination of ibuprofen and pain pills.

I shared this tweet with my mom and my husband earlier today. And I retweeted it. I'm sharing it here now because it's giving me a lot of strength. And I hope it does the same for you.

I feel blessed and loved to have someone dedicate a run to me. And I feel inspired to do the same once I am off the couch and finished with rehab.

I also am reminded of how far I have come since I started this journey. Yes, I've lost weight, but more than that, I feel like I have gained so much knowledge about myself. And I've grown to have close relationships. It's been a difficult few years but they have been more than worth it. I'm excited to see what the next year hold as far as losing weight, finding myself, and building closer relationships.

The amount of love being sent my way and the amount of prayers has been remarkable. I've felt every bit of it, and it's reminded me that I will get through this surgery and I will come back even stronger.

The surgery itself was a success from what the orthopedic surgeon told my husband and mother-in-law. It was open knee surgery, so I will have a scar the runs the length of my knee. The surgeon feels as though he stabilized my patella (my husband might have also added that it's amazing I went as long as I did without surgery) by tightening and moving my muscles. He cleaned up quite a bit of cartilage as well.

Surgery won't fix all the issues. I'll spend a lot of time in physical therapy and rehabbing my knee. But this was the start. It makes me feel grateful for the opportunity to have knee surgery - not everyone can afford the surgery itself or taking time off work.

It's a blessing to get to share this part of my story with you all. I'm excited to continue to share with you all. Life has been moving so quickly and in so many wonderful ways. I know this knee surgery will turn out to be a wonderful things.

Thank you all for being here. For commenting on my posts and for following along. I haven't been the best at responding to comments, but I do read every single one.

And thank you again, Laurie, for taking the time to dedicate a run to me. You've inspired me to stay strong and see the end result of getting off the couch as soon as I can.


staying true to myself

Lately, I've focused more on wanting to grow my blog than blogging because I love it. I've started sponsoring other blogs in hopes of gaining more readers. And I've gained some followers through a few of those sponsorships. But I've also realized it's just not worth it.

I took to twitter with this last night and made my newest resolution to follow only blogs with content. Blogs I enjoy. Blogs that have bloggers who care about their content and their readers. And then I unfollowed a few people.

I write for me. And I blog for me. I absolutely love sharing my life, my successes, my struggles and my failures with you all. I love hearing your stories and knowing that something I wrote resonated with you.

And I do want to grow my blog. I want to be a successful writer. But I refuse to do that at the expense of losing myself and my writing.

This blog might eventually have giveaways and some reviews. I may even have some guest posts. But my entire blog will never be those things.

I would love to attend a blogging conference - to get to know other bloggers. But I wouldn't attend a conference with the purpose of making money off my blog. I'll take the money if it comes; I just don't want to follow someone's format and then only stick to that format. I want to write when I want and what I want. I want to remain true to myself above all else.

If I lose followers for that, fine. If I gain followers for that, fine. As much as I love comments (and I do love them!), I will not lose myself for comments.

It's not to say that I won't continue to sponsor other blogs. I will. But I am going to stick with blogs who have content, blogs that appreciate the people who sponsor them.

There's no ill will towards any bloggers who feel different than I do. There's no ill will towards anyone. There is enough room on the Internet for all of us. This is just who I choose to be.


weight loss wednesday (week 20)

Starting Weight: 265 lbs.

Goal Weight: 155 lbs.

Today’s Weight: 221.8 lbs.

Total Loss: 43.2 lbs.

No weight lost this week. It's honestly expected. Between swollen knees, eating my feelings a bit more than normal, and it being that time of the month, weight loss was almost impossible. But I maintained. And maintenance deserves to be celebrated as well!

Pounds Left To Lose: 66.8 lbs.

What I craved this week: I still craved comfort food, and I ate it. I kept telling myself and everyone around me that I had the Weekly Points to use. And then I used all my weekly points by the end of the day Monday. Not that has stopped me from eating TWO bread bowls at Panera this week... There's 15 points in the bread bowl alone.

What I noticed was different about my body:  I'm having a hard time with body image this week. All I can see is swollen ankles, swollen knees, arms losing muscle definition, shrinking boobs.. But I know that everything will even out in the end.

And I know that I am beautiful. I can't trust the image I see in the mirror.
Workouts planned for this week: None.
My surgery is in nine days. I'm hurting because of the cold and using my other leg to compensate for my left knee. So there is no gym. I have been walking more, though, and I logged almost an hour of activity last week.

Soon I won't be able to walk, so I am enjoying being on my feet as much as I can. And I am ignoring the pain as much as I can. I'll be resting soon enough.

Personal Goal(s) for this week:
 Last week, I wanted to use my Weekly Points wisely. That didn't happen. My attitude took a nosedive, so I want to get back to having a better attitude.

I know recovery is going to be difficult and painful. I also know I will likely gain some weight back. And I know that the surgery is only the beginning.

But I also know there is no reason to be defeated. I've had surgery before. And I have recovered before. In the past, my attitude was not as good as it is right now. I am hopeful of how well recovery will go with an improved attitude.
Food is going to be the only way I lose weight over the next several weeks. So I need to focus on healthy items. Time to stock my freezer with Yoplait smoothies! I can pretend like I am eating lots of ice cream and enjoy 16 ounce smoothies for 6 PointsPlus total!

And I think this will be a wonderful opportunity to look at food as nutrition - not as a response to life. I want to love fruits and vegetables by the end of this recovery.

Favorite Quote(s) for this week: "The Lord will fight for you. You need only to be still." Exodus 14:14

Thanks again to Sam at The Ruby Turtle Hippie Times for this format. I am linking up with her, and you should too!



you're gonna have to fight

Faced with surgery in less than two weeks, I know I have to stay positive. I'm not sure what will happen exactly when I'm under anesthesia because I don't know just how bad my knee is. So I also have no idea what to expect as far as recovery. I'm just hoping it will be a week or so off of work and then back to light duty.

I know reality might be different. And I'm prepared for that. I just don't want to focus on it.

It's not easy to think this way. It would be so much easier to feel defeated. To think about how all my hard work up to this point just doesn't matter. To determine that the surgery and recovery is going to be terrible.

I've felt that way some. Moments of doubt creep in, and I suddenly feel frozen. And then I pray. It all goes away.

At church on Sunday, I told my husband I wanted to be positive through this whole process. I want this surgery to be the time I got strength back in my legs and my knees. I don't want this surgery to be the time I gained back 10 pounds.

I tend to eat emotionally. And I've done that some since learning surgery was my only option. I allowed myself to be sad and upset. To grieve. And now it's time to watch what I eat, to be healthy, and to do whatever I can to make it through this surgery with some resemblance of a smile.

We all have choices in our lives, and our choices don't just impact us. They impact the other people around us.

My choice right now is to not be defeated. It is to be empowered.

My choice is to turn this difficult time into a positive time. It is a choice to remember that this is only a moment of my life and not my whole time.

Someone else will need surgery in the future. And they might not be able to be positive. And maybe, just maybe, my story will reach them and help them through.

I don't want to just write about knee surgery in the 11 days proceeding my surgery date, but it's what I am dealing with right now. And this blog has always been about whatever thoughts and situations I am working my way through. So I hope to share more over the next week and a half. And then after surgery we will just have to wait and see.

PS: Go mingle with Meg!

(title from "we both know" by gavin degraw & colbie caillat)


it was like slow motion

I entered my doctor's appointment hopeful but anxious. I had a feeling that the news wouldn't be good news. A feeling that surgery was on the horizon. But I hoped that I would be wrong. That there would be another solution - any other solution.

I walked out of the doctor's appointment with a paper that said my surgery was scheduled for 7am on January 25th and that my first post-operative appointment was scheduled for 8:15am on January 31st.

No tears fell while in the doctor's office. Instead I made jokes and asked questions about rehabilitation, how soon I could return to work. The approach he is taking is, from what I can tell, more conservative. It is essentially the same surgery I had on my right knee nearly 10 years ago. There was another surgery, one that involved breaking bone and more rehabilitation, that he mentioned and I said no too.

But I'm terrified that once the surgery starts he will see the conservative approach won't work. He mentioned that it seems to have worked well with my right knee. And it has though I know that as I start physical therapy on my left knee I will also have to do the same with my right knee.

I mentioned losing weight to him and said I know that likely contributes to my knee problems. He said losing weight is good but that my weight is not the issue with my knees. I'm pre-disposed to have problems with my knees. It all comes down to my alignment being off.

There's comfort in knowing that it isn't my weight. That I am not the sole reason for this injury. But it's also frustrating to know I will likely have knee problems for the remainder of my life. And I'm only 27.

I cried once I was in the car. The walls came down and the reality settled in. I went into the appointment hopeful and left knowing what was facing me.

The timing of it all is so interesting. We're in the midst of change. We're also letting God lead us to a new church and different responsibilities. So it does not escape me that the timing of this need for surgery is happening in the midst of it all as a way to deter me from God's plan. But it won't work.

I said I would have faith in 2013. And I meant it. God is so much bigger than all of this. He knows what rests before me. He knows the trials we will face. And He knows what the outcome will be so I need to trust in Him and rest in Him.

There isn't a whole lot I can do to prepare for surgery. But I am committed to healthy eating. I allowed myself a bad meal last night of Chik-Fil-A and now there will be no more bad food. I will do my best while recovering from surgery as well. I do not want this to be the reason I fall back into my old ways of gain back the weight I've lost so far on Weight Watchers.

And I am committed to praying. To clinging to God through this time and to not worrying over the small details.

This is a setback. But it is also a setup.

It will setup my recommitment to strength. It will setup a desire to see this weight loss through this year. It will setup a story for me to tell. It will setup even more success to follow.

(title from "the moment i knew" by taylor swift)


weight loss wednesday (week 19)

Today’s Weight: 221.8 lbs.

Total Loss: 43.2 lbs.

I lost 1.2 pounds this week. It might be more, but I think my body is still getting rid of the iodine that was pumped into my knee Monday for my MRI.

What I craved this week: Comfort food like macaroni and cheese or pizza or pasta of any kind. That's what I really wanted for dinner on Monday night, but I didn't eat it. I got close, but my husband helped to keep me accountable.

What I noticed was different about my body:  My face seems smaller. I can see a little more definition around my waist also. I took measurements about two weeks ago, so I am excited to take more measurements and see what difference there is.

Workouts planned for this week: I haven't made it back to the gym this week. I've been a bit scared. I had plans to go Monday and Tuesday, but then I slept in Monday morning. And after my MRI, I could barely handle bending my knee it was so filled with fluid.

I have been more active this week. We were out walking around for most of the weekend, and I was able to keep up. I may never be able to really run again (or at least not for awhile), but I am walking more!

Personal Goal(s) for this week: I start over on my PointsPlus Friday. I want the next week to be one where I use the Weekly PointsPlus wisely. I don't want to just spend them all to spend them all. I've done better this week, but I am down to 0 for the remaining two days. Which is okay. I can find plenty of healthy options to eat that don't make me go over my daily PointsPlus allowance.

Favorite Quote(s) for this week: "In order to have any chance of success, I've learned that you have to accept yourself and let go of past failures or weaknesses that have been holding you back. It's important to look forward, not backward--to get really clear on your future and what you want it to be. It's not written in stone. Once you know what you want your life to look like, you can figure out how to make it happen." --Ali Vincent, Believe It Be It

Thanks again to Sam at The Ruby Turtle Hippie Times for this format. I am linking up with her, and you should too!



we can shatter just as fast

It's nearly 3:30pm and I am snuggled up on the couch, watching last night's episode of The Biggest Loser. I have every intention of staying on the couch for the remainder of the afternoon and evening.

When I first took the rest of the day off, I did it for fun. Now that I'm home and done with my MRI, I know I am home to recover.

The MRI itself wasn't the problem or the hard part. It was the part that came before when they stuck a needle in my knee and filled my knee up with contrast. Hello swelling and pain! It feels like I did when I first hurt my knee back in December.

Driving home, I started thinking about my knees. I've already had surgery on my left knee and on my right knee. I tend to favor my knees a lot out of fear of getting hurt. And now I am favoring my left knee even more.

I'm hopeful that the report will be a good one. I'll find out for sure on Thursday when I go into see the orthopedic surgeon. But if it's not, I will be okay.

While I was being prepped for the MRI, I spoke with the X-Ray technician about weight loss, osteoarthritis, and my jobs. She mentioned that she had a sister who had always struggled with her weight and lost 60 pounds. Then, her sister tore her ACL while playing indoor soccer and gainer all of her weight back.

I couldn't help but think... what if that is me? On the drive home, I decided it wouldn't be me.

I have no idea what's really wrong with my knee. I have spent plenty of time on Google and WebMD to have an idea of what might be wrong. But until I hear it from a doctor, I won't know.

What I do know is that I won't gain weight back if I'm bedridden because of my knee. What I do know is that I'm going to stick to the Weight Watchers plan and watch what I eat. And then, when it's time, I'll spend time working out.

I also know I will probably never be a runner. And I'm sad about that. But it's not the end of the world or the end of my weight loss and healthy living journey.

I can find other activities to do and to enjoy. Maybe I'll finally learn how to ride a bike and spend more time biking - and not just biking in the gym. I can also swim more. And row. And walk. And do a million other things outside of run.

I also know that I will not let my knee steal my joy. It would be easy to be angry and frustrated and feel like the world is out to get me. I refuse to stop my life simply because I am hurt. I refuse to let this define my life. Instead, I am going to look at this as an opportunity.

If I have to have surgery and stay home, then I will spend time writing and blogging. I will blog more about being healthy when injured. I will continue to inspire and be inspired. I will press into God even more and trust in Him.

Nothing is going to stop me from making 2013 a wonderful year. Nothing.

Don't let anything stop you from making 2013 a wonderful year.

PS: Go mingle with Meg!

(title from "be somebody" by thousand foot krutch)


sunday social (link up)

1. Do you plan to change any of your eating habits in the new year? Yes and no.

I really want 2013 to be the year I lose all this excess weight. I've been at it since 2011. I don't want to still be at it in 2014.. unless it's just to lose the last 20 or less pounds.

I joined Weight Watchers days before the new year. Being on that plan makes me feel less overwhelmed by losing weight. I do not have to limit what I eat. No foods are off limits. And for some reason, knowing foods are not off limits helps me. It's better to have a little than to eat too much just because you know you aren't supposed to.

2. Any workout tips to get us back in shape after the Holidays? I am struggling to get back into the gym. I'm scared. I was so good at working out and then I stopped. Then I got hurt. It's time for fear to stop having a place (my quote for 2013) and for me to just do it.

I would say start small. You aren't going to be the fittest person at the gym. And that's okay. Also remember that people are glad you're there. I feel so out of place at the gym sometimes since I am not fit as a whistle, but I have been told by many people how inspiring it is to them to see people working to get health.

3. Favorite thing you did over the Holidays? I loved having my parents in town right before Christmas. They were a huge help with our house and our garage!

I also loved spending time with friends. We went to church on Christmas Eve with two of our friends and then also rang in 2013 with them. There was good food, lots of laughter, and a drinking game.

It was also a joy to get to be Santa Clause for some children in foster care. Even though we never see them open their gifts, I love knowing we helped to make sure kids had a good Christmas.

4. What is something you hope that you accomplish in 2013 that you did not in 2012? 2012 was wonderful to me. But I have pretty high hopes for 2013 (higher than they were for last year!). A song to live up to, a word to remember, a quote to live by, and resolutions.

What it all really comes down to is being present. I want to enjoy what 2013 - including the bad - and live a life of love for the year. Doing that.. I think everything else will fall into place.

5. Name 3 things happening this year you are excited about and why: My husband and I have a trip booked to Branson, MO for March. It will be the first vacation we take, just the two of us, since our honeymoon in 2009.

I have plans to grow this blog. When I started writing, it was just a hobby. I didn't take it seriously and see it as a place to truly share and help others. I see it as that now, and I am excited to take it seriously though still have fun with it and be true to myself.

I'm excited for Weight Watchers. It's helping me a lot to be around people who struggle with the same things I do. And to know I am accountable, via my bank account, to get healthy and lose the weight. I feel like it is going to be a highlight of the year for me.
Sunday Social


friday's letters / dear friday (link up)

Dear Friday.
You are the first Friday of 2013. And I am so thankful to finally see you. It’s been an interesting, and rather rough, week, but I am hopeful for you to the start of the weekend. Here’s to hoping for a quick day at work and then a good night’s sleep. I have lots of items to mark off my To-Do List this weekend.

Dear MRI.
We will meet on Monday afternoon. I’m a bit terrified. Not of the machine or the process but of the results. I’ll find out what you show on Thursday afternoon. No matter what, I will remember that God is in control. He is bigger than anything (including injuries) and will walk me through everything.

Dear Weight Watchers.
Thank you for accepting me with open arms even though it took me so long to join. I lost two pounds on your PointsPlus system over the past week, and I am looking forward to losing even more in the coming weeks. I know you are the help I need. I am going to give you all I have. Also I love that fresh veggies and fruits have 0 points. That makes me want to eat more of the good stuff! I am currently loving blackberries, raspberries, apple slices, oranges, spinach and brussels sprouts.

Dear Bill Cosby.
I found a quote of yours on pinterest and posted it to my facebook page. It says “Decide you want it more than you are afraid of it.” Thank you. I needed those words. I often let fear be the controlling factor over what I want; I always have. But along with having more faith this year, I promise to not let fear control me.

Dear Readers.
Thank you. From the bottom of my heart for all the support. I absolutely love blogging, and I’m so glad to be committing more time to it. I am excited for 2013 and growing my blog. I love sharing my heart and my life with you all. And I love reading every single comment you all leave. I hope that 2013 brings you all the things you need (I say need because sometimes the things we want are not the things we need).

Dear Weight Loss.
This time, you are mine. I’ve got quite a bit left to lose, but I promise it will happen. There’s no escaping me now. This body is ready to be rid of all the excess weight and problems.
Today I am linking up with Ashley from The Sweet Season for Dear Friday. I hope everyone has a blessed day and enjoys their first Friday of 2013!


the light that's in the dark

How is it only January 3rd? This might sound like a strange question but the past day and a half have been more trying than they should have been.

going home. with a big incision.
I mentioned on Twitter and Instagram that one of our dogs, Rascal, had to have surgery. He had a large mass that we weren't sure was benign or malignant. It was progressively getting bigger and after his yearly check-up on Monday, the vet said he needed surgery. So I did what no dog lover ever wants to do: I dropped him off at the vet early Wednesday morning and left him confused and alone in a kennel while I cried my way to work. That was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

My husband found Rascal when he was less than 8 weeks old. He was abandoned on the streets, filthy (and stinky!) and followed my husband and Brandy (our other dog) home. I tried to get someone else to take him because I really didn't think we could handle or afford two dogs, but he was destined to be ours. Why do I tell this story? So you know that he has abandonment issues. And I feel like every time I take him to the vet or leave him elsewhere, he thinks I am abandoning him.

When I picked him up late yesterday, he had a huge line of stitches and I learned the mass was larger than expected. But benign.A hefty vet bill later, we headed home, and he rested. Somehow during the night, between dinner and my returning from a hectic night of being a social worker, he stretched the stitches and was bleeding and hurting and just not himself. So he and I slept (uncomfortably) on the couch. That was the only way I could monitor him.

And I don't think what I did can really count as sleep. There was some resting of the eyes but no real slumber. I was too worried about every noise and move he made.

When I left for work this morning, he was fine. The incision looked good. He ate a good breakfast, drank some water but not too much, and seemed to forget he had an incision to worry about. I'm just hoping and praying that continues until my husband returns home.

This might seem like a small thing. But our dogs mean more to us than I can even put into words. And Rascal? He has a special place in all of our hearts because of how we found him and because of just how much he loves us (we wake up to dog kisses pretty much every day and go to bed with dog kisses as well). Brandy, with all her anxious energy and need for constant attention, also has a special place. We love them equally but differently.

No matter what, I will not let anything steal my joy about the coming year. I feel like that's what the past few days have tried to do. Really, to be honest, I feel like that's what the past month has tried to do. But it won't happen. My God is bigger than any circumstance, and He will carry me through anything and everything.

While others wrote of their words for the year, I mentioned my song for 2013 because I didn't think there was a word that would culminate all aspects of my life. I stand behind that song. But I think I was wrong because there is a word that will and should culminate 2013.
This year, my word is going to be faith. Faith in God. Faith in His timing. Faith in His ways - even when they don't make sense to me. Faith in His callings. Faith.

With weight loss, I have to depend on Him for strength. With finances, I have to depend on Him for blessings and then depend on Him to help us use our resources wisely. With health, I have to depend on Him to walk with me when I find it hard to stand up. With marriage, I have to depend on Him to have grace, love, and respect for my husband at all times.
My faith is not weak. But I have not spent nearly enough time praying, listening, reading or just being still. That changes this year. Yes, I feel I am called to do all the things I do - work for a non-profit, work as a social worker at night, blog, be married, be in community - but God never intended for those things to keep me so busy that I don't rest in Him or look to Him for direction at all times (and not just when I am having a minor or major freak out).

That changes this year. I think that's why this year is going to be such a big year. Because He is going to be an even bigger part of it.

(title from "you are" by colton dixon)

PS: Link up with Jena and Katie for a little of This and That Thursday.



weight loss wednesday (week 18)

It's been a few weeks since I've checken in with y'all. It's been a few weeks of trying to convince myself that the number on the scale wasn't right. It just had to be wrong. After weighing a few dumbells on it, I realized that the number wasn't wrong. I'd just let go of any and all self-control.

That's one of the reasons I joined Weight Watchers. Even though I wanted to say I did it all on my own, I understand that I just wasn't going to do it all on my own. I also started to realize that I needed to stop focusing on weight loss and dieting and start focusing on healthy living and making these changes permanent.

I've also realized that Weight Watchers is not going to be a magical fix in my journey to lose weight (and never find it again). I am still going to be the one making healthy choices. I am going to be the one eating more fruit and vegetables. I am going to be the one doing the work. Weight Watchers will simply be there to help me and support me. I can celebrate my successes in meetings and also ask for help when I fail.

All that being said, I'm weighing in today and giving an honest number. I last weighed in a month ago. That means I have spent the past four weeks lying to myself and pretending I didn't gain weight. When I weighed in on December 5th, my weight was 216...
Today’s Weight: 223 lbs.

Total Loss: 42 lbs.

I've gained a total of 7 pounds from my weekly weigh in last month. And I am okay with that. There are a few things that contributed to the weight gain.
  1. We moved, and I started using a different scale. The scale at my in-laws house was a little nicer (and probably not as acquerate).
  2. I haven't worked out in... I honestly don't remember the last time I worked out.
  3. I stopped tracking.
  4. The Holidays.
  5. I got hurt.
The good news? I am down 2 pounds from where I weighed in Saturday (and down 3.8 pounds from the Weight Watchers scale in jeans and tennis shoes). On Monday morning, I weighed in at 221 lbs and then proceeded to eat more than I should have (and drank just as much.. if not more). So I am back in the game and will see 216 soon!

What I craved this week: Diet Coke. I really wanted one when I saw Les Miserables at the movies yesterday. Something about the movie theatre makes me want soda. But I said no. I've been diet coke free for 19 days! Two more days and it will be a habit...

What I noticed was different about my body:  I am getting smaller - ever so slowly. Though my face hasn't quite caught up to other body parts...

I miss my muscles. Between wearing a brace on my left knee, not walking up stairs normally due to my left knee, and my lack of gym time, I've lost some tone. I need to get it back.

Workouts planned for this week: I don't have any specific plans. I do think I need to spend some quality time in the pool and on the stationary bicycle. I can also start focusing on upper body strength training.

Whatever I do, it needs to be low impact and help me to get back into the habit of exercise. It also would be great if I could slowly strengthen my knees without causing any (more) harm.

Personal Goal(s) for this week: Stay on plan!

I used all my weekly points (and then some) on New Years Eve between the alcohol and appetizers and food and dessert. So I am really watching what and how much I consume for the week.

I also want to make and hang inspiraton around my house. I've been doing a lot of reading lately about obesity and knees. For every pound overweight, there's an additional 3 to 4 pounds of pressure on your knees. So no wonder mine are so tired, sore, and hurt. The more I lose the less they'll hurt. I'm excited to (eventually) get down to a healthy BMI and weight.

I'm planning on taking my measurements this week. I ordered a fancy measuring tape from Amazon, so I plan to start using measurements as a way to track. That should be even better and more beneficial than the scale.

Favorite Quote(s) for this week: “Selfish isn't a dirty word. It means we take care of ourselves and are able to give back.” Jillian Michaels

“Part of abandoning the all-or-nothing mentality is allowing yourself room for setbacks. We are bound to have lapses on the road to health and wellness, but it is critical that we learn how to handle small failures positively so that we can minimize their long-term destructive effects. One setback is one setback—it is not the end of the world, nor is it the end of your journey toward a better you.” Jillian Michaels

Thanks again to Sam at The Ruby Turtle Hippie Times for this format. I am linking up with her, and you should too!


the proof that i leave

With the start of the new year, there have been reflections on the past 365 days and resolutions made. Others have mentioned the word they want 2013 to embody.

I thought about a word for 2013 but honestly I couldn't think of a word. I don't want 2013 to be about just one specific part of my life - be it my health, my relationship with God, or work. I want 2013 to be a year all about everything.

We celebrated the coming of the new year with friends, drinks, and good food. We sat around the dining room table and discussed our hopes for the new year. As I listened to everyone else, it struck me just how big of a year 2013 will likely be.

I've done a lot in my 27 years. The past year has been a year that has changed me and shaped me - all for the better. It has been a year that has reignited my love for social work and foster care. It has been a year that has reminded me how important love is to the world. It has been a year that God has been present in the darkest moments and in the brightest moments.

I have the feeling that 2013 is going to further change my life. I don't know exactly how that will happen or what that means. I just know that 2013 is going to be a major year.

And with it being such a major year, I can't assign just one word to it. But I've found a song that embodies what I want the year to be. A song that embodies what I want my life to be.

I stumbled upon it a few months ago, and it has stuck with me ever since. I hear it in my head randomly and remember the lyrics when things seem tough.  It's the song that I would have written if I were any good at writing lyrics and could put notes to paper.

It's called "I Was Here" by Beyonce.
The words are everything I want my life to be. They're everything I've always wanted my life to be. I may not change the world. And that's okay. But to make even the smallest impact on another life? That's why I'm here. Why I think we're all here.

2013 will be the year I lose weight. 2013 will be the year I write more. 2013 will be the year I love harder and better. 2013 will be the year I lean into and trust God with everything. 2013 will be the year I make a difference, the year I leave my mark, the year I gave my all and did my best. The year I leave the world a little better just because I was here.

What will your 2013 be?

(title from "i was here" by beyonce)


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