Father’s Day

To all the Father’s, Dad’s, Daddy’s, Dada’s, Single Mother’s, Grandparents or other family members filling in that position, I hope that your day has been filled with blessings and you’ve been abounded with joy, laughter, and love.

But not everyone looks at this holiday, or day of recognition, as one of happiness and love. Not everyone has a family who could wish them a Happy Father’s Day or be able to spend the day with them. I took this into consideration on my walk this morning.

Something I’ve been trying to do in helping with the added weight from the prescriptions, is by really keeping active and doing at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. In the past two weeks, yesterday, I have lost 4.1 pounds. I still have at least another 15 to reach my goal, but I’m really more concerned with toning up, eating healthy and frequently, drinking plenty of water, and liking what I see in the mirror or how my clothes are fitting, rather than any numbers showing on the scale.

So on this walk, any male who I happened to pass by, or who had driven by, or whatever, I wished a Happy Father’s Day to them. All said thank you, except the one who may not have heard me as well. The last two really stood out in my mind.

Second to last man was walking to his vehicle. I wished him the Happy Father’s Day, and the way he responded sort of through me for a bit. He asked how I knew he was a father. At this time I told him that I truly didn’t know, but I wasn’t going to take the chance of him being one, but perhaps doesn’t have anyone to say it to him, or to spend with. That one never knows what anyone else is really going through, and so I just wanted him to know that someone was thinking about him.

The amount of gratitude and generosity in his thanks was humbling to me. He said it meant a lot to him, and I was so blessed to be able to do that for someone…A complete stranger in fact. I wished him a blessed and joyous remainder of his day and we waved good-bye and I continued on the remainder of my walk.

The next and last gentleman I spoke with was right around the corner. I wished him his Happy Father’s Day, and again, I was thanked generously. We spoke briefly about how beautiful a day it was out, and after a short bit, he thanked me for taking the time to converse with him.

I truly wasn’t doing anything grandiose or anything. I was taking my walk to better my health and mood (because exercise gives off endorphins which makes happiness), and was so blessed just by doing for some that I would want for others, myself included.

What is one simple act of kindness, such as pushing past your comfort zone of agoraphobia, you can do for others? That simple act can seriously multiply blessings not just to yourself and the ones you’re doing the kindness to, but it’s very possible it will point them in the direction to pay it forward.

Be blessed and joyous knowing you are loved beyond any condition.

~J

Week-long Rollercoaster Ride

Some people absolutely love roller coasters. It’s the adrenaline, the speed, loops, twists and turns, causing your body to experience more than just the mental. For example, the feeling of your stomach doing all types of weird things to both nauseate and cause anxiety all at the same time. Or, your size could be just at the minimum to be able to ride, and on those drops and turns, it feels, even with the latching bar, that it’s not as close to you as you feel it should be, and so it feels as though you’re going to fall out at any second, plummeting to your death…

Okay, so it’s not that bad, though I have often envisioned when riding the Cyclone that very thing happening. Though amusement parks are a huge deal to most, I’m not big on the large crowds of people and the lengthy lines, not to mention the obscene costs! It’s just a very stressful situation for me and takes days for me to recover.

My kids though love amusement parks. It’s a trait they definitely received from their father. I like to go for the exercising, but I can really do without the crowds and lines, and could definitely deal with cleaner restrooms (I do admit it would probably require an individual for each bathroom to be certain it remains clean), and more shady areas to sit. Because let’s face it, heat is no friend to MS, and humidity is no friend to my lesions.

I’m more for the outdoors. Especially trails or anything really near woods/forestry, lakes, or whatever. I’m more about peacefulness, calmness, and a oneness with Him and all He has created, the beauty of it all.

This week has been a rollercoaster. It’s been all over the place, and I have literally felt every up, down, twist, turn, and loopty-loop. I have felt every possible emotion, I’ve felt it in every fiber and neuron in my being. Then I think it’s Friday, great! The weekend will be chill, I can rest up and then on Monday start fresh.

But then I remember, not only do I have no income, steady or otherwise, to look forward, but summer vacation for the children begins. The first really affects the second, a bit, but it could be worse. The latter could happen with no money, as long as I have the ability to drive… So even through the weekend I will have many things weighing on my mind and will carry over until I have learned the lesson He is working to educate me on.

As I sit and type, I take breaks after every couple of thoughts to continue on reflection of the past week and why it was the way it was. And then I’m sure everyone has felt that moment of ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! when something you’ve been searching for is right there in front of you?

Yes. I had that moment.

Distractions. Searching for earthly approval, desires and stresses.

Yeah, productivity has been fairly good, but not in the right areas of my life.

At least some are in the right areas, but there could definitely be more, such as Him better along with my time spent getting to known nutrition and fitness.

And I could put a lot more love into anything I do and a lot less me.

~J

Customer Service, please…

I was able to skype with one of my dear friends from high school this morning. She and I haven’t really spoken, at least not to any real length, since perhaps sophomore or junior years. We were pretty close because we could truly empathize with the other and all the traumatic events we’d endured up to that point, and even now, I’m very certain that we still don’t know everything that happened up to then.

She truly is a blessing to me. She is also a blogger, but is also a 3 book published author and someone whom I highly recommend you reading, whereas I have had two poems published in my life. She and I have both overcome some pretty heavy obstacles. Despite our upbringing’s, we both have graduated both high school and have college degrees.

sillycsrfaceDuring our chat today, we were discussing our blogs and different little things regarding them. The topic of the reason behind our blogging came up and I had to think of my original goal. I have been known to put on a “customer service” face. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the kind where your face is with smiles and a pleasant voice and demeanor regardless of what you’re thinking or feeling on the inside.

HELPMy goal of this blog was so I didn’t have to live behind that face any longer. I wanted to be able to help people have a better understanding of how someone with diseases such as mine deals with the symptoms and how they affect the different aspects of my life.

I was tired of the pretending. I was tired of always giving the generic yet positive responses when asked how I was. I was tired of the amount of energy consumed in the act of writhing in pain, while trying to keep the pain from as deep as my eyes, and continuing to be Ms Customer Service.

Speaking of tired…

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overcomespiritwarBeing Type A personality, I’m frustrated with my inconsistency in posting. Depending on what’s going on in the household, the kids and preparation of summer vacation, dealing with government organizations, taking steps to move forward with legal counsel, complete and utter exhaustion – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual – the devil continues to try to tear me down. Meanwhile, I’m working to remain steadfast in the faith He will come through and bless me when it is time.

momselfieFor the most part though, I feel as though overall, I’ve stayed with my goal. I do talk about other things that get me thinking. I would love to talk about my children, but since once something is out in cyberspace there’s no getting it back, I need to get their permissions and then if there are any limitations or exceptions to what can be posted or discussed. I will at the very least introduce them to you in the future by way of brief descriptions about them.

Until then though, I haven’t spent much of my awake time today being physically productive. I did spend a couple of hours online catching up on and rewatching previous weeks sermons from church. It was so wonderful and necessary too, because honestly, lately, I truly feel as though I’m lacking spiritually. There have been more times than not when I’m not feeling very Christ-like at all.

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After I was filled with His love for me, I was able to have the amazing Skype call I mentioned in the intro. Talk about fueling both your emotional and spiritual tanks! I wrote an update email to the Attorney. Surprisingly enough, I only then had to use the facilities as I joke often about having a squirrel sized bladder causing me to need to go more regularly than the average person. I also have been taking in approximately 96-120 oz of water daily.

washhairSince I was there and had a good amount of energy, which isn’t always the case, I figured I may as well hop in the shower. Because it was shampoo and shave day, I need a bit more energy than usual due to the added time it takes to wash my hair. And when I say added time, I mean it literally can take up to 10 minutes to do a good cleaning and conditioning on my hair since it’s waist length with long layers. I only wash it a couple days a week at most since it’s a healthier option for both my hair and my skull. (Perhaps I will go into more detail about my hair care in another blog post. Stay tuned.) 🙂

After getting dressed and the remainder of my personal hygeine routine completed, I set up my little nook on the front enclosed porch. Laptop, phone, water and mouse all set up, I went to take care of some of the random chores and tidying up around the house, found a box of summer and workout clothes (which I’ve been looking for some time for), and then decided I would blog today, so here we are now.

It has been a very productive day. Some boxes from storage were sorted through, dining room was changed around a bit, cleaning, tidying up the recycling area on the porch, and almost expending as many calories through all of that as my entire daily intake, is all, really quite truly impressive.

But now I’m exhausted and must go to bed.

Be well and embrace His grace.

~J

 

Beyond the Excuses to Results

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Ugh. Excuses. Everyone has them, though not all use them.

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Those lovely little statements, excuses, are used like the “Get out of Jail Free” cards from Monopoly. It’s as though we have become a society that is fearful of confrontation and telling a person, or persons, what they want to hear because of that fear. Then, later, they think about it, regret the decision, and then hand out the excuse of why they are unable to do whatever.

Junk-food-vs-healthy-food It’s especially true with nutrition and fitness. In the past year I have used many excuses. Some of the excuses were:

  • I have a head injury.
  • I have zero energy today.
  • It’s laundry day.
  • Too many appointments.
  • Early and late day.
  • Sore muscles/body aches.
  • Only poor food choices available.

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So those wonderful excuses caused me to not just make some of them worse, but I was gaining additional weight…seriously. This was beyond maddening! I was at my lowest in 2013-2014 at 102 pounds and have since gained not only 20 pounds after surgery last year, but being on the prescriptions and being at home, and feeling sorry for myself, I gained an additional 20 pounds.

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This put me back at my original, before Herbalife, weight, though thankfully, still able to fit in a size 6, though pants/jeans are a bit more tight than they were previously, but being at home I could get away with wearing my pajamas all day. Even after showering, I would either put on new jammies or leggings. On the rare nice day out where I had clean shaven legs, I have been fortunate enough to have many skirts, which thankfully have been able to accomodate my waistline without having elastic in the skirts.

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About 3 weeks ago now, I think, I decided I was done with those wonderful excuses. The only way I was going to begin feeling better, despite the medications, was by at least beginning. I only had to take the first steps. Thinking about it wasn’t enough. I had to seriously and truly want it.

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So I made a plan. My plan was to take a look at both my nutrition and fitness and see where I could improve in those areas.

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So, I began by paying better attention to my caloric intake while also adding simple movements. I began taking in more protein and less carbs. 3-4 days a week I was increasing those simple movements to actual cardio and self-weight exercises in the form of different types of squats, stairs, leg lifts, planks, and different crunch modifications.

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And I’m noticing a difference, as are others. Inches are disappearing, though, I, of course, had forgotten to take measurements at the start of this new journey. Which is a shame, because I’m actually beginning to see the starts of my old abs.

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Truly, I had to get out of my own head and have some one on one time with my Heavenly Father to ask Him for strength. I had become too accustomed to all the tasty, quick, yet unhealthy foods and snacks and needed to detox from all of the junk. Detoxing from certain food substances is harder than one may think.

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The amount of healthy foods, that are also tasty and can be found right at your local farmer’s market, to help with detoxing is amazing. It’s helpful to be able to know which things are best to take to detox which body part, but also to see there are some things which help with different parts.

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I have been getting help though, not just from God. I am also using MyFitnessPal and have it linked up with my mapmyfitness. This has been a help to me, especially with the different challenges they offer to keep me motivated. The pic above is of the mapmyfitness app, which, as you can see, is pretty cool with what it offers.

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I actually would really love to have one of those smart watches which also record vitals, # of steps, calories burned, etc. I don’t always have my phone on me, so to use it as a pedometer would be difficult, along with it being a battery vampire. I have looked at some of them, and it amazes me the amount of different functions they can do! The way I look at it, the more it can do, the more which can be broken.

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In the meantime though, it’s a matter of being consistent with what I am doing and slowly, but continuously, adding more reps, sets, and weights. By finding new and different recipes or meal plans to keep my nutrition on track. Had I not taken the first, scary, step after the initial decision to change the way things were, I wouldn’t have my current results of the past 3 weeks equating to approx 1lb per week. My goal is 1-1.5 lbs per week, so I’m fairly close to on target. 😀

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My goal this time around is to really detox my body of the things I crave but aren’t good for it.

It has been difficult at times to remain motivated to exercise, but again, already seeing the small results I have, is motivation enough to keep going. Sometimes my health kicks me down, and there are times when I’d love to just roll over and say I’ll get to it later, knowing later doesn’t usually come.

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I’d like to share with you, my reader, some of the exercises I have been able to do with little pain and/or difficulty, but with maximum results. Again. I don’t do just the exercise alone. I believe getting fit begins in the kitchen with key nutrition. Doing one without the other may work, but the results won’t be received as quickly as one would like.

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You are so special and so loved! I want you to know, understand, and believe this. Once you realize who you are in Christ, you have a newfound love and acceptance of yourself. Not just the you the world sees, but the you He sees.

I truly hope to hear from you and where you’re at on your journey. I’d like to share in your struggles and accomplishments, no matter how big or small. I believe in you! I believe in all you can accomplish and all you can overcome.

You’re Loved.

~J

 

Individuality, Anxiety, Reality

Some friends came over recently. Friends I hadn’t seen in quite some time, so it was nice to see them and how well they’re doing. We had many laughs and it was a good time. But do you ever get the feeling sometimes people have anything to do with you more out of convenience for them, rather than one of mutual benefit? That feeling began to overtake me some time after their arrival, and I tried to shake it off, but it continued to come back regularly through the night.

Perhaps it’s just my newly diagnosed anxiety, but I don’t think so. We have an instinctual feeling of fight or flight when we get into situations that cause us distress, and this instinct sometimes means as it’s called. Other times, instead of fighting or fleeing, we take to withdrawing within ourselves and hope and pray we won’t stay hidden so long we lose our way.

I find the withdrawing can sometimes lead to a very peaceful and relaxing state of being. One where I don’t worry about what others think of me, or how I look, speak, act, or behave. This state of being is so amazing, so calm, so quiet.

This allows me time. Time to be with Him. To be in the knowledge He created me in His image and the only opinions or thoughts of me I should allow to bother me are His. How He views me is the only thing which should concern me.

But when reality is the only option, and you can hear the whisperings, the glances, the giggles, it hurts. What’s even more sad is knowing it shouldn’t matter if those whispers, glances, or giggles are about me. Truly the only human opinion of oneself should be their own.

It’s unfortunate though, most have such low opinions of themselves because they don’t recognize who they are in God’s eyes; mostly because they hadn’t been shown at all, if ever.

There is so much out in the material world that continues to tell us we’re not enough. We’re not intelligent enough, not tall enough, short enough, gorgeous enough, thin enough, strong enough, witty enough…there are just too many adjectives out there society is telling us we’re not enough of.

But Christ. He tells us we’re more than enough. We’re more than we could begin to imagine. More than what meets the eye. We are Him. Deep within, He has planted a bit of Himself to give us traits of Him that are perfect for us and are all part of our path in life.

We each experience different things in life because we are all unique. Because we needed those experiences to mold us into who we are, how we will be able to help others, and to prepare us for the future. We have zero right to judge others in any way. Because of our individuality and the uniqueness of our lives, we can only imagine what others are going through.

But even then, what are the chances we’re even close to being partly correct?

~J

Be Kind to All – you never know who is in the midst of a battle.

 

The little things

I truly love days like today. The humidity is down, the temps are comfortable, and there’s nice breezes that pass through the windows on the 3 season porch, which is where I’m sitting and just being in the remaining minutes of the day.

I had a doctor’s appointment again this morning, though this time was about this horrible cough I’ve had for quite some time. I think since around the time of the first prescriptions I was put on recently. I was sent down for a chest x-ray. It may sound odd or whatever, but I actually am hoping they find something, anything, this way some of the horrible can be explained and dealt with according.

Oddly enough, this all hit me when I was at the pharmacy picking up 2 more scripts. I need to start saving all of my medical-related receipts. Thankfully, as far as I can remember, I have been keeping them all in a general area.

God continues to bless me by allowing me the privilege of waking up each day. Though I have my aches, pains, and feelings of frustration from all I’m going through or have, I continue to be blessed by Him. He continues to love me regardless of me. Unconditionally.

And it’s a beautiful day. I can see the soft blues of the sky, fluffy clouds in whites, and even the random dark grey. Birds are chirping while playing and looking for something to snack on. School for the children is almost done for the day, and it’s been so beautiful out, combined with the medications and new doses, I was fortunate enough to fall into a state of napping in front of my laptop out on the front porch. 🙂 There was more than one nap though, which was interesting and I’m praying I didn’t nap in such unique positions which would cause me further pain.

Have you taken a moment in your most recent past, or even right now, where you just stop and be? Watch thethings happening around you. Listen to all the different sounds and even try to locate them, especially the beautiful songs of the birds. Watch as the leaves on trees sway to and fro as they’re being gently rustled by a very faint breeze.

Truly I feel, even being in a busy area, by taking just a few minutes each day to be and enjoy God’s art He created, one can truly feel begin to feel His presence and His greatness. There is so much beauty and greatness out there; just having the realization the extra special care He used when He was designing and creating us still just baffles me. Because He didn’t need to. He knew everything that was going, and has yet, to happen. He knew each time we would sin and how much it would hurt Him, yet, He still loved us so much, He continued to work on us through completion.

The unconditional love and grace He shows us; to try to imagine just how much is unfathomable. And of course, that brings up how Great and Magnificent He is which can sometimes cause us to view Him as this amazing power that is nowhere close to reach. This is the absolute furthest from the truth.

Just the mere fact of how amazing of a power He is and how He still individually breathed life into us along with offering His only Son to take OUR sins upon Himself, even those not yet committed, should help us to grasp how much He loves us.

He has given me strength to refrain from nearly all unhealthy food temptations, which is a HUGE Blessing since the prescriptions have weight gain as a side effect for most of them. 😦

I had decided a short bit ago I was tired of being tired and the effect the added weight has had on me. Little by little, I began to pay attention to my daily habits. I wasn’t drinking water as much as I needed to be, I certainly wasn’t putting healthy nutrition in my body most of the days, and had become very sedentary.

Today was my first of the longer of my short-term goals in getting active/out. I wanted to walk a bit further, actually, since I had begun to feel better, just was still dizzy and mapmyfitness app was almost not going to be able to give me a complete and proper workout reading since my battery life was on 4%. Yes, I know…but it was one of those spur of the moment things and closer to the end of the night so there was no reason (or so I thought) to charge my phone before bed.

I am drinking more water, and my nutrition has gotten much better. I have slowly worked more activity into my day to help me feel better faster. I’ve been doing mini-spurts of exercise, so while it may not seem like a lot individually, the overall has been working.

This change though, came when I chose to put God as my priority again. Am I the definition of a perfect Christian? Most definitely not. But I am always a work in progress in each and everything I do, and I will always push for my best to be given in whatever I can.

We all stumble along the way. Sometimes we get to where we feel we don’t deserve His love or forgiveness. Or perhaps we feel our sins are far too great for anyone to forgive. One of the beautiful things about Christ is He isn’t just anyone. He is Someone. Someone who loved us so much He took our sins as His, even though He was sinless, and He gave up His life so we could have eternal life with Him when The Time has Come.

Have comfort knowing that each and every little thing about you He used by careful selection in your creation, and He did so because He has plans for you.

Ask Him to help you find your way, the one He uniquely designed you for, and then follow the plan He made for you. Once that’s done, He will move mountains to help you to achieve your absolute greatest. Have faith and then believe it to be true.

You are loved beyond words can express.

~J