Abundantly Living

I don't know weather it was out of boredom or avoidance of chores but, I went back and read my first post of this blog. I can't believe how much things have changed since I started this thing. I feel a million miles away from the girl in that post.
It's amazing how much a person can change when you put your mind to it. I feel stronger now, both mentally and physically. This road has not been easy and parts have been very dark with pain and set backs. I am surrounded by love from family and friends but most of all, from a Heavenly Father who has unconditional love for his children.

Life is full of ups and downs, detours and short cuts, that's for sure! Each of these has a special place in God's plan for every one of us. Some do not make sense at all, some are self-inflicted and yet, they all seem to come together and make us a better person for it. Every blessing, every hardship brings opportunities for growth. It's how we choose to deal with these that determines our character. 

What will we do when faced with challenges? I'm learning, at 38 years of age, to face them head on. I'd prefer to stick my head in the sand--actually, I'd prefer to curl up with a good book until the challenge is taken over by someone else; however, that's not realistic. Life is all about challenges. From these challenges we are given the chance to prove something to ourselves. To prove that we can use the brain God gave us to make wise decisions and learn from our mistakes. 

I seem to be in a constant state of learning. Learning when to keep my mouth shut and when to speak. Learning when to push forward instead of sliding backwards. Learning to accept myself regardless of what the world wants me to be. Learning to see who I really am in God's eyes. Learning to change and grow. Learning to love unconditionally. 

One thing is for sure, I will never stop learning.

You know what's crazy? I think trying to loose weight is one of the hardest things I've ever done. It challenges me on so many levels. It can be quite exhausting. 

Mentally, I am learning to change the way I view food. My husband LIVES to eat. On vacations, our days are centered around meals. Don't get me wrong, I love to eat too, but can easily exist on PB&J for days at a time. Being married to someone who loves to eat out and try new restaurants can be very hard if you struggle with your weight. Shannon plays a lot of high powered tennis so he easily burns the calories, however, I am not so lucky. After the prednisone, just looking at a single french fry can cause my hips to expand. Now, I look at that fry for what it is--nothing but grease and fat. Yes, it still tastes amazing but it's not worth the work it will take to consume a serving. Will I still eat fries? Yes, on occasion in very limited amounts. Will I order them with my meals? No, absolutely not. I will settle for stealing the occasional fry from my kids. I'm realizing the power I gave food. No more--I'm taking it back!

Food can be so many things to us. Especially if you grew up in the south. We tend to view food as comfort. It's also a reason to socialize. "Let's have dinner" or "do lunch" are the excuses we use to get together. I still love to do both of these and it is a very convenient way to spend time with people. I'm just changing what I eat during these events. I love to celebrate things-anything really. Oh, the sun is shining, let's celebrate with ice cream!! It's Thursday, wooo hoooo, let's order pizza and drink beer! Now, I am learning to celebrate with healthier choices and prioritizing physical activity. Ice cream, pizza and beer are still allowed in certain amounts, I just know, that I have to do something to counter act them.

This brings me to the physical changes I'm incorporating. Exercise is necessary. Not only to help knock off the extra calories I may consume but, for my sanity too. I feel so much better when I work out. It releases the chemicals in my body to keep me healthy. I feel better, look better, think clearer and like myself more. I feel productive. Exercise gives me energy now. I used to be worn out, needing a nap as soon as I got home from the gym; but now, my body has adjusted. It craves the physical challenge and I am enjoying the release exercise brings.  I try to hit the gym at least 3-4 times a week. If I don't, I notice. It keeps me positive, moving forward. That's what I want. I don't want to waste a single day God has given me.

I'm changing for the better. I'm learning to apply excellence to my daily life. Not for anyone else really, just for me. If I strive to do my best no matter what it is, it will be hard to have regrets. Living life abundantly and fully means giving it your all. By doing this, I'm not the only one who benefits--my family does too. You have to take care of yourself if you want to care for others. I've discovered if you let yourself go, it's much harder to pour into others. I need to fill myself up so that I can do my job as a wife and mother. This requires staying healthy. If I'm not feeding myself with the Word of God, eating the right foods or exercising my body, not only will I suffer but, so will my family.

An encouraging note: After 3 full days on the The Weight Loss Zone program, I feel amazing! And, to top it off, I even lost some weight, not much-almost a pound. However, I can tell a BIG difference in the way my pants fit! I, honestly, do not care what the scale reads as long as my body shape changes and my clothes feel good. I dare say--it won't be long before I'll need a smaller pants size!


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