The journey...

Life is in the journey, not the destination, so do what you can and take it one day at a time. Go slow, do it right, and make your changes permanent — then help out others who are where you were.

~Jillian Michaels

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Thursday, April 29, 2010


Will you sponsor me?


On Saturday May 8th I will participate in the Advice & Aid Pregnancy Center (aapc) 6th Annual WALK FOR LIFE; a fundraising event for one of my favorite ministries. AAPC reaches out to women and families facing unplanned pregnancies, offering FREE life-giving alternatives to abortion and practical assistance to those in this situation.

Although the walk is just two short miles, I will be walking with hundreds of others to support Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers and stand up for LIFE and the unborn!

Last year I had a BLAST and our 5-member team raised nearly $1,400.  Considering AAPC offers all of their services free of charge, I know those funds are much needed throughout the year to continue blessing others with their services.

I am looking for friends to join me in this years effort with a one-time pledge of $5, $15, $50 or more. (This is not a pledge per mile, but just a one time gift.) Personally, I hope to raise $300.

To join me as a sponsor (I’m sponsoring myself as well!), just email me back with your mailing address and a donation amount. You don’t have to send a check now, you will receive a pledge donation reminder and an return envelope directly from aapc in the mail after the event.

It's easy...
  1. Email me @
  2. Include Name, Address & Donation Amount
  3. Done. (You will receive a pledge reminder directly from AAPC after the walk with a return envelope)
Thank you in advance for your help. I look forward to letting you know how much we raised together in this great effort!



Tuesday, April 20, 2010

O-L-A-T-H-E Girls Weekend

"Finding Inspiration Together"

"Friends are the family we choose for ourselves."

Although I could probably find THOUSANDS of quotes to define what my F.I.T. girls mean to me, the quote above does a great job of summing it up! They are my family! My sisters! My friends!

Last weekend I was over-joyed that we all got to share our SECOND weekend together...but this time in my hometown, O-L-A-T-H-E. For those of you who may not be familiar with Olathe [o lay' tha], it's the fourth largest city in the state of Kansas and it's name comes from the Shawnee Indian name meaning "beautiful!" It lies along what was formerly referred to as the Mill Creek & Santa Fe trail. What better place to take a Spring vacation than right HERE! :)

My friend Val said that whenever her friends back home in Georgia asked her where she was going, she didn't know the proper pronunciation so she would reply, "O-L-A-T-H-E." You'd be surprised at how fast she can spout off that spelling. You all now have one up on her, it's simply "o LAY' tha."

If you ever decide you need a pretty "happenin'" city to vacation to, allow me to be your tour guide of our beautiful city! (even though we will likely end up in our Kansas City, MO metro area to enjoy our downtown entertainment venues, but you can SLEEP in our more peaceful, sub-burbian quarters - o LAY' tha! Within 20 minutes of many amazing attractions.

Now let's backtrack a bit? Where did I meet these amazing, "family, sister, friends" you may ask? Based on my connection with them, some may think them childhood friends, others college roommates, or maybe a great group of "knitting buddies" <---hahahaha....NOT, (nothing against knitting of course). Or some of you may have noticed the statement that this was only our SECOND weekend together, meeting in person that is.

Back around July of last year we all met through blogs & facebook not long after each starting our own weight loss journey's. With all of us weighing in near or well over 300 lbs, we had individually decided to stop watching everyone else gain their lives back while we sat doing nothing. Each of us had (or was near having) our "ah ha" moments where it just made sense, NO ONE was going to lose this weight for us, we have to make it happen.

From there, we began developing friendships that went deeper than the occasional status comment or "like" photo on facebook. We began challenging one another and encouraging each other to press our limits and go farther than we had in our last workout. Conference calls became a regular occurrance for us to touch base and check in with one another. Calling these girls a "support group" would limit their impact on my life although I've received undeserved support from them that I cherish. In what felt like overnight, I gained some incredible girlfriends who have left impressions on my heart.

Our FIRST "girls weekend" was back in October when we all travelled to Wisconsin Dells. It is one of the oddest placest if for no other reason than the fact that the city is essentially a WATER THEME-PARK located in WISCONSIN! I don't know if someone caught "spring fever" and decided to create a utopia in what they "thought" was Cancun or what, but needless to say - in October, a WATER THEME PARK in the middle of Wisconsin is...well...BIZARRE!

All jokes aside though, we had a great time actually "meeting" each other for the first time and that trip proved to test the strength of our friendships. There was a lot taken from the trip - some amazing, some unfortunate, but ALL I believe helped us learn a little more about ourselves & each other. For me, that weekend is when the depth grew tremendously in the individual relationships I have with these girls.

I think that is part of what made this visit from them so exciting to me. Not to mention, how cool is it that the closest travelled from Knob Noster, MO - 1 1/2 hours away and the farthest from Dahlonega, GA to share a weekend and celebrate Ali's birthday (whom lived in Indiana and since all of our lives connecting, is NOW my roommate here in Kansas). How many of our friends just hop in their car for hours or catch a flight on a whim like that to visit people they've only seen in person maybe one-two times with no "official" vacation plans. Furthermore, our Georgia friend (and her husband) are deathly afraid of planes, but that fear didn't keep them grounded, we welcomed their company and they graciously accepted.

Am I painting a clear picture as to WHY I love these girls so very much? I've already been through A LOT with them as a "group," their individual lives, my personal life and so on. From weight gains, triathalons, financial struggle, faith, relationships, Reality TV show auditions, love, emotional struggles, milestones, relocating, job loss, adoption, mistrusts, divorce, parenting, anxiety & death - we've walked with each other through so many of life's experiences in less than a year.

I'm thrilled that our reunions don't appear to be dwindling by any means either, we are already planning for some southern hospitality with Trip #3 to GEORGIA (did someone say home cooked meals???) followed by sunny FLORIDA next year (bring it on Disney Princess HALF marathon)!!!

They say, "The road to a friends house is never long," I now understand first hand what that quote truly means! We may be pretty scattered across the US, but the distance doesn't keep us apart..."You call & I'll be there!"

Verse(s) of the Day:

Hebrews 10:23-25

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another -- and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

~!*100th POST DAY*!~

~!*HAPPY 100th POST DAY*!~

Yep! Today I'm actually celebrating my 101st post day, but that's because I failed to recognize that my last post was actually my 100th! Oops!

My very first post was on April 17, 2009 (WOW! I'm about to have a 1 year blog anniversary TOO!) I was inspired by my former water aerobics instructor and dear friend, Shauna. When I wrote my 1st blog entry, I had already lost 30 lbs in just under 11 weeks and decided I was going to start opening my life up to the "blogosphere."

I remember joyfully sharing my first "5k" experience on the treadmill with my "blog society." My emotional eating & weight gains were no stranger either. I even made it a point to introduce and take you all along for some local charity events. In August & September I rallied readers to a few physical challenges and several months later initiated a water intake challenge that prompted some deep heart stirring. No matter what the situation has been, whether ups, downs, successes or set-backs, I've logged this very personal, real, relative journey for all the cyber world to read and reflect on. Openly sharing with you my strength which is found in Christ and making it a point to glorify Him through this because apart from Him I am nothing.

When I rejoiced over milestones, like reaching my 100 lbs lost, this online journal was one of the FIRST to receive the news. When I self-sabotaged and celebrated too much afterwords, you better believe there were words to be written about that lesson learned as well. Not much has gone "un-noted" here on this blog and I have to say I am thankful to have this tool to look back and remember the experiences.

I remember writing a post titled "Psychologist" where I light-heartedly suggested JESUS and blogging as my therapeutic diagnosis for EVERYTHING. Obviously Jesus alone is my final answer, but blogging is an outlet that allows me to actively do what I am passionate about...WRITE! You cannot beat an absolutely FREE pasttime that captures your attention and stimulates your brain, heart & spirit all at the same time.

As my journey progressed, I began networking and meeting INCREDIBLE people who are travelling a similar roads, I say similar because each is uniquely their own, but there is also a relation that seems to tightly knit each path together. Opening my journey up to the blogging world generated an atmosphere of encouragement and blessed me with some of the most treasured friends I have today.

Not to mention, I was honored by being featured on guest posts of other blogs such as Tony C Today, Judi Finneran's "Helping REshape the World," Thoughts from a Critically Thinking Nincompoop and had a whole 2-page spread titled Halfway There in Kansas City Fitness magazine's Dec/Jan issue. In addition to all of this, I got to sit down for dinner at Chili's and chat for hours with the woman (and her mom) who first inspired me to get off the couch and reGAIN my life back by losing weight, Biggest Loser's Season 7 contestant, Kristin Steede.

To sum it all up, I must say that these past 100 posts are truly footprints that leave a trail of where I've been and give an idea of where I'm going. They tell a story of sunshine and rain, strength and pain. I've enjoyed writing every post and am even more over joyed by the inbox messages I open informing me that I've received a COMMENT! :-) I know there is so much more to share as I continue losing weight on my downhill stretch that feels more like climbing, so please stay tuned and I appreciate all your support, encouragement and yes...COMMENTS that you give.


"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step..."

Verse of the Day: (in light of April 15th - TAX DAY)

Romans 13:6-7

“This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”-

Monday, April 5, 2010

Day 8: "DETOUR"

BREAKFAST: Fiber Plus bar

What's a good "pilgrimage" or eh em, I mean BLOGrimage if there isn't a few detours and unpaved roads along the way? My two challenges for my journey were walking to work every day and no visits to fast food restaurants for 30 days.

Week one I successfully walked to work every day except one because I needed my car so I substituted walking my god son to school instead. It made for a semi-disciplined week, but still struggling with getting the eating habits back up to par. I avoided all fast food restaurants which saved money, but I still could have made wiser food choices in general.

Now for my DETOUR!

Found out that half-pint cannot be at school any earlier than 8 am any longer so I'm taking him to school from here on out because his Mom's schedule isn't as flexible. That's all fine and dandy except for it sorta hinders the main task of my blogrimage...eek!


What happens when things don't work out exactly how you planned?


With any master "improviser," improvising means IMPROVEMENT! :-) I say this because if you've ever watched Improv, oftentimes it involves more talent than pre-rehearsed sets. You have to "up your game" a bit to keep up with Improv.

Here is my unexpected, detour initiated, Improvising Improvement to my blogrimage:


Since I am unable to walk to work every day anymore (which I really did begin to enjoy and I will pick-up again this Summer), I am waking up early to get to the gym around 6:30a every day during the week. I will complete at least 20 min of cardio followed by either an upper or lower body workout routine. One day a week I will have a "Cardio-Blast" consisting of only cardio (30 minutes or more).

I will continue my "fast food fast" and avoid ALL fastfood restaurants for the remainder of my blogrimage.

Gym arrival time: 6:34a
Cardio: 5 min warm-up (treadmill); 15 min stair master
Weights: 25 min upper body

This morning was the start down the detour which has caused me to IMPROVISE but IMPROVE my daily discipline in workouts.

Verse of the Day:

2 John 1:6

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Day 4 & 5: "Shin Splints & Thunderstorms"

Breakfast Day 4: Oatmeal w/ cinnamon & stevia
Breakfast Day 5: Canadian bacon, Egg & Cheese pockets (x2)

Day 4 Travel Time: 23 min to work/25 min home
Day 5 Travel Time: 26 min

Day 4 Weather Conditions: BEAUTIFUL!
Day 5 Weather Conditions: Overcast and Dreary

Yesterday I got off to a late start but managed to shave 7 minutes off my walk time. Felt good having that little "rush." The only downfall of this week has been the shin splints I've developed and how walking from my desk to the copier seems like a strenuous task. pain, no gain! It's like walking with a badge of honor every time I feel that tension, a subtle reminder of "blogrimage" journey and how I'm a walker on a mission.

Today I just hoped for the heavens to remain calm until I entered the back doors of my work building. Within 30 minutes of arriving, God showed us all what REAL April Showers look like. The sky went from ash grey to black and visibility because near impossible for a good 10-15 minutes and as soon as it came it went. Now I'm staring out the window at a dreary, overcast Friday morning.

Oh well...IT'S FRIDAY! GOOD FRIDAY at that!

This weekend we celebrate RESURRECTION SUNDAY, the day we recognize Christ's resurrection, our hope, our redemption, our FREEDOM from sin & death. He chose the cross, was spit upon, mocked, beaten, bruised and his body torn for our sins then he died as a sacrifice for a debt I owed, that I rightfully should have paid. I am so thankful for my Lord & Savior and enjoy this time to reflect on the price he paid for us, but not just one weekend out of the year, I try to keep that revelation fresh in my heart 365 days of the year.

One of the last songs I listened to on my Mp3 player on my walk this morning nearly led me to tears and brought peace to my heart at the same time. It's called "Lead me to the Cross," by Hillsong United. Life has been pretty hectic, trying & stressful lately and it's been hard to swallow some of the pieces. I had some quiet time to pray without distractions when I walk to work and this song brought my heart to a place of worship.


Savior I come
Quiet my soul remember
Redemptions hill
Where Your blood was spilled
For my ransom
Everything I once held dear
I count it all as lost

Lead me to the cross
Where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees
Lord I lay me down
Rid me of myself
I belong to You
Oh lead me, lead me to the cross

You were as I
Tempted and tried
You are
The word became flesh
Bore my sin and death
Now you're risen
Everything I was held dear
I count it all as lost

Lead me to your heart

Verse of the Day:
"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.