Personally…

Weight Loss Hopes and Nightmares

My goal for 2015 is to get down to my ideal weight. That would mean I’d have to lose 25 pounds. I went easy on myself in my planning and had originally aimed to lose around 5 pounds a month. More would be great.

Today was my designated weigh in day (I do it weekly because when I begin to see results I get motivated to workout more and eat healthier.) And I couldn’t believe my eyes when I stepped on the scale.

I’ve gained 3 pounds.

Since last Monday, I’ve gained 3 pounds.

Okay, I’ll admit, I went a little crazy yesterday with the chocolate and the Dr. Peppers I said I’d give up. Can you blame me? The Packers played a very stressful game against the Cowboys and I needed something more decadent than almonds.

I won’t credit my weight gain strictly to food. I’ve been lifting 23.9 pounds a day.

My little black lab puppy named Axel fell from the porch steps on Thursday and fractured the tibia in his back leg. The vet said he’ll be fine but he needs to stay calm and lay around for a few weeks. And since he can’t get up and down the stairs himself to go to the bathroom, I’ve been carrying him about ten times a day and twice a night…oh, and the vet said he weighed in at 23.9 pounds.

Okay, so it’s not a lot of weight lifting, but it’s a dramatic change when you go from lifting a fork to lifting 24 pounds. So we’re going to turn a blind eye to my weight gain and say half of it is muscle.

There is my weight loss–or lack of–nightmare.

My hopes are to stick to my new routine which has actually gotten off to great start. Besides eating healthy and, quite honestly, eating less, I like the workout schedule that I’m on. I want to share it with you guys in hopes that you might join me. Or at the very least, feel inspired.

  • NTC: That would be the Nike Training Club App. It is incredible. It’s strictly cardio and yoga. A mixture between a personal coach and an automatic schedule, it creates a 4-week workout based on your preferences and desired result. If you want to lose inches, gain muscle, or get lean, you choose and it automatically creates a schedule for you. There’s an option to turn on a reminder or you can put together your own workout by choosing exercises in their database. Each one provides a video that shows you how to do the exercise. And the best part about it? It’s free. Back in May of 2014, I lost 10 pounds with this routine paired with a daily walk.
    • Monday, Wednesday/Thursday, Saturday (Yoga). I only workout three times a week with workouts alternating between Wednesday and Thursday ever week. Saturday’s are calm and relaxing with a 15-minute bit of Yoga.
  • C25K: Also an app but you can find the system online here. This is theCouch-to-5K  system that encourages and trains you to run a 5K in 8 or 9 weeks even if all you’re used to doing is sitting on the couch. The sessions are only three days a week and thirty minutes a day. Not only is it simple and convenient, but it makes it sound like a piece of cake…Speaking of cake, I’d love some right about now.
    • Tuesday, Wednesday/Thursday, Friday. I don’t like to run on the same days I use NTC so I alternate and run on the days that I don’t use NTC. I’ll do that until I’m fit enough to run a mile without grasping at my sides. Then I’ll workout on the same days I run, which I hope to be in the next few months.
  • Pandora: If you own a cell phone compatible with Pandora and you’re not using Pandora when you work out then I’d like to ask you how you get by. I LOVE using Pandora while I’m working out/running. It’s just like a radio except you get to choose the genre of music you listen to by choosing a song, artist, or style you like. It’s amazing. You need to check it out.
    • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. 😉
  • My Fitness Pal: This program can be found online or as an app. It allows you to keep track of what you eat, the amount of calories you take in, and the calories you burn through exercise. It’s like an accountability partner and gives you a broader perspective on what you’re diet looks like on a regular basis. I like to set my daily calorie limit at the recommended 1200 calories for a woman’s intake. (Mens intake is slightly more.) When I’m working out I like to use this daily.

I like to get up early, as early as I can manage without feeling tired halfway through the day. My first priority is my Bible Study. Then I usually try to get my blogging and social media out of the way in about 30 minutes, but sometimes that gets postponed, kind of like today. Then I like to workout or run, whichever I’m scheduled for on that day. Besides losing 25 pounds, my goal is to get so fit that I don’t have a problem running a mile every morning or stopping by the gym.

How about you? Do you have a workout regimen that you’d like to share? I’m always looking for new and fun ways to encourage a fit lifestyle.

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Happy New Year!

Did you know that the very first Times Square Ball was dropped on December 31, 1907 and it comes from the instrument ‘Time Ball’ which was created in England in 1829 to help ships keep time at sea. I won’t go into the details of how it works because quite frankly I don’t understand.

However, I do understand that things don’t always go as planned. The start of 2015 is no exception.

I’d spent the last two weeks of December preparing for the new year. I put together routines, schedules, agenda’s, for blogging, writing, exercising, and managing my time. I had it planned out to a ‘T’ and I was more than determined to stick to it.

On the 30th of December, my dad was admitted to the hospital when he started showing symptoms of a spider bite. He spent New Years Eve and New Years Day in there and was able to come home on Friday. It turns out that it wasn’t a poisonous spider bite, but only that he had an allergic reaction to the bite, which is common for ground crab spiders. We praise God for his health which is still strengthening with each day.

That being said, my New Years resolutions really fell through on this one. I was stressed, mentally exhausted, and didn’t get any sleep. We ate more fast food since no one was feeling up to cook, and I drank a Dr. Pepper on more than one occasion because–yes, I’ll admit it–I’m addicted. So my plans didn’t pan out. All that prepping, and things took a different turn, one that I didn’t see coming.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord.” -Isaiah 55:8

As an average person, I might wonder what plans God has for me by putting my daddy in the hospital and watching him go through so much pain. But as a Christian, I don’t want to ask those questions. I don’t want to argue with God for answers I’m not going to understand. I do know this, though. That during those days when I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, I grew closer to God.

I’d made the decision to trust in Him no matter what, I refused to grow bitter towards Him. Because He is my God. I made that decision a long time ago, and nothing is going to change that. My love belongs to Him first and foremost.

Besides the fact that I would have taken away my daddy’s pain if I could, I wouldn’t change what I had to go through personally. I became humbled before my Savior in a way that I’ll cherish every day of 2015. It wasn’t the ideal way to start the year, but it was what was best for me. I discovered a deep, rich longing to grab hold of my Master’s robe and bow before His feet. And on the day I walk into Heaven, I pray I will be able to do that very thing.

I know people roll their eyes when someone mentions their ‘New Years Resolutions.’ You know, the New-Year-New-Me speech that most people lose sight off after a few days, if not a few hours. I’ve never been able to uphold a new years resolution. But this time around, I’m jumping headlong into my plans.

Here’s my list of things to accomplish in 2015.

  • Lose 20 pounds. Cliche, I know. Everybody wants to lose weight. But 2014 showed me exactly what I can accomplish if I put my mind to it. In 2014 I lost 10 pounds, went on a Mission Trip (out of my comfort zone, but definitely on my heart,) and attended my first writer’s conference…by myself, which turned out to be a wonderful experience.

    Either way, my weight-loss plans are to lose at least 5 pounds a month, finishing in April at my ideal weight, 140 pounds. And in May I’ll start workouts that target area’s of my body; arms, legs, back, stomach. I’ve never weighed less than 146 pounds (not since I was a child,) so I’m excited to discover this new me, and 2015 has the privilege of being the first year to see her.

  • Run a mile a day. I’ve always admired those people who could get up at dawn and run a few miles before they head off to work, like it’s nothing at all. So, using the C25K app (from Zen Labs) on my phone I should be able to run a 5K in 8 weeks…I’ll keep you updated.
  • Blog consistently. You guys who have been my faithful companions from the get-go probably know by now that I don’t post often here on my blog. That’s because I don’t always use discipline to sit down and write what’s on my mind. Procrastination-Princess over here has a bad habit of putting things off until it’s too late. I’ve got a dozen different blog-post drafts that are way past their due date.
  • Write consistently. Again, this Princess of Procrastination has a ton of stories and characters running around her head, waiting to leak out, but unless she’s knee-deep into a story it’s tough to be dedicated to a messy, pathetic first draft.
  • Get published. I’m not expecting to get published over night. Nor do I expect to get published in 2015, for that matter. But I do want to get noticed by some agents and editors who can guide me, give me experience, and help hone my craft to perfection.

“If you can quit, then quit. If you can’t quit, you’re a writer.” -R.A. Salvatore

I do have a bunch of little carry-over resolutions. You know, resolutions that carry over from year to year because I didn’t do them last year. Like learning how to play the $300 dollar guitar sitting in my room. Learning French from the college textbook on my bookshelf. Or read a hundred books like I said I would on Goodreads.

Until Thursday, my friends, I leave you with a prayer.

Father, I ask that You would watch over the person reading this. I ask that You would draw them close to Your heart during the start of this new year. I know You have plans waiting for my dear friend and I believe in those plans. I trust that You have magnificent things waiting in 2015. Lord, I ask for good health, financial stability, unconditional love, and a place to call home. May Your mercy abound in their life, in all that they do. For grace, peace, and joy, we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Tell me about your new years resolutions or what your hopes are for 2015. I’d love to hear them. 🙂

God, Football, Writing, and Love

What do these things have in common?

Well, me. This is a short post on the things I love and why I love them. Maybe you can relate.

Now, I can’t say that’s the order in which those things are prioritized in my life. God of course comes first and foremost. But after that it’s a three way tie between football, writing, and love.

I was not born into a family of Christians. My parents knew God but they weren’t living for Him. When they finally decided to make that commitment, I was still very young and those moments were pressed upon my heart. I was baptized at the age of eight, on my own volition. I’ve loved Him and lived for Him ever since. I’ve had my ups and downs. My highs and lows. I’ve been overwhelmed by His glory and grace, and I’ve ignored His calling when it wasn’t convenient for me. I’ve doubted Him, I’ve questioned Him, and I’ve blamed Him.

But somehow, someway He has always waited on me. He has forgiven me and poured mercy over me when I least deserved it. He has smiled when I returned to Him, even after the shortest amount of time or a matter of months. He has never denied me when I questioned His existence, even when He had a right to. He never punished me when I blamed Him for the direction my life was taking based on my own mistakes. I don’t know how, and I’m not sure why, but He has always, always loved me. A love so passionate and gracious that I will never be able to make sense of it. I’ve tried, and I can continue to try. Or I can stop trying and just simply love Him back.

Which brings me to my next interest: love.

I’m not sure why, I assume it’s just the way He made me, but I’ve always been a hopeless romantic. I started reading Christian romance novels from a young age. Bittersweet, by Cathy Marie Hake, was the first romance novel I read at fourteen. It was then that I made some very important decisions about my future that I have never regretted. But, needless to say, I was hooked. I’ve been reading Christian romance novels ever since, and the Lord has taught me amazing things about love, and romance, and purity, that I’d never even considered.

I’m an emotional person who tries to cover up the heart on her sleeve, but my sappy side can’t help but show when it comes to romance. Whether it be a movie, or a book, or a talk show, or the conclusion to October Baby, I’m giddy for a sweet story. Something gentle. Something innocent. And the less it has to do with physical intimacy, the more I enjoy it. That’s just the way I’m built.

And of course, that’s part of the reason why I write.

I do write romance. Lots of it. And my characters are a little different from other normal characters you might read. But I can’t help but toss a little bit of love into whatever story I’m writing. Whether it be an all out conflicting romance or just something subtle that you don’t realize until the end, if it has my name on it, love will probably be there.

I’m your typical author. I’ve been writing stories ever since I received my first notebook. I’ve been telling tall tales since I could talk. Long before I knew what plots, and climaxes, and scenes were, I was putting them together in a not-so-organized fashion. My love for words has bloomed over the past ten years or so, and I’m beginning to dream of the day I’ll become published. I’ve tried to stop writing at different times, but I just can’t stay away for long. I always come back. I think I always will.

But then there’s football, of which I’m crazy about. Where does that fit in? It just does.

I didn’t grow up watching football. Had never paid any attention to it, whatsoever. And for some odd reason, I think it was 2009, my dad flipped over to a college game. Florida verses somebody. Can you guess who the quarterback was? Yep, it was ole Tebow. I think the fact that he was wearing John 3:16 on his eyeblack made me look at football differently than I had before. Somehow I got sucked into it from there. We kept up with it every weekend and then waited patiently during the offseason.

Now I’m all about the NFL, and I’m not so patient during the offseason. I would rather the spring fly by and summer hurry itself up so I can at the very least watch the preseason. I’m an avid Green Bay Packers fan and I vow to go wherever Aaron Rodgers goes. I know more about the game than most girls and although I’m still all woman, through-and-through, I’m not ashamed to say I scream at the TV when someone misses a catch. There’s nothing like it. I can’t explain where I developed this love for football, but somehow it was awakened in me and I can’t seem to make it stop.

So there you go. Just a few things about me that make me who I am.

What are your four favorite things that make you who you are?

My Dream Job

I think it’s only appropriate to start with the fact that my “dream job” wouldn’t be a job at all. I think I’d rather call it a dream.

My dream is actually to become a wife and mother. Most people would say that’s not considered a job, or they might say becoming a wife and mother is a way of getting out of a job.

But I know a fair share of wives and mothers who can testify that not only is it a full-time job with overtime, but it pays abundantly more than any other career comes close to. It pays with love.

That’s where I want to be. I want a family of my own, a husband and little ones, who are spilling over with love for one another. I want to experience that for myself.

I want to teach my children the love of the Lord. I want to be submissive to my husband as the Bible calls me to be. I want my children to put their hand in mine just because they can. I want to cook supper for my family, and kiss my husband when he comes home from work, and spend the mornings homeschooling my kids.

It’s not really a dream job. It’s just a dream come true.

How about you? What’s your dream job? Are you living it or striving to achieve it?