Believe. Change your thinking, change your body.

We all have personal struggles that range from some sort of addiction. Some are addicted to food, others drugs, and some people just put themselves in harms way because they have given up on themselves. Whatever the case is, we are all gifts from God. We deserve to be happy and most of all healthy. Since last September I had gained 34 pounds. On January 1st, 2018 I was miserable. I was not happy with the way I looked or felt. I was 196 pounds. That was when I decided I needed to evaluate everything going on in my life, starting with me. Oftentimes, we don’t do anything for ourselves. We give too much to others and then there is nothing left for ourselves. The worst part of that is, we feel we don’t deserve to give ourselves time. Why is that? Seriously, most of us treat ourselves like crap. Stop that!!! Just stop that! You are worthy. You deserve to be happy and to be loved. You have to start with your mental state. Your brain is a powerful component to your serenity. Even just taking the time to breathe deeply, to laugh often, and to enjoy the company of friends is vital to your life. Having friends is important. I know it is important and for many years when I was a stay at home mom, I didn’t focus on building friendships. I spent my time cleaning, cooking, and making sure everyone else was taken care of. I would often go to bed in my clothes that I didn’t change from the day before and then get up and start it all over again. I’m telling you, neglecting yourself is a tragedy. I am through with treating myself like shit. I made a commitment to myself on the 1st of January that I was going to love myself. I was going to lose the weight I gained and to improve my overall health. I bought a fitbit off of craigslist on March 31st. I wish I had done this sooner. Here are my stats from April according to the fitbit. I am just amazed to be honest with you.

35.25 hours of cardio zone heartrate

95,216 calories burned

570,511 steps

997.41 miles walked

I looked at these stats and my jaw dropped! I lost 15 pounds in the month of April. I hit the gym on the average of 6 days a week for 1.5 hours per day plus my job that is very active. I dropped 4 uniform pants sizes since January. My current weight as of this morning is 168.6. I am so happy with my progress. The hardest part of this transformation so far has been mental. We block ourselves and self-destruct so many things in our lives. I know that since the birth of my first daughter almost 19 years ago, my body has been in constant flux. I have had 5 children, all single births, and gained and lost so much weight for those pregnancies. My body feels used and stretched out but I am now reclaiming that. I used to say liposuction and a tummy tuck is so much easier. It may be, however, if you get that done and haven’t changed how you think about yourself, you may just go back to that original state and weight. I read somewhere and I don’t know how credible it is, but what the article said was when you shed weight in a fast way with procedures such as plastic surgery, your body replaces the fat cells lost with more. Supposedly it remembers how many fat cells you had and goes into protection mode. It made sense to me. You have to train your body to burn and metabolize food in a natural way over time. It took many years to put on weight, being patient and taking it off correctly is that hardest part. I started lifting weights and incorporating heavy cardio. I am still not at my goal but I am on my way. I got a scan done on April 9th and another one on May 9th. I will post the comparison on my blog. I want to help and inspire so many people. As women, we need to help elevate other women. I attached a picture I just took of myself this morning after the gym. You can shed the weight you don’t want. Don’t buy into all these diet pills and miracle procedures. If you want to change your body you can. It is going to take a hell of a lot of work on your part but it will be well worth the payoff in the end. Challenge yourself!!!!!Please post your comments below and share your story!!! Please share this post.

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AS I prayed this morning, I didn’t expect this…..

I woke up this morning in Thanksgiving. I had stayed up as my kid was sick last night. In spite of some of the things that happened, we were able to go serve the poor( minus the sick kid). I prayed for God to bless our day and our actions. We went and grabbed the food, which fit perfectly in my car. We brought the food in and began serving up plates. The folks were very grateful, some weren’t, and I reminded my kids that we just don’t know what is going on in their hearts or lives. Serve with a smile and be polite is what I say. We had over 110 people to serve. I thought we were going to run out of food. Guess what, some had seconds and took food to their rooms. We had leftovers still! So, we served up portions in to go containers, then set out to find those on the street who were hungry. This man on a corner looked so hungry. We asked him if he wanted a meal, he took it graciously and said please go before I start crying. You just never know what is going on in someone’s life or how they got where they are. It is not for us to judge them, just feed them. No matter what condition someone is in, we all deserve food. I was thinking that I think there are two conditions that are the worst and those are in my opinion hunger pains and being cold. We managed to put together 25 additional food boxes with the food we thought we were for sure going to run out of. I instantly thought back to the loaves and fishes story. When you ask God to bless your food and actions, he can and will amaze you. Another person we saw on a bus bench hunched over with a blanket covering her whole body and head, two of my kids went up to her and asked her if she would like some food. She took it and didn’t speak but was able to eat it. I plan on holding on to these memories of humanity. There are so many things wrong in this world but there are so many right things too. If we choose to see the bad we will miss the good. Prayer works but you also have to be willing to be God’s hands and feet to move and help those down here. We are all hurting in some way. Let’s spread love and crush darkness.

Matthew 25:31-46New King James Version (NKJV)

The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy[a] angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

44 “Then they also will answer Him,[b] saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

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How do you spend your days?

WE all get the same number of hours in a day. WE all have wishes, desires, and floating thoughts in our heads. What do you do with the hours you have or even minutes you have each day? Some people are really good about using their time wisely. Some people pack the most work in each day to get ahead, maybe even perhaps get that promotion they have been yearning for. Are we chasing that proverbial carrot in front of us. The next shiny thing we go after and then realize we are really not working towards anything? If we listen to others and listen to their embellishments, we can see nothing but shiny things. We all hear what we want to hear. It is easy to get caught up in words. What do you want out of life? Is it money, fame, to leave a legacy, to be remembered, or do you actually want to enrich your soul? I choose enrich my soul. Money can only get you so far in life. Without people and relationships, you have nothing. Spend time. Time is the one thing that you can spend but not get back. I think about the many people who are suffering in this world and the only thing I can do is pray for them. Trust in Jesus to help them. We are all on a journey. We are not in a race with anyone. Everything we do comes in our own right time. Each person in this world is at a different stage in their journey. WE can all learn from one another if we try. The only thing we own is our actions. WE all belong to Jesus if we want to belong to him. He has us written in his heart. He will never leave us, especially in our most perilous times of need. WE have to choose him. WE have to trust in him. When you are unsure how to spend your time, pray and then help others. Truly those actions will enrich your soul. It can’t hurt right?

Jesus, I trust in you! Please forgive me for all I have done to make you sad…….the longer I live, the more I fall, the more I realize how broken I am and only Jesus can give me the grace I need to get through this life. When we are at the point in our lives where we fall and realize, we can choose to  fully abandon ourselves and allow God to come into our hearts. When we abandon what we think we need, we get what we truly need. Only that can come from God. Only God can fulfill that void in our hearts. WE crave God and we fill it with other things that are so bad for us. We don’t realize how destructive we can be to ourselves. Then one day, we feel so broken and ask for help. It takes time, but God will fill you with his grace. I truly believe at our deaths, we will see the sacrifice  Jesus made for us and the price he paid for us, so that we can enter heaven. Without Jesus paying that price, none of us would be able to enter heaven. Jesus is the key and the way to heaven. It is hard for me to wrap my mind around the Holy Trinity. I have tried, believe me I have tried. The conclusion I have come to is that some things are just too big for our brains to comprehend. This is where true faith comes in. Yes, we all falter from our faith because we are human. I do believe we come back to it though. God has written his commandments in our hearts and he has claimed us as his own. With Free will comes a huge responsibility. We can choose him or not choose him. Telling someone they have to love you isn’t love. Being chosen and that person loving you, truly loving you, is love. WE don’t have to love God. We don’t have to choose him. That is the beauty of this gift of FREE WILL. Jesus had FREE WILL and he knew we needed him. He CHOSE to subject himself to the cruelty of his creation. He didn’t create evil, but he gave us FREE WILL. Without light, darkness lurks. We all have fallen to Satan’s false promises. He makes it look shiny and sooooo good. The problem is, once you choose, the light in your soul begins to become no more. My opinion is we all need to work on keeping the light on in our soul. The only way we can do that is through desire and trust in God. God doesn’t promise things that aren’t real. He won’t offer you the next shiny thing. He can offer you true happiness. Many of us feel we don’t deserve true happiness because we continually punish ourselves for our sins. I am here to tell you that if you don’t forgive yourself, you cannot move forward. If Jesus can forgive you, you can forgive yourself. It is not an easy task but it is as simple as that. Forgiveness is letting go, being truly sorry, and trying not to do it again. We never forget what we did but that is a good thing. Without our recollection, we can fall into the same mistake/sin. When we learn from our sins and falls, we are on a good path. Ego can get in the way sometimes. WE can maybe feel like we don’t need his grace. When we feel that, we are throwing his gift away. It is like telling a friend you don’t need or want their present they are giving you. How do you think that makes them feel? Every time we throw God’s gifts away, we are hurting him. Most of all, we are hurting ourselves.

The picture of Jesus’ face down below, my grandma Kraker had that picture in her guest bedroom. I used to look at it and feel that was the closest picture to what I felt Jesus looked like. One night I was feeling a little scared. I prayed to my guardian angel and I prayed to God. I opened my eyes and that in the dead of night, that room was so dark, the halo behind his head began to glow. I could see the picture clear as day. Almost as if a flashlight was shining on his picture. After that, I always, think of this when I am scared. it calms me down and reminds me I am not alone. Yes, I have gotten caught up in things in my life that I have strayed from Jesus, but I always come back. I just really felt like you should know this story.

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What motivates you?

Many of us need to really be “moved” to be motivated to change the direction of our lives. For some of us, that could be a devastating event and for others, they are just naturally curious. What gets you going? For me, it is the internal drive to improve myself. If I am unsure how to do something or I am unaware of how to do something, I usually research it and try it. Sometimes, I realize I don’t like whatever task I am doing, but I learned something in the process. If we go day in and day out, eating relatively the same food, falling into a similar pattern for the day, and never really looking to learn something new, then we get bored. I used to think I got bored of the job I was doing and then needed to find a new one. I have since realized, it is not the job, it was my life. I needed to grow my soul and cultivate my skills.  I like to shake things up and throw myself a curve ball. Doing that keeps my brain and my body motivated to do more. I know I need more of nature and becoming one with nature. I used to be so distracted by social media and not paying as much attention to who is real in my life. I am happy things have recently become even more clear. I have to say, life in your 40’s is divine.  What gets you motivated?

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Genius!

So, everyone is doing something you probably thought of. The difference is, they acted upon their idea. I heard once that if you don’t act on an idea within literally5 seconds, your motivation is gone to do anything about that idea. It is so true!!! So, train yourself to get the motivation to act. Set your alarm 30 min early and push the covers off. Break through your routine and use that change to push you forward. There is a chain reaction to changing your routine. You will find yourself making other decisions that are maybe more bold later in the day. Change your routine, change your life! Success is simple but the path is not easy. STOP making excuses as to why you can’t and say why you can! It ain’t rocket science people!( Yes, I know ain’t isn’t a word!)

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Binge watching Christmas movies………..

AS I watch these movies, I wonder do these love tales exist??? I really don’t think that they do. Real life isn’t the movies and that is the problem with watching these. I feel like my expectations are set so high, that it can’t possibly exist. I am not asking for magic, I am just asking for mutual actual love and respect. I have been doing some PT work as a merchandiser, merchandising books. As I read these titles and the premises of e books, I think who writes these things? Then a customer was walking by and started talking to me and saying he wants to write books. He commented on the romance books and I said but they set an unrealistic expectation of what a romantic relationship is. His reply was but women can at least read about it and have it in an intellectual form. So, my question is, does this kind of love actually exist? Actual love. I have been thinking that the only actual love that exists is the that between us and God and the love we have for our children. other than that, I don’t feel like there is no strings attached love.

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If you could, would you?

Let’s pretend money doesn’t exist and you don’t need it to survive. What would you choose to do with your time, talents, or job? Yes, some people out there would say that if they didn’t need money, they would not work. Let’s pretend you don’t need money and you do have to work. What would you choose to do with your time? I would get out there and help others see their potential. I would try to build them up so they could see and recognize their talents. I truly believe that we all have something inside us that will help the world. Many negative things people say about others come from lack of self-worth. We do not benefit by trashing others or spreading lies. It is important to remember that we are in this world going through it at our own pace. It is not a race and we all have something to overcome and recognize. With maturity, comes wisdom. Wisdom comes from experiences that are both good and bad and from listening to others. I love speaking to older folks because they have been through tons and they have some good advice.

What would you do for a career or job if money didn’t matter and why?

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