Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Why fitness and health are so important to me

I was reading back on all of my old posts and thought "My god, I was so sad...and so naive." So I decided it was time to leave all those memories in the past where they belong and I deleted a ton of old blog posts. It wasn't easy at first to cut off all that weight, some of those posts had happy parts in them. But I think it's all best forgotten and time to focus on what's in front of me.

A lot has happened since my last blog entry in May. At the time that I wrote it, I was really inspired to make the necessary changes in my life. But three days after I posted that, my great grandpa passed away and it wrecked me and my whole world. The loss of my grandpa tore through me like a knife. I forgot all of the goals I had set for myself and fell into such a sadness I didn't think I would come out.

But I have emerged because I know my grandpa wouldn't want me to get lost in my sadness. I'm now engaged and planning my wedding with the most incredible man I have ever known. It was hard for me to be excited when Tyler proposed just two weeks after my grandpa's passing. All I wanted was to tell my grandpa his first great grandchild was getting married. I couldn't wait to see his face when he first saw me in my wedding dress. I just wanted him to be there. Knowing he won't be makes me want to curl up into a ball and cry uncontrollably...but I won't because that's not what he would have wanted. He would have wanted my happiness. He would have wanted me to push through all of life's difficulties and emerge on top. Well I am trying just for you, grandpa. Since his passing, I have really kicked my health into high gear like I have so long talked about. I am doing my best to eat right and exercise every single day. My grandpa's death really got me thinking about my health, as did my uncle's passing and my grandma's battle with cancer.

So now I'll get down to what the title of this blog is really all about.

It has hit me pretty hard that we won't always have our health, and we damn well better use our bodies while we can. One day you won't be able to do the same things your body can do now so don't take it for granted. I get so sick and tired of hearing people say "life is too short to watch what I eat" or "exercise isn't for me." Your life is going to be a hell of a lot shorter if you don't start making healthier choices. Most of my family members possess really bad lifestyle habits that I have watched take place most of my life. Many of those habits have had incredibly negative effects on their health and have caused some of them to lose their lives prematurely. I don't want to get into vivid examples or call any of my family members out on this blog because I don't want to upset anyone. But I will say that had they made healthier decisions, such as not smoking, drinking, or just being more active...some of them may still be alive, and some of them would have a better life right now.

Basically what I am saying is your body is going to deteriorate on its own and there WILL come a time when you won't be able to do the things you can do now. You won't be able to run. Maybe you won't be able to breathe or hear as easily. DON'T speed up the process by smoking, drinking, eating foods that are terrible for you and sitting on your ass. Put down the sugary foods and drinks and get the hell up off your couch and GET MOVING. Go for a walk. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and drink water. You'll probably add years onto your life and chances are you won't have as many difficulties when you're up there in age if you just take care of yourself. We only get one shot at life, don't waste it.

With all that being said, I am so happy for change. I used to run from it and now I embrace it. It's time to keep the promises I have made to myself.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Back At It (...again)

By now I am done apologizing to my vacant blog for not writing more frequently or giving my excuses for why I haven't. Because, life, right?

Anyway it looks like I am back at it again.
Back at what?
Oh, you know. Back at writing and fitness.
Yeah we've heard that one before...famous last words.
I know, I know. But I'm really going to try this time!

Today I woke up and realized it was time to take my life back into my own hands. Wow I can't count how many times I have said those exact words. Seriously. Verbatim! This time they somehow feel powerful, though. We'll see anyway. As someone who is going to receive their bachelor of health in just a few short months, you would think I would lead a healthier lifestyle. WRONG. The extent of my "healthy" life is not drinking soda and cutting out meat completely. Woo freaking hoo. A lot of good that does me if I am sitting on my ass eating cookie dough all day, right? 

Really what's lit a fire under me is cancer.
The word we all loathe.
Let's just get that bad taste out of our mouths.

Cancer has rocked my world way too hard the past 7 or so months. As many of you know, my grandma was diagnosed with stage 1 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma October of 2013. It was a wild ride and a fierce battle but she kicked ass and is now in remission as of a few weeks ago.  The hardships of that were enough to last us awhile, but the universe just wasn't done with us. My uncle passed away of stage 4 lung cancer December 22nd. We had no idea until it was far too late. And hey if that wasn't enough for us, my great grandma passed away one month ago yesterday (non cancer related). And now we are facing another bout of cancer with my great grandpa, who is terminally ill with liver cancer and is bed ridden living his days out here at home with us. You know. This has been a lot to deal with. Most days I am just numb. But some days it completely and totally knocks the wind out of me and it takes awhile for me to pick myself up and shake it off. I'm done with cancer and all of its bullshit. That's why I want to take my life back. That's why it's time to get rid of sugar and processed foods and a moderately active lifestyle and kick it into full gear with whole and organic foods and a vigorously active lifestyle. 

I didn't even mean to write everything you may or may not have just read. But it's there and it feels good.

There are two parts to what I meant to write originally so here they are.

Part 1: Running
I decided last night/this morning that I wanted to try the Couch to 5k again. I gave it ago a couple years back and I quit like a coward. Running is tough for me. Really tough. I hate it with a passion. But guess what? I made it through day 1 and it wasn't as bad as I expected. Go me. Well there was those first couple laps where I realized hey I shouldn't eat before I run! Oops. 

It was hard alone. It would have been great to have someone beside me yelling at me so I could stay motivated. But I got through it with me, myself & I. I told myself there's no way it'll always be this crappy and that I'll make it to the end of this and be able to run longer than 60 seconds without wanting to fall out. I will get there. Keep me accountable, guys. ;)

Part 2: Yoga
I really have to stop being lazy and do my yoga every day because there are no words to express how much I have MISSED being on my mat. Nothing feels better. It wasn't the most wonderful session. I have to do yoga in the living room for now because my room is too small. So between my papa trying to shake my hand while I was in standing bow pose or the sizzles of bacon filling my ears in child's pose, it was hard to really get into it. But there were a couple moments where I felt it...that feeling of complete joy that I have only ever found in yoga. Don't let me quit guys.

I guess that's all for now. I really need to take a shower because all I can smell is myself and ewwwww. Keep an eye out. If I'm not getting with the fit, then yell at me. Call me a quitter. Do it. 


PS - I sucked so hard at 101 in 1001. So I'm making a new one. Don't know what the hell I am talking about? Ask me. You'll be glad you did. If you don't want to ask, just click the nice little link on the top of the page under the butterflies. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I Thought...

At 17 years old, I got my acceptance letter into Austin Peay State University. I went through a hundred different emotions and my brain immediately started developing expectations for college. For those of you who know me well, you know I am a planner. I have to plan everything. What I will eat for breakfast tomorrow morning; what outfit I will wear tomorrow and on that day six months from now; my monthly workout routine; what I'm getting everyone for Christmas next year; what papers go where in which binder; the list seriously goes on without an end. So it was easy for me to organize a new folder and store it away in my brain to be opened when I attended school in August of 2010. 

I was only 17 and I believed I had it all figured out. I was in a relationship with someone who I swore was "the one." I'd even already started picking out wedding colors without even having a ring on my finger. I had my major decided before my first day of classes: elementary education. I was going to join a sorority and make tons of friends who would be there the rest of my life. I knew that my four years of undergraduate college were going to be the best four years of my life. And guess how much of that I was right about?

None of it. 

I thought that I had it all figured out, but in fact my life was about to change in every single way. I quickly changed my major to radiologic technology. Then nursing. Then health care management. Then health. That boy I was so sure of marrying broke up with me over a text message my sophomore year after two years together. I definitely never joined a sorority and I definitely haven't made a hundred lifelong friends. Have these four years been the best of my life? Absolutely not. But do I regret where my journey has taken me so far? No way!

I thought and thought and thought so many things, and every time I thought I had it figured out, reality smacked me in the face with a new lesson. So what has really happened to my life and what have I really learned?

1.) Heartbreak is inevitable. Especially when you and the person you are with don't want the same things out of life and you are headed down different paths. It hurts and it sucks, but you owe it to yourself to be with someone who cherishes you and your life together.

2.) You probably don't really know what you want to do when your fresh into college. Explore a little before you decide on something to spend the rest of your life doing. You will probably surprise yourself.

3.) You don't need to make a thousand friends in college. Trust me when I say it's so much better to have those few who stick by your side rather than a hundred who don't really care about you. No offense.

4.) It's okay if you don't make straight A's. College isn't easy. Be proud of the fact that you made it this far and keep trucking along. One C or even an F isn't going to kill you and you WILL make it to the end. 

5.) These 4 years won't be your best. They will be hard, stressful, and cause you a few too many headaches. There are many more years to come and they will be so much better. 

You can take or leave these things. Really, they are more for me than anyone. I had my heart broken and thought I would never recover. But guess what? I did and I am stronger and wiser. I never expected to be a health major, but I am so happy with where I am at now. I have made VERY few friends, but the ones I do have rock my socks off. 

I am about to start up my last semester and it's the first I have been this excited about. I never really thought I would make it, but I am making it. I am ready to start a new chapter in my life! Just a little encouragement to those who want to quit: don't. It's always darkest before the dawn.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Where Have I been?

Surprise, surprise...I went months without a blog post - again. What's a girl to do? My lack of motivation the past six months has been appalling. And when I say appalling I mean it in the most true and raw form that you could fathom. It's ridiculous, really, and I am beyond ready to get back on track and tidy up my mess of a life. I guess sometimes everything falls apart so you can pick up all of the pieces and put them where they actually belong, rather than having a puzzle that looks like a 2 year old put it together. Does that make sense? Well anyway I think that's what is going on. I was in such a rush to put my life together that I wasn't paying close enough attention to what pieces actually fit together and which pieces didn't go where, or didn't go in my puzzle at all. It took a few things causing my puzzle to fall apart for me to realize this, and now I am on the journey of figuring how everything is actually supposed to fit.

If none of this makes sense, here are some specifics:
-I haven't been in the Word since before spring break. Yikes. That right there is reason enough why my world has become chaotic. I still pray and I still try to have a solid relationship with The Lord, but let's be honest, am I really trying that hard if I'm not even studying His Word?
-I haven't been in a gym since before spring break. And because of that I have also stopped eating healthy. Welcome back, achy bones and muscles. Welcome back, iron deficiency anemia. Welcome back, lethargy and fatigue. I feel like crap 24/7! Seriously I don't remember the last day where I felt good all day long. Yuck.

And honestly those two things are affecting my life in some intensely negative ways. It's crazy how much more motivated I feel when I'm closer to The Lord and in the gym. (What's crazier is this wasn't the direction my blog was supposed to go at all...crazy how God chooses to speak to you through your talents sometimes).

Well guess what? I refuse to accept defeat! I refuse to sit on my booty any longer! I refuse to be the pathetic excuse of a person that I am becoming. Honestly I am nothing without my Savior and I feel it weighing in on my heart and my character more every day. But at the same time that I am sad for what has become of my life the last six months, I am also so beyond grateful. This might be the biggest trial and season of dryness I have every experienced but I can't tell you how much it has grown me and is continuing to grow me.

I have a plan of action. And that came with plenty of realizations. You might not be interested in this next bit, it's more or less for me more than anyone else, but of course I am going to include it anyway.

*Realization number 1: I was so into the gym and being fit because that's what my ex wanted me to want. I don't care about gaining tons of pounds of muscles. I don't care about lifting more than any other girl in the gym. I don't care about my thigh muscles protruding. That's what he cared about. And naturally after our relationship ended last year, so did my desire to be in the gym as much as before. Don't get me wrong I LOVE working out, I LOVE being fit. And more than anything I love how much better my body feels when I am in that gym. But the level that I was at wasn't really where I cared to be. The style of workouts wasn't really that appealing to me. But within the past few weeks I've discovered what is best for me in terms of fitness and what my body responds positively to. And that is yoga! I have been so obsessed lately with learning all that I can about it and practicing it as much as I can! It's so relaxing and refreshing and I like it ten thousand times better than any other form of fitness I have tried. I am in every way shape and form a beginner but very enthusiastic and learning and practicing yoga.
**Plan of action: Take lots of yoga classes! I have already figured out when they are during the week in my gym and have fitted them into my schedule. I couldn't be more excited about it. I've been looking up different types of yoga mats and everything. I definitely want to have my own. I am still going to be lifting weights and doing cardio, just not the way I was before.

*Realization number 2: You can't walk alone as a Christian. Especially when you are lazy. This summer has been so dry and that's because I haven't had anyone to walk with and study with. I'm sure if I would have put forth more of an effort I would have...but that's where that lazy word comes in. There have been plenty of times that I have wanted to crack open my Bible and get to it. But I didn't. Why? I was too busy lazying around. No more of that. And I 100% believe that taking better care of my body and getting healthy again will change this. I fully believe a lot of my mood change and desire change has to do with what's going on with my body internally.
**Plan of action: Obviously, eat better and get fit to change my mindset. But furthermore, I need to push forward and into Christ. I will get nowhere if His heart is not my number 1 desire. I have set aside Jesus time every day in my school schedule and I have a big list of things I want to dig into with Him. And I have text some of my favorite ladies and planned some girly Bible study Jesus time that I am SO looking forward to! No more slacking off. I can't afford to be lazy when it comes to my relationship with Him.

Yeah. So that's that for now. I am about to start my senior year of college, and I want to start it off right. I don't want to let myself down again. So pray for me, and keep me accountable. I need all of the support that I can get.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Birth and Death

My study in Ecclesiastes 3 continues.

Verse 2 says "a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,..."

I am going to divide this verse into two parts, it should be easy to tell where.

Part 1: "a time to be born and a time to die"
This is amazing. At first glance, the meaning behind this part of the verse seems simple. Every is born, and everyone dies - simple enough right? But it goes a bit deeper than that the more you study it.

Ephesians 2:1 "As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins."

In a Christian's walk, death comes before life. I was dead, buried in sin. I was separate from Christ because I was tainted by sin and it's filth. Without Christ, are we even really alive? No. Being born comes after death. Turning from living a life of sin to a relationship with Christ is where our life begins. Without Christ, your life is worth nothing. There comes a time when you die to your sin and you are BORN AGAIN in Christ. I know that for me personally, before I came to know Christ I walked around this earth thinking that I had all that I ever needed, but still feeling that there was something more to be had, something I wasn't seeing, some part of me missing entirely. When I was saved and started my relationship with Jesus, I felt more alive than ever! And I continue to feel more alive every day that I spend with Him.

Part 2: "a time to plant and a time to uproot" - NIV
"a right time to plant and another to reap" -The MSG

This is a constant for every Christian's walk, and one that we should all be able to grasp fairly easily. God is constantly pruning and chiseling us. There are seasons where God has to uproot things from our lives, and there are seasons where He wants to plant in your life, sow into your soul. Right now in my own walk, God is both doing some uprooting and some planting.

He's uprooting:
...These things are going to take time, and full surrender to Jesus.

He's planting:
-full desire for Him!

And this is just the beginning. He has so much He wants to do with each and every one of us, if we will just allow Him to do so! What are you holding onto that is holding you back from Christ? Take it to the cross. God has to uproot some things in order to plant something else. And trust me, what He wants to plant is more beautiful than you could even imagine right now. Put your trust into the One who knows you more than you even know yourself.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

God's Timing Is Perfect

The past few days, I have not been able to move from Ecclesiastes 3. If you haven't read it, I highly encourage you to do so. It is incredible and literally takes my breath away every time I read it. This chapter was one that a friend of mine recommended I read and study during my time of singleness. I had it written down to read, but I really wanted to start off with a different verse for this season: Isaiah 54:5. I wanted to really wrap my head around the fact that God is my husband, but He kept pulling me straight to Ecclesiastes and He isn't allowing me steer away from it, which is okay with me.

For those that know me, they know that I am an impatient person. I hate waiting around and I want everything NOW. God is breaking me of this, teaching me about His good and perfect timing. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says "He has made everything beautiful in its time." I have been ALL ABOUT this verse; it's even the lock screen on my iPhone. I have been focusing on those words "in its time." Only God knows when the right time for something is. Even if we think we know what's best for us, or we think that what we want right now is what's best, only He holds that knowledge. For instance my thought process is usually "I need my husband. Right now. I know that now is perfect and we could have a great solid relationship if only God would make him show up!" But God knows that now is NOT the time for my husband to enter into my life. He has much to show me, much to teach me, much to break me from. After I did a little bit of wrapping my head around this verse, God told me He still wasn't done showing me that His timing is perfect, and there was still more He wants me to see. So I decided to study Ecc. 3 verse by verse.

VS 1: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.

Everything in this world has a time. Time is easily one of the most talked about things in our world. When? What time? What day? How long? Questions such as these are asked everywhere, by everyone, daily. It can be hard to let Jesus have everything when we as humans want to know the "when." But everything DOES have its time - and only God knows how long a season will last. The only way to have peace with this is to have patience. Like I said before, this is something that does not come easy to me.

            Psalm 40:1 "I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned and heard my cry."

In this verse, the word waited really stands out. Waiting is so hard. But by waiting, having patience, and putting all of your trust in the Lord, not only will He bless you but you will see FRUIT! When you feel like you can no longer be patient, when you feel like you are having trouble understanding His will, when all you want to do is cry out and scream, rest in the Almighty One. He wants you to cry out to Him.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Follow My Other Blog

Hey guys! I would really, really love and appreciate it if you would go follow my new blog. I am still keeping this one, but this new blog is about a particular subject. Go check it out! http://producingfruitsofthespirit.blogspot.com/