Monday, April 9, 2018

Healing Begins

I used to think that I couldn't hear God's voice.  Now I know I wasn't really listening for it.  The Bible promises that I hear His voice and He knows me! (John 10:27).  So I started asking God to help me hear His voice more.  The more I read His living word, the more I hear His voice!  One way I hear His voice is through worship music that really speaks to me.

Healing Begins by Tenth Avenue North

"So you thought you had to keep this up
All the work that you do
So we think that you're good
And you can't believe it's not enough
All the walls you built up
Are just glass on the outside

So let 'em fall down
There's freedom waiting in the sound
When you let your walls fall to the ground

Afraid to let your secrets out
Everything that you hide
Can come crashing through the door now
But too scared to face all your fear
So you hide but you find
That the shame won't disappear"

So between God and Kristie, I'm letting my walls fall to the ground!  I confessed to her this weekend that I ate cookies!  Thanks for listening and not being too mad that I didn't tell you before! ;)

I confess they were not plant-based cookies either.  They were Tim Horton's cookies (peanut butter and snickers).  You know how people say that after the 1st 3 bites they lose the amazingness?  I call bullshit!  Every single bite was amazing!  I went on a cookie binge for a couple months this past winter.  I slipped right back into my old mindset of saying things like...

"I already ate one cookie, I might as well eat the whole dozen!" 
"Today is ruined so I might as well eat whatever I want today and start over in the morning."

Then my size 10 jeans started to get tight and because it was winter I started wearing more yoga and sweatpants (mistake!).  I promised myself when I made it to 199 (onederland) that I would never let myself see 200 on the scale again, well I saw 205!!!!  

I started to feel a heavy weight of shame drape over me.  I started to do like I did in the past and try to do it all on my own.  Shock right?  Anyone that knows me knows that I am fiercely independent and think I can do it all by myself.  But God is trying to teach me to go to Him for help instead of cookies.  

I've been reading a devotional every morning and every night and journaling scriptures that speak to me that day.  Today was Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 

So I started boldly asking God to help change my heart.  Help me turn to you instead of worldly things to comfort myself.  In my life, I've gone from one addiction to another (cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, food).  I obviously have the capacity to focus on something to the point of obsession (trust me I dreamt about cookies!).  So I asked God to help me have the same mental obsession with developing my relationship with Him.  

Part of my journey is learning to let go of shame.  Shame keeps me isolated.  I know I'm not the only person who struggles with the things I struggle with but I feel like I shouldn't be still struggling with these things.  That's the devil trying to keep me from walking in my destiny!  

Another song that I've been listening to a lot is Beautiful messes by Hillary Scott.

"Are you spinning in a lie that keeps on telling you that you're not good enough?"

Umm, why yes I am! I've never felt good enough.  

"And when you're looking in the mirror, do you see someone impossible to love?"

Yup!  Who's going to love me with all this saggy skin and all the rest of my flaws?  I don't love them so how can I expect someone else to?

God loves the beautiful mess called Denise!  He sees all the holes in my heart, my faults, my secrets, my scars and says I love you anyway!  I'm laying down my beautiful mess at the foot of the cross and accept his Amazing Grace!  

So I wrote all this to publicly say, I'm not perfect.  I still struggle.  My journey is not easy and there have been a lot of ups and downs but God has made me to glow in the dark!  Yes, I'm going to quote another song because I hope you listen to them too and it fills you with the same hope!

"Doesn't matter how deep, how dark the night is
Keep hoping, keep on shining
And they'll see His light burning in your heart
And if the road gets rough, just keep your head up
Let the world see what you're made of
That His love's alive in your deepest parts
Like a flame, like a burning star you can shine right where you are
He made you to glow in the dark
Don't be ashamed of your past
If you're shattered like a piece of glass
The more broke you are the more the light gets through
Show your wounds and your flaws
Show them why you still need the cross
Let them see the work He's doing in you" (Jason Gray)

Ok, God, I hear you now help me be brave enough to obey! 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day, Abba

Sometimes Facebook is too much.  Have you ever been to that point where it seems like everything you want is all you see on FB but in everyone else's pictures except yours?  I admit, this may seem crazy but I have actually saved some of those pictures and I have a secret Pinterest board with poses of what I want "when I grow up".   Heck I just want family pictures period.  I know they are pictures and not everyone's lives are as perfect as a picture portrays, because trust me I know how to pose in a picture to distort the reality...just ask Kristie lol ;))~  But I started getting this crazy idea like why not do what feels good now?  Yeah I got that from Adrienne at Yoga camp.  You should check her out if you do not do Yoga or even if you think you're an expert which in that case you really need to check her out!  ha ha.

But no, seriously why not do today what I think will make me happy? #findwhatfeelsgood You know you have that vision in your head of what your "happy" looks like right?  We all do that right?  Please tell me I'm not crazy for real ha ha.  But my vision of happy looks like this and this is me being truthful and honest and vulnerable and all that happy horseshit lol...

  • Strong marriage rooted in Christ #1 
  • A partner to share life's journey with
    • Someone who will encourage me and challenge me to be my best and allow me to do the same for him.  
    • Someone who has dreams, goals, aspirations for the future and shares them with me and hey, hears a thought...asks me about mine and encourages daydreaming!  Yes I love to day dream in a hammock lol
    • Is that already too much to ask for? 
  • Ok on a less serious note, I was talking to Charlie while I was doing the dishes and said, "If it was just you and me buddy, I would"....and I ended up opening up as many curtains and windows as I could to get fresh air/sunlight in to the house.  Normally I would love to turn on my essential oil diffuser and light a candle but I haven't been able to use any of them lately.  However, I'm hoping with the new doTERRA adventure I just signed up for will change that because I do believe their oils are pure and I love their whole mission.  So if anyone needs any essential oils let me know (hint, hint) lol :)

Crazy right?  I really think I am sometimes.  But you know what?  God loves me anyway!  And I'll tell you how I know for sure!  I just spent the best Father's day morning ever in my life with my Abba!  My daddy woke me up early this morning and took me outside to spend time with him in my very own backyard.

We got to swing in the hammock together.  I listened to a beautiful melody from the birds and saw a cardinal, a blue bird but wasn't really a blue bird (I'd never seen it before).  Plus I was able to use my binoculars I got from my husband as a gift many years ago that I stuffed in a drawer somewhere to watch them.  It was very cool!

Then Charlie came out to see what I was doing but he wouldn't get in the hammock with me so I laid in the grass with him!  I did my Yoga sun salutations barefoot in the grass.  It was so wonderful to feel supported by the ground and to end in shavasana, cuddle with my best buddy and Abba was there holding us both.

So the sun rose on this Father's day with me coming back inside and cleaning the kitchen (I set a timer for 30 minutes) while I was listening to worship music and I tell you what it was the best 30 minutes ever!  I think I might like cleaning again for another 30 minutes like that tomorrow lol.

So anyway the point of this post if you might be wondering is that I felt a stirring by Abba to write it.  I feel like He's telling me I need to share my story.  I feel like He was talking to me this morning through the Universe, through my surroundings, through the music I listen to, through the devotionals and scriptures I read.   I have always struggled with wondering if He really hears me because I never really felt like I could hear from Him.

I believe Yoga has helped me to be more mindful, more aware of my body but also my thoughts.  When I learn to be alone and still my mind I open myself up to hey guess what, novel idea...hear from Abba!  ha ha I bet He's up there thinking, she just needs to shut up for a minute so I can get a word in lol.

So if anyone likes my ramblings and might find it interesting to hear more, leave me a comment.  If not, well I still obeyed and did #findwhatfeelsgood so I guess that's all that really matters!


Friday, October 3, 2014

My Story!

Hi, I wanted to share my story so I can help others who have been in the same place that I have been in! Morbidly obese, Depressed and didn't think it was ever going to end! I thought I was stuck at my nearly 300 lbs and no where to go! I tried so many diets! I can't tell you the money I spent doing programs or buying food from other programs to just try to loose weight! Some things were even successful for a short time until I decided to go back to eating the food like I did before starting any program.  I was emotional eater and a yo-yo dieter my whole life! There were many things I would pass up doing because I was embarrassed to go out in public! Even when I tried and dressed up I felt like it didn't help I was still a pretty big girl! Just nothing seemed to help!

 I would pray about it a lot as well! I remember being in bed crying one day so sad because my mom had just died of colon cancer! My grandma died a short few months after that. I was just the biggest I have ever been and felt like there was nowhere to go.  I remember clear as day, which I believe was God, telling me you can lay here and feel sorry for yourself or you can get up and do something about it.  So I don't know why it clicked that day I believe its because I was tired of being depressed! I was tired of life just sucking all the time for me.  Tired of my weight and fighting it every single day! That is how I felt anyway! So for the next few days I decided I was going to do something about it.  I mean what is the alternate decision? Depression right and life sucking! So I know I didn't want that! So I prayed and asked God to help me! 

I really felt like I should not be eating meat.  I felt strong about that! I found ETL and was hopeful! I found it hard to stick with it though! After about a 6 months to a year trying to do Eat to Live I remember telling God OK this isn't working out for me.  So it would be awesome if you could lead me to a site that would help.  So I Google plant based and found plant purity (which was the name before protective diet).  I didn't really want to try something new but was willing to try some of the recipes! The ones I tried I liked! There were a couple I was like yuck (after being on PD some of those yuck recipes ended up being my favorites)! But most of them were quite enjoyable.  So I decided for 30 days I am going to commit and do it no matter what! I was thinking to myself how do I keep myself accountable! That is when I thought I would blog about it! I remember emailing Julie and asking her if she would mind! She was so excited and so was I! Now I know I had to do it especially if now I was going to write about it and give it a honest review! 

It was intention to only do it 30 days! Usually I was not good about sticking with diets so I thought I could do anything for 30 days right! I am going to tell you that was the hardest 30 days! Just because I was detoxing and wanted old foods that I was giving up.  I was happy that Julie helped me through that and having her coach me and encourage me was one of the best things ever!  After the 30 days and loosing 16 lbs in the first month I thought wow this isn't bad I could go longer! So I did! I have been doing PD for 18 months now! A year and a half which amazes me! If you would of told me I would not eat sugar, meat, oil, processed foods or nuts ever again I would of laughed at you! I am sharing this because I was where you are at! I do understand and know the things you face when it comes to food! After all that said I am so glad I have lost over 100 lbs and all my labs are better than ever! Last time I got my labs done my Total Cholesterol was 121! That was amazing to me! I can't remember the last time I got sick and I work in a hospital! I have never felt better!

  I just want to share this with other people who are fed up and just want more out of life! If that is you and your ready to make a change please use this link and go to Protective Diet Sign up for a free account and try some of the recipes! If you are ready to go all the way and never look back sign up for PD-ED! With that I will help you and encourage you! 

Another important thing I want to get out there is my my mom died of colon cancer which could be prevented by just the food we eat! I know there are a lot of programs out there that help you get healthy and loose weight but this program reduces your risk of cancer.  There are so many foods that are processed and meats that are just not made like they were back in the day! So many people have their fingers in our food and they are just out to make a buck! Do the research and you will see for yourself! I am looking forward to working with you! Please if you have any questions just ask:) You also can find me on Facebook this is my link! 

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Encouragement for those who need to lose more than 100 pounds

Now that I've lost over 200 pounds people ask me to share some tips on how I got started and stayed motivated.  So I thought I would blog about it and hopefully it will help someone.
  • Set small goals & reward yourself
    • Every time I thought about having to lose 200+ pounds I got discouraged and would think there is no way I would be able to do it.  When you focus on the large number it makes it seem impossible.  It's like thinking about having to climb a mountain.  Yes it is going to be hard but take it one step at a time and before you know it, you'll reach the top!  I started with 5 pound weight loss goal.  This is one of the best things Weight Watchers did for me.  You got a sticker for every 5 pounds you lost.  I started collecting those stickers and before you know it, they add up.  I wrote out a list of rewards that I would give myself at certain intervals.  At first, the rewards were at smaller increments like 10 pounds and 20 pounds then I started spacing them out more.  Some examples of my rewards were: music, books, new shoes, new clothes, jewelry, nails painted, massage.  Some that are still on my list:  horseback riding, ride a roller coaster, go on a zip line tour, get another ear piercing, and a tattoo. 

  • Positive Affirmations
    • Your mind is very powerful.  What you think and what you say eventually comes to fruition.  Write down some positive affirmations and say them every day (whether you believe it or not).  Before long you will memorize them and can say them to yourself when you start to get discouraged.  Some of the ones I used are:
      • I accept and love myself just the way I am.
      • I am worth loving myself.
      • I am grateful for this amazing gift God gave me and my body's ability to heal itself.
      • The choices I make every day will improve my health.
      • I am in control of my thoughts and actions.
      • I take good care of my body, I eat right, I look good, I feel good, and I weigh what God wants me to weigh.
      • As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he; therefore, all of my thoughts are positive.
  • Stop the excuses
    • "I'll start on Monday." "I'm too stressed."  "I can't afford to eat healthy."  "I have no support."  Every one can come up with an excuse.  You will always have an excuse, but you will always also have a choice!  Decide to find a way no matter what!  Decide that you are worth more than the excuses.
  • Start a success journal or wall
    • I sectioned off part of the wall in my office where I hung cork-board.  I have quotes and pictures on there that motivate me.  I also have a success journal.  I record all of my monthly measurements in there but I also journal about other milestones.  For example, when I noticed that I could buckle my seat belt again.  Or when I was finally off all of my medications.  I made a list of all of the ailments I suffered from and as I no longer had to deal with them, I checked them off my list.  
  • Track your progress monthly
    • I tell this to people all the time and wish I would've done it when I first started.  It's so important to take pictures and body measurements from the beginning.  I know we avoid the camera at all cost when we are overweight, but believe me, you will wish you had them later.  I would suggest taking your weight, body measurements, and pictures at the beginning of every month.  
    • Make sure when you take the pictures that it is on the same background (like in front of a blank wall).  Be sure to take a picture from the front and the side.  Use a photo editor to add the date and current weight.  There were many times that I would pull up my old pictures and compare them side by side.  It helps keep you going when you see how far you have come.  Sometimes we can get stuck in the old mind thinking we are still as fat as we were when we started.  Seeing the pictures helps you realize that your mind can lie to you!   Take notice of and appreciate the things you do like about your body.  Don't always focus on what still needs to improve.  There will always be something that needs changing.  Instead of standing in the mirror and thinking your saggy skin looks gross.  Focus on the things you find beauty in, like the contours of your face, neck and shoulders.  Feel the strength of your muscles or celebrate the fact you can feel muscles or bone at all! 
    • Learn to appreciate the small changes.  When you hit that plateau (every one will!), you need to learn to celebrate the small things.  Even if you have to take it hour by hour and celebrate the fact that you didn't eat the pan of chocolate chip brownies that your husband made and screams your name every time you walk by them!
  • Find support
    • If you live alone or don't have family and friends around you that support you living a healthy lifestyle, get online.  There are lots of support groups on Facebook.  The one I like the best is Protective Diet Living.  
  • Before you put it in your mouth ask yourself if it will harm you or heal you?
    • When you can focus on only consuming foods that will not harm you then you can shift your mindset from one of deprivation (I can't eat chocolate, chips, etc.) to one of offering.  I offer myself the ability to eat healthy foods that will help me reach my ideal weight and live life to the fullest.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The real me

It's 5 am and I have been awake for 4 hours now.  I seem to have my greatest epiphanies in the early morning hours.  A lot of times I can't get back to sleep because my mind is in a constant loop, sometimes a strange loop, I'll admit.  So I decided to get up and write some of this down.

Tonight I am embracing the real me.  It's been 3 years since I started down my road of transformation.  It originally started with just wanting to lose weight but has transformed into so much more than that.

Even my husband says that I am a completely different person than what he met.  I do admit that I have changed a lot but I believe that I am finally growing into the real me.

I'm learning to embrace everything about me, exactly where I am at, in this moment.  Yes, I have made mistakes in the past.  I have been on top of the mountain and in some pretty low valleys, but I believe ALL of those moments have made me who I am today.

The weight loss journey has evolved into an exploration of who God wants me to be and how He wants to use me.  It amazes me to think how He knew every stupid mistake I would make before I was even born.  I can barely comprehend that He knew every good and every bad thing that has ever happened to me or will ever happen to me before I was born.

I am still here, still alive (more "alive" then ever actually), still desiring more, still embracing change, because He has not failed me yet!  I have never been one big on trust because of my life journey so far, but I believe God is using those experiences to teach me to trust in Him because He takes all of it and turns it into something good for His glory!

I have to admit that I have been reluctant to think about New Year's resolutions in 2014.  Mostly, because I never really seem to stick with them.  This year I think what is on my heart is to focus on what God thinks of me instead of everyone else and to appreciate that I am making progress.

It may sound cheesy to some when I say I want a deeper relationship with my Heavenly Father, one where I can truly relate to Him as Abba, Father, but I am announcing that I resolve to not care what man thinks and not let that stop me from seeking His presence in my life, everyday.

I have to say that this is probably the first time I can remember that I'm excited to see what changes He will bring me.  I encourage all of you to embrace change, even if it is hard, the rewards on the other side will be worth it!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I'm officially half the person I used to be!

The upper left corner was in 2009 when I got my workout buddy, the lower right corner is Nov., 2013

As of today I have lost 201 pounds!  I'm excited but sometimes it's hard for me to believe.  I think the one thing that I am so thankful for Weight Watchers teaching me, is to take it 5 pounds at a time.  When I first started WW January, 2011 I never thought I would be able to lose the weight.  My heaviest weight was 421 pounds.  When I started with WW I had lost some on my own and was down to 393.  I needed WW at the time for the support and like I said to focus on small goals instead of the big picture.

Since WW, I've gone on quite a journey of transformation.  By the end of 2011 I decided to go vegetarian.  I was never really 100% on it though.  I never really had a hard time giving up meat because I always had severe allergic reactions to meat.  So that was kind of a no brainer.

The following year I decided to take it a step further and go vegan.  OMG that was hard!  Cheese was the hardest to give up.  I put cheese on everything, including salads and veggies.

Then sometime in 2012 I discovered Dr. Fuhrman and the nutritarian lifestyle.  I tried it for awhile but never really could commit 100% for more than 2 weeks.  I always felt deprived.

In the summer of 2013 I found Julie Marie and and never looked back.  I'm not going to lie and say that detoxing from sugar, oil, nuts, etc was easy because it was not.  But by this time I had decided to commit to myself to stick with it for 30 days and see what happens.  I felt so proud of myself after the 30 days and having lost 16 pounds that month that I decided to keep going.  It's only been about 4-5 months (can't remember exact day I started) since I've been 100% completely free of meat, dairy, sugar, oil, and nuts.  I know I'll be able to continue this for the rest of my life.

I feel so much better now since I have more energy and less headaches.  I don't take any medications at all.  I have been able to reverse GERD, Sleep Apnea, Depression, Migraines, and painful PMS.  I'm still working on arthritis but I have no doubt it will resolve itself in time.

I am so looking forward to turning 40 next year because I will be the healthiest and slimmest I've ever been.  I want to encourage all of you reading this to jump on board with  You won't regret it and I guarantee you will be able to maintain this lifestyle with ease.  And best of all, without taking diet supplements!

Best of health to you all!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

6 months on Protective Diet:)

I have been on Protective Diet for 6 months Nov 8th and I thought I should say something about that:) I have not blogged in a while because life gets in the way! I will try to be better at it!

I am so amazed by PD everyday! The food is amazing and for once in my life my weight is not Yo-Yoing! If you have ever tried to loose weight you understand! Not only have I become heart attack proof I am loosing weight! I just got my blood work back a few days ago and all my tests were better than ever.  So I know everything I am putting into my body is healthy that is such a awesome feeling:)  Another thing I really contribute to PD is my confidence has increased so much.  Knowing I could do something and stick with it just amazes me.  Usually diets always made me feel like a failure because I could never stick with them but not PD! It has given me the confidence to do even more things in my life.  I don't know if that is weird to some people but when you are told you are stupid and can't do anything you tend to believe it.  You live that way because you begin to believe it.  When I say PD has changed my life I am meaning it and not just in my eating.  Julie is doing amazing things and trying to help so many people.  I am so blessed to be able to call her a friend!  I also appreciate my bff Denise because she has been such a great support! I don't know if I could of done it without her! She was supportive before she even started PD:) So glad we are doing PD together now:)

Julie started doing Live video lessons! Last night was a great class with lots of information to help me even go further in this journey! I am so glad she has started this now:) There is a small fee but worth it! I don't want to think about how much money I have spent on books and diet plans! Never again:) I found my lifestyle for the rest of my life:) I feel like if I can do it anybody can do it! So when I say PD has changed my life now you know how:)

Now I know what you are saying I can't do that! My family won't eat that.  Guess what my family does not do it either.  I had to plan ahead and make my meals for the week on Sundays.  As long as I do that I am good.  Even now I know how long certain foods take to cook so I may wait and cook something during the week.   I still cook for my family:) Last night I made meatloaf, potatoes, corn and mac and cheese.  I didn't touch any of it.  Also so many of the meals are cheap! You can make a huge crock pot of different kinds of beans and freeze them.  You can also do that with rice and other cheap things you can buy in bulk.  Most of the the stuff that is pricey you don't use a whole lot of anyway.  So it does not seem like you have this huge grocery bill.  I think the first time I went to the store probably was the only time I spent quite a bit.  I was trying to buy everything and a lot of  I am just saying it is very doable.  I committed to 30 days and it was a challenge.  There is so much food I said no to.  However when that 30 days was up it was not so bad so I continued.  60 days later I was like this is easy how am I still doing it.  Now we are at 6 months still in awe about it and wonder if its to good to be true.  However I have the labs, I am loosing weight and I have never felt better:) So no its not to good to be true, its just true:)