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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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'm Back!

I'm BACK!!!

The PASSION, the drive, the determination and FUN in working out is slowly coming back!

The DESIRE to share, encourage, motivate and push others to the limits is returning!

The JOY of blogging, being creative and documenting my progress is REVIVED!

Last night, Ali (one of my best friends) & I went to the gym for our workout.  I decided to spice it up a bit and created my own "bootcamp style" workout!  I had so much fun thinking this up off the top of my head and even more fun COMPLETING the workout.  There is something about being able to come up with a workout like this without the help or assistance of a personal trainer that totally built up my pride.  Not in a boastful, "Oh, how cool am I, look what I can do!" manner, but in a "Wow!  I'm really doing this!" type of way.

I utilized one of the free racquetball courts and set-up two interval courses (one for Ali, one for me).  At one end there were two step aerobics stairs & two medicine balls.  On the other end of the room there were two exercise balls and two sets of 10 pound hand weights.  PERFECTO!


  1. Run/Sprint down & back (length of racquetball court)

  2. 10 wide leg stair steps (V-step, box step) - fast!

  3. Run/Sprint down

  4. 10 Shoulder Presses

  5. Run/Sprint back

  6. 10 wide leg stair steps

  7. Run/Sprint down

  8. 20 Crunches

  9. Run/Sprint back

  10. 10 wide leg stair steps

  11. Torso-twist lunges down & back w/ medicine ball

  12. 20 Squats

  13. 1 min wall sit

  14. REPEAT (5x)
This was not only a FUN & spontaneous workout, but one that was intense, tiring, PAINFUL and worth trying again!  Ali collapsed during her wall sit at the end and tears streamed down her face as she said, "Thank You! You know a workout is good when it makes you cry!"

Verse of the Day:

Psalm 37:23-25 (NIV)
If the LORD delights in a man's way,
he makes his steps firm;
though he stumble, he will not fall,
for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Challenge Others

I feel like I've been on this "hiatus" for so long that I forgot how exciting it is to be challenged and challenge other people.  I lost my joy and passion for motivating and encouraging others along the way because of my temporary "funk."

Last week I had a taste of what that was like again, I feel like I'm slowing "rounding the bend" and getting back on course.  I opened my email inbox to find Jillian Michael's newsletter and it encouraged me to re-visit a workout that I used to enjoy promoting as a pop challenge: WALL SITS or as she calls them, WALL SQUATS (<-- click the link if you are unsure what a wall sit/squat is).

In my opinion, wall sits are a great, challenging, fun & FUNNY workout to do (especially in groups).  They leave your legs screaming with that "feel-good" pain!  It's exciting when you can rally some willful parties to accept this workout torture because you can see who's legs will hold up longest.  I remember a couple seasons back on "The Biggest Loser" they hosted a pop challenge where they had to do wall sits while holding a six-pound medicine ball on their laps - BRUTAL!  They are hard enough holding up your own weight, adding a six-pound foreign object is insane.

Anyways, I made last Thursday an "OFFICIAL WALL SIT DAY" and encouraged others to join me for a 5 minute challenge on facebook and at work.  I asked that if possible they take a picture completing the challenge.  Turned out that there were about 5 joyful participants at work and 5 more on facebook who took me up on it at home.  Everyone handled the challenge with some good sweat, smiles & squeals!  I even had one who completed the challenge on one leg at a time.  WOW!
AND...the challenge is now spreading!

Today Jenn, our mortgage department manager, proposed the "Chair Crawl" challenge.  Basically you sit in a desk chair on wheels, hold on tight and use only your legs to "crawl" or walk yourself forward.  Sounds easy enough, however the burn you get in your hamstrings is worth the funny-feat.  We had 7 "take a seat and enjoy the ride" for this one!

The fire for a corporate calorie burn is spreadin'...

Great Job Jessica! :)

Verse of the Day:
-Romans 12:10

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bad Habits die HARD

...5 WEEKS!

The Biggest Weight Loss Challenge that I'm participating in has asked us to go 5 weeks without weighing ourself in order to focus more on eliminating bad habits rather than the scale.  Coming from someone who is used to weighing weekly, 5 weeks without a weigh in is a challenge in and of itself.

With that being said, I understand the purpose of this "changing habits/creating new ones" process because I feel like I'm back at day one.  You'd think after losing over 100 pounds, a person would be FAR beyond that but with a slacking two month period of throwing off all restraints and knowledge of moderation, BAD HABITS DIE HARD...again!

It's weird, I've been craving FRENCH FRIES of all things for a week straight and let me just tell ya that if they were only $0.25 like the picture portrays, "Houston, we'd have a problem."  Although I haven't given in to the craving, I surely haven't been on my "A" game either.

My alternative of choice: ICE CREAMEEEEEk!

If it brings any consolation, I've recently discovered Skinny Cow's new "perfect cups" with 170 calories or less and my "fav flav" is Chocolate Fudge Brownie with 150 calories/2g fat/4 g fiber/5g protein.  You are looking at icecream at 2 points for those who follow Weight Watchers (I personally don't, but weight watchers helped me successfully shed my first 25 lbs.)

My co-worker and I were talking the other day about how you "KNOW" when you are mentally there and when you aren't with weight loss and how it's sometimes hard to get back in the zone.  It's worth re-finding though.  I feel like the past 1 1/2 weeks has been that re-training my brain.

One of the suggestions made for the group is that we all begin incorporating a daily multi-vitamin as well as Omega 3 Fish Oil.  Can I just say that fish oil goes down in the form of a gel cap and makes it's way back up in the form of a nasty burp that tastes like the worse smelling fish you've every sniffed?  Thankfully, my trainer gave me a little "FYI tip" that putting them in the fridge helps aid with the burpy, fish breath experience (Heading to kitchen now).  In addition to Omega 3's and multi-vitamins, Trainer Sam has requested that TEAM BLUE meet with their physician to have the following tests completed:

Blood Pressure 

Fasting Blood Glucose


I'm trying to follow the rules and be an obedient trainee, SOOOOO, I'm facing my fears again and meeting with my Doc on June 2nd to get the scoop.  Here goes nothing.
I feel like I'm slowly finding my way again, but it's not easy once you've fallen away.  That statement is fitting in my life for more reasons than one right now.  I feel like the prodigal.  Went astray in all areas; I've lacked physical obedience, allowed my mind to wander through a desert and spiritually lost my way.  I must say that none hurts near as bad as the last though.  When you know you've neglected your first love, it's painful.

My Redeemer, My Healer, My Savior - God!

When we allow the cares of this world too much influence in our lives we find ourselves bound by them.  Finances, reputation, food, friends, love or the many imitations thereof...they all distract us from what really matters in life: Living for Jesus and Serving others.  I've found myself distracted by a LOT lately and I feel trapped, I want out of this prison of vain concerns.  Nowadays it's hard to dive into God's love-letter better known as the Bible.  Why?  Because when I reflect on it's pages I see exposure of my heart that is hard to see at times.  It's hard to spend a considerable amount of time praising and praying.  Not that I don't want to talk to God, but it's hard when you feel like a failure and condemned on the inside.  I can still find that place of thanksgiving, it's never taken long to be filled with joy when I choose to think about the things God has done and is doing.  Even with that being said though, it's still nothing compared to the deep relationship that I know God desires to have with me.

The good news...the good news is God STILL loves me, God STILL cares and God STILL waits for me to find my way again.  Ya know, the other day I wrote on my private blog and was asking Him, "What is your faithfulness really like?  How long until you give up on me?"  Then I let my mind go into the world of analogies it often drifts to and found myself thinking about the Kansas City Royals Baseball team - go figure.  For anyone who doesn't know, the Royals don't have a very good winning record.  As a matter of fact, for as long as I can remember the Royals have been one of the worst teams in the league.  With that being said, I'm a Royals fan, but not to the fullest extent.  There are some die-hard Royals fans who faithfully attend every season without fail.  Who sit there in the stands cheering them on with just as much passion as the game before no matter what their losing streak may look like.  These fans watch with full-faith and loyalty regardless of how many "strike outs" they may have on their record.  I got to wondering if that's the kind of faithfulness God has for us.  No matter how many times we've hit "foul balls," no matter how many times we've seemingly messed up or "striked-out," no matter what our losing streak may be, does He still faithfully sit in the stands cheering us on with just as much expectancy for us to succeed?  I'm the player, I have control on how hard I try, but He watches ALWAYS believing in me.  I really think that's sorta "picturesque" of what it's like...hmmm...

Now I know you are probably like, "Um...what in the WORLD does all that have to do with weight loss and how did we go from fish oil to faith..." but this blog is about ALL of me and my life is a lot more than an exercise routine or diet plan.  There are a lot of REAL issues that rage inside my heart and mind that are far more meaningful and relevant that just sharing my weight loss wins and woes.

So there you have it, here it goes, the next 5 weeks is much more than eliminating bad habits for a weight loss challenge.  BAD HABITS will DIE HARD for all of me!  Not just in food choices.  I've said it once and I'll say it again, "Body, Mind & Spirit, all three need to come in order to truly be made whole."  The title of my blog is Potter's Clay, I'm making myself as clay in the hands of a potter, God's the potter and I'm asking Him to mold me.  I'm asking that if he takes this ol' lump of clay and sees some pieces of my life that need to be removed, that He'd start forming me without them.  I want to be a vessel of honor that can be used for Him.

Verse(s) of the Day:

Revelation 2:4-5

"Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.  Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first..."

Jeremiah 18:3-6

"So I went down to the potter's house, and saw him working at the wheel.  But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

The the word of the Lord came to me: 'O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?'  declares the Lord.  'Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand..."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Biggest Weight Loss Challenge


It's time for another good challenge - hopefully the FINAL weight "loss" challenge I'm a participant of.  I say final weight "loss" challenge because I'm hoping to reach goal by the end of this (or at least be pretty close to it).  I'm on the 2nd half of my journey which isn't to be confused with a downhill slope, the final stretch feels more like a climb than the first.

As of Sunday, I began the City of Mission's "Biggest Weight Loss Challenge" with 156 participants broken into 6 teams.  The goal is for the entire group to lose 2011 lbs by 2011.  I am on team BLUE with my Dad, three great friends (including my best friend) and strangers who I hope to befriend in the upcoming months.  Did you catch that, MONTHS!  This will be a 7 1/2 month challenge.  SAM will be our faithful trainer and we are on a mission to get healthy.  He's an athletic trainer for Johnson County Community College and volunteering as OUR trainer on the side.  I'm very thankful for his willingness to help us reach our goals.

The reason I'm MORE excited about this challenge than the first 3 I participated in (click here, here & here) is because the goal of this is NOT a competition.  Yes, there is competition involved, but the goal is making this a lifestyle (hint's the extended time frame).  This challenge will help me through my FINAL STRETCH of shedding 200 pounds from my body and although I started this journey with the lifestyle mentality, NOW more than ever I need it reiterated.  I need to start making this routine for life.  Regular workouts (not extreme).  Healthy food choices (not starvation).  Manageable dining out (not gorging). I need to make the changes that haven't quite happened yet that will continue paving the rest of my life.

Anyone who follows my blog probably noticed that I'm back to 109 lbs lost.  I am PROUD of my accomplishment, but it also means I've gained 20 lbs from the my lowest reached weight of 214.  I could sit here and make excuse after excuse, but NONE would hold water.

Simple as that.  I made poor choices and I received poor results.  I spent nearly 2 months failing to plan and losing sight of moderation.    NOW, I feel like I'm backtracking but don't think that I haven't taken note of the lessons learned.  It's important to me to embrace the successes AND setbacks in hopes of using them down the road.  I'm not going to deceive myself into thinking I will never go through a rough patch again or gain a few pounds, BUT I hope to snap out of it before 20 pounds creeps it's way back onto the scale though.

Since this challenge incorporates working as a TEAM as well as individuals, I thought it fitting for today's verse to be about being united and being in agreement with one another.  If we are going to become successful as a team we will need to TRUST one another, BELIEVE in one another, CHALLENGE one another and be in UNITY.

...let's MAKE IT HAPPEN and reap marvelous results by D-Day (Jan 9).  I'm excited!

Verse of the Day:

-1 Cor. 1:10

"Now I exhort YOU, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that YOU should all speak in agreement, and that there should not be divisions among YOU, but that YOU may be fitly united in the same mind and in in the same line of thought."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thank You!

Thank you for your support!

Saturday I completed Advice & Aid Pregnancy Center’s 2010 Walk 4 Life. It was FREEZING cold outside and incredibly windy but there was still a great turnout. YOU helped me raise $436.00 for AAPC to assist this non-profit organization that offers their services FREE of charge to those they help. Without our help, they couldn’t continue to provide the services they offer.

Thank you again for your support!

Verse of the Day:

Jeremiah 1:5

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;"

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Car or Cruisin'? Bike!!!


The first picture is one taken of my faithful car, 2004 V6 Kia Optima (complete with sunroof).  The following picture is what my family is doing right now as we speak!

Oh yes, Mom, Dad & Sis are on a 7 day cruise to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman & Cozumel.  That's JAMAICA, CAYMAN ISLANDS and MEXICO!

I had a difficult decision to make a few months back: Join my family on their cruise (Dad was going to allow me to pay $50 a month until paid back), OR, put those fifty dollars towards paying off the shiny, black beauty pictured above.

As much as I struggled and debated, I decided to strive for debt free over a luxurious trip that I likely would have enjoyed every minute of (while digging into deeper debt.=)  I even sought the advice of my facebook fam & received more response than usual on a status update, each alluding to "If you don't go, I WILL!"  Well then, I know I did what Dave Ramsey would have told me at least! haha

Friday was a bittersweet day, they left for their port in Galveston, TX and I made my final car payment.  It's ironic how the timing worked out that on the SAME DAY these two events would occur.  I must say, the feeling of knowing my car is paid off TRUMPS that of driving 9-10 hours to Galveston, TX.  (we wont discuss the portion of the trip that follows that long car ride though :)

Besides, when I go on my next cruise, I want to BE at goal weight.  I want to feel good at the formal dinners.  I want to be confident while enjoying the sandy beaches.  I want to be proud when I scrapbook and share my vacation pictures!

In addition, I've earmarked what "would have" been my next monthly payment to purchase a brand new Mountain Bike.  Let's just call it an "investment" in my health for paying off my car.  It's a way of spicing up my cardio workouts.  A way of reaching that "cruise weight," faster. PLUS, that will be a one-time payment rather than a 6 year loan.  Going forward, for as long as my car will hang in there with me, I'll be pouring that payment into my savings in attempts of building up what is now virtually NOTHING.

IDEAS FOLKS?  Who likes bike riding?  Where should I go to get a bike?  What should I look for in a bike?  What price range should I shoot for?  What features are necessary & unnecessary? Any bike riding tips? Any and all responses appreciated...

The only thing I'm certain of is that this year I want to be debt free AND I anticipate participating in the Lenexa Midnight Bike Ride.  (haha) I've heard about how fun it is from friends who've rode and this year I'm determined to share in the festivities.  I'm not even sure of the distance of the ride, I just know I want to be there!

Verse of the Day:

Deuteronomy 28:12-13 (NKJV)

"The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them."