a year gone & a new year for living with passion

Today makes exactly one year since I started this blog and my Resurrecting journey. It has been a year of many ups and downs, victories and defeats. I have learned a lot about myself and my resolve. I had no idea up until this last year how I actually ticked and functioned.

In one year I have lost 10% of my body weight (22 lbs to date), and though I haven’t gone to the doctor yet, I’m pretty sure I have brought down my cholesterol. I have learned how strong I really am, how scared I am and how much further I still have to go.

Since my birthday, back in June, I have fallen off the health and fitness wagon. I have been struggling to get back on. I have two weddings coming up and I cannot show up looking a hot mess. I want to look hot! hehehehe

Other than continuing my weight loss journey, I had to remind myself of all the reasons I started this blog in the first place. Originally, yes, I began this blog because I was fat and tired and tired of being fat and tired. (Read here) However, as I read back on my earlier blogs I realized that being fat wasn’t my only problem. I was very unhappy with my life in general. My health was a mess. My spiritual/Christian life was a mess. I had no dreams or vision, and I was drowning.

Though my weight has changed, not much of anything else really has. It has been a constant pull and push on all the other areas. Two steps forward, one step back kind of deals. That has been very frustrating. Though a year has gone by (and it’s been a good year), I must continue in a frame of thought that this “resurrecting” process is for life. I have not been able to make a steady life change on eating healthier and being more active. I have not made a steady life change toward prayer and devotion (personal Bible study). I’m still treading water, and it’s exhausting.

The last couple of weeks have a been a little stressful for me. Things at worked seemed a little unsure. As I said, my health and fitness took a major snooze. I began to become overwhelmed with a feeling of emptiness. I was unhappy. I had no vision or dream. I began to pray out of desperation and embarrassment. I need a dream, a vision. I need structure and clarity. I want to thrive not just survive. So, I am in the midst of devising a new strategy for my new year.

I know enough now what I should be eating and how I should be working out. I have to stop making excuses and put in the work. I know I need order and schedules and plans. So I need to make them to follow through. The same goes with prayer and devotion to God. It doesn’t just happen. And I have been fooling myself waiting around for the clouds to open… This new year is about learning to focus and surrender. I love my comfort zones, and I love to sleep and laze my day away. Yet I panic when I feel like there is no time to do things I know are important.

I wrote out what I do on a weekly basis,  a 168 hour week. In 168 hours I found a least 20 hours that weren’t ear marked for anything. Though there should be time for rest/leisure, these hours were just being wasted. I was really shocked. My excuse of “no time” fell flat. So, how to fill the time?

I love, loooove to sleep. Sleeping is a god to me. It’s a harsh reality I had to confront. I always say there’s no time to pray or read my Bible in silence. How about I wake up 45 minutes earlier and do this? But Sleep…sweet wonderful Sleep? This can’t be any longer. I actually sleep way too much any way. Waking up 45 minutes to an hour earlier wont kill me. (Or will it?)

I fell off the fitness train, and again I say “there is no time”. I found 1 whole hour almost every day where I wasn’t doing anything in particular. Gym time found. Next excuse…

I need to learn that time real does not wait for anyone. You either use the time, or you lose it. Forever. Time is something you never get back, and that may cause some of our biggest regrets. I want to use my time wisely to grow, to live better and to accomplish my dreams. This past year was about getting my self-esteem back. This new year is going to be about living with passion.

turning my health journey into a spiritual journey (my battle with extremes)

**Just a little notice. This blog is long, and is preachy. So if it’s not your cup of tea, I wont be offended if you don’t read.**

Living a healthy life style is admirable. Losing weight can be inspirational. A journey of huge weight loss proportions is epic! It can be epic, and a little obsessive. I don’t know about you, but I struggle with extremes. Some thing becomes a super priority, and then everything else just falls by the wayside. I really don’t like that about myself. I know that it annoys the hell out of my husband. I just can’t help it! Or can I? …No, really. Can I?

I started this blog, not just because I was a miserable fat person, but because I was a person who struggled (and obviously still does) with extremes. I couldn’t just eat 1 cheese burger. I had to have 2 double cheeses burgers. It wasn’t enough that my body was telling me, “Stop eating you’re stuffed!” I was going to finish everything on plate, like it was my last meal. However, I wasn’t just dealing with food issues, I was dealing with spiritual issues too.

I am a born again Christian. I grew up in church, and when I was 11 years old, I got saved at a Vacation Bible School. I sang in church from age 11 till about 2 years ago. I was involved in youth group and the worship team. I love my church life, friends and family. I love God. That is a big part of who I am. Some where down the line though, I just stopped caring. I lost my identity. I have been feeling lost for a good while now. Now, not to get into a long testimonial, but I need to get right. If you read any of my earlier posts, I believe that they were deeply emotional and spiritual. I cannot separate those parts of me. My health issues where very much connected with my spiritual issues.

I give a lot of credit to my husband for helping me out, in my weight loss journey. He’s been supportive. He’s been real with me about my food choices and image distortions. I give a lot of credit to my best friend. She has also been supportive; guiding me, cheering me on and even yelling at me. This journey would have been a lot harder without them. However, and yes I will testify, the person I hardly ever give credit to is my God. He has given me wisdom. He had to remove a lot fear and doubt out of my heart. He had to give me the ability to see myself in a true positive light. I know I could have never done this without Him.

And yet, I continually try to keep Him out of it….but only when I feel that I can do it on my own. Give me a day when I feel ugly, huge as a house and lost in this world, and I’m yelling out “Help me, Jesus! I can’t do this without you!”

Remember, I have an issue with extremes. When I started this journey I was pitiful, leaning on God’s shoulder for every answer. I started working out and my body started getting stronger….Maaaannn, I became so obsessed with myself, it ain’t even funny. And what honestly makes me so mad and confused is, how can you make a journey that is you-you-you, day in and day out, about anything else? I stopped reading my Bible. I stopped praying. Well, not all together…of course I have to pray when I need something. *-*

So, I had to do what I knew I had to do. Repent. I had to repent because I was so self-centered. I had to repent because I didn’t believe God could do anything for me. That is raw truth. I DID NOT BELIEVE HE COULD HELP ME AT ALL! Why would the God of the Universe worry about me trying to lose weight? What could the God of the Universe have to say about health? I had to laugh at myself for such statements. Then I had to repent after I read this: But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he(me)has done has been done through God.–John 3:21 NIV

I have not been living in God’s truth. I have not being doing this weight loss thing completely through Him. Yes, God worries about our bodies and our body image, because He loves us and sees us with much more compassionate eyes. God could give me more insight into how my body works because, uh duh, He created it! *sigh*

So, to make a long blog short (sorry about that!), my next forty day challenge will not only be to continue with the external, but also focus on the internal. I have a long way to go in reconciling my body with my heart, mind and spirit. I belong to Jesus. So He deserves my focus, and in turn, I know He will reward me with wisdom and time to keep up with my body.

There is a little fear that I’ll drop all my health plans to pursue religious emotions. I don’t need to eat healthy or exercise. Jesus is all I need. I’ve done it before. And to get preachy once more, you honestly can’t follow Christ halfheartedly. He is an “all or nothing” God. So I cannot be a “some of the time” believer. So, how can I help it? By living out the journey, one day at a time.

15: finding idols and resurrecting priorities

I wrote once (in another blog) about seasons in life being like a pendulum. Sometimes you’re swinging high, and sometimes you’re swinging low. You never know how long you’re going to be in a particular season or situation, good or bad. Life is a scary thing to live out when you have so many uncertainties. Life itself is a huge uncertainty, actually. I think the best word to use is “questions”. Life is a scary thing to live out when you have so many questions.
On my personal journey, I have constantly battled questioning my priorities and finding balance between them. My eternal question is, “How do you prioritize, when everything is important?” Kids, marriage, work, health, God…whatever it may be, life is a juggling act! Where do you start?
It’s a tier. For me, I know that God, ultimately, is first because through His mercy He trickles His kindness and grace down to everything else that is important to me. Sean is the love of my life, and the first person in my circle of influence. Andrea, my baby, who needs so much tender guidance and discipline. Work, because I have to help take care of my family. My health. I can’t do anything if I’m dead! What’s your list look like?
I can’t say for sure that I practice what I preach, in that order. I know for sure that I don’t because the art of balance is something I struggle with. Remember about my boxes? The “Real Life Box” and the “God Box”. Balance is about compartmentalizing. You should have all your ducks in a row, so to speak. However, I struggle with adding God to the mix of everything. After thought and a short prayer, God showed me the strong hold. I don’t care about Him. I only care about myself.
It was a shot to the heart! It is totally true. Spiritually, I am on a broad road looking for just enough God to push me through. Yet, I don’t live for Him. I live for Alejandra. My reluctant attitude toward devotion, prayer and church is only because I’m looking for the wrong thing. I haven’t been looking for God. I confess it because I know I can’t hide it for much longer. My heart is sick, my spirit is weak, and my flesh prevails! I need God’s love. I have been too busy looking for everyone else’s.
I have spent a long time, honestly depressed, feeling like I had no friends. God, I realize now, has been testing my heart. I find my value in my friendships. I find security and refuge in them, but they have become my idols. God has brought me to a big desert trying to whisper to me His love (Hosea 2), but I haven’t been wanting to listen. I have been trying to rationalize my existence. “God you created humans for relationship. Why have you taken my friends away?” But the true relationship we were created for is the one with our Creator. Friends are just a bonus!
Writing this makes my heart ache and makes me hopeful at the same time. Maybe it’s not too late to resurrect my true priorities! Nothing in this life matters without you, Jesus, and I fear my love growing cold! Help me find you in everything. Help me to seek you only. Help me find balance between the mundane and the supernatural. Amen

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1: me, myself and Christ

Finishing up my last 40 days of change, has me doing another 40 days! This time, along with continuing my weight loss journey, I will be working on my relationship with God. Remember that we are body, mind and spirit. All of these should be connected and on the same page. When they’re not, the whole system is out of sorts. God is always first, but He knows how important our minds and bodies are. He created them! The crux is putting complete trust in His hands to connect them all. In the first 40 days, I was unearthing a lot of lies that held me back from really getting off my butt and moving it! Now I have to find the lies that keep me from really relying on my Savior, Jesus.

A few weeks ago I wrote about quitting vs conviction, and what was really pushing me to quit all the time was the fear of sticking to my guns. It is the same with God. I love God because He truly loves me. Don’t ask me why, but He loves me. He of all people, deserves my love (and then some) in return. My love is weak, but totally real. It lacks the fiery zeal to pursue the knowledge of Christ with my whole heart. I yearn to remedy that.

As with weight loss, it requires planning and following through. Salvation is free, but a relationship costs. It costs because it requires effort, time and faith. All relationships require this, so a relationship with Jesus is no different. And that’s where I find my first lie!

I love to put God in a box separated from all other things in life. I always forget that He created me and because of Him, I live and move and breathe! I am at His mercy to function everyday of my life! How can I keep Him here and everything else………………………………………………….way over here? Doesn’t make any sense to me, and yet, I continually keep Him at arms reach for everything else in my life. I know it’s out of fear that I keep God at bay. Conviction is sacrifice. It is painful. It can be lonely…….and I don’t want any of those things. But I can’t be a size 8 or close to the heart of God without ANY of it!

The One who wants me to be healthy and happy, is the same One that longs for my every affection. He’s so gracious to help me get up and exercise… I have to repent for being so selfish and arrogant. God is beyond worthy of my time. He created time for crying out loud! So, an adjacent journey begins. Continuing with my healthy life style and a search for a godly one, as well.