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Posts Tagged ‘challenge’


I’m starting the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge today. I need to do something to jump start this year and I’ve heard great things about the Challenge. So I’m doing it. I’ve been watching my food intake and exercising a bit more regularly, but the weight is stubborn. Very. Stubborn. If you’ve followed the blog for any time you know I faithfully use My Fitness Pal to track my calorie intake on a daily basis. It has worked very well to keep me honest about what I’m eating and I still use it. I’m playing with my calorie counts now to see if raising (or lowering) my numbers will help me get back down where I want to be. It’s a process, but I think as our bodies change (and we increase or decrease our activity levels) it’s good to change things up a bit. What worked 2 years ago might not work now. That’s why I’ve jumped on the AdvoCare bandwagon. I’m hoping it works!

I did another cleanse two years ago and it really helped get me back on track. So, here we go. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

Taking JOY in the journey,

Lori

AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge

If you want to check out the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge, here’s the link: http://bit.ly/AdvoCareYeary

(Disclosure: I am an AdvoCare distributor. Purchasing products from this site will produce income for me. Just being honest.)

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It’s hard to believe, but just one year ago today I was 25 pounds heavier than I am today. I was overweight, out of shape, frustrated and to be brutally honest, depressed. I didn’t want to go anywhere, didn’t like the way I looked, and felt old and tired at the ripe old age of 52. I didn’t want to walk around the house, much less walk around the block. I was unmotivated to do much of anything except sit on the couch and feel sorry for myself. It was a very ugly pity party.

The culmination of this sad state of affairs and the impetus for a much needed life change came on New Year’s Eve. I literally had nothing to wear to an evening of dancing with our best friends. Nothing. None of my dresses fit, I had one pair of black slacks that still fit (although a little tight) and no nice top to wear that was suitable for the occasion. My awesome husband went shopping with me and helped me pick out a dressy top (i.e. tunic/tent). I then proceeded to avoid the camera all night. I was the one taking the pictures or hiding behind others when I couldn’t avoid the group shots. A couple of photos were taken though, and I cried when I saw them. Unfortunately, the camera doesn’t lie. I finally had to admit I needed to lose weight.

I embarked on my diet and exercise adventure on January 1, 2012. I set goals – some fairly reasonable and a couple of “stretch” goals: Lose 25 pounds, learn to slalom waterski, improve my skiing enough to buy my own ski by the 2013 season and run a 5k race before the end of 2013. I worked hard, counted calories like a crazy women (thanks, MyFitnessPal!) and gradually started losing weight. I began to make time for exercise, drank lots of water and green tea and learned that portion sizes are my friends. I started out slow – going to the gym 2 or 3 times a week. 30 minutes of walking on the treadmill was about all I could handle. I gradually increased my time and days until I was at the gym 6 days a week. I even gave up my Sunday afternoon nap (much to my family’s surprise!) to go to the gym. By May I had lost 25 pounds, gone from a size 12 to a size 2/4 and accomplished a previously unreachable goal. In June I learned to slalom waterski and skied the whole summer – improving enough to buy my own ski in September – ahead of my goal! I started training for a 5k race in August and ran my first one on October 27th. I even set a personal record of 11:45 per mile. I ran my second 5k in November (with my awesome husband!) and set another personal record of 11:35 per mile.

Just thinking about all I’ve overcome and accomplished this year makes me proud of myself – something I haven’t felt in a very long time. This journey was about much more than just losing weight. I’m discovering things about myself and setting new goals for 2013. I’m looking forward to the New Year with more excitement and anticipation than I can ever remember having. There’s a spiritual aspect to my journey as well. Aside from the physical weight, I’ve been carrying some emotional and spiritual baggage for far too long. Hurts and wounds from the past have weighed me down and kept me from moving forward. It’s time to let them go, start fresh and get ready to run the race God has set before me. Ready? Set? GO!

Taking joy in the journey,

Lori

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Has God ever asked you to give something up? Relinquish something to Him without the expectation of His returning it to you? It’s a scary proposition, I can tell you from experience. There is a long list of examples in the Bible, but one of my personal favorites is the story of Abraham and Isaac.

The first part of the story is key: Abraham Tested

Genesis 22 1Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you. ”

Remember here that God had promised in Genesis 17 that he would give Abraham a son long after he and his wife Sarah had passed their child bearing years. Now God was asking Abraham to kill his only, promised son. I can’t even imagine what was going on in his mind upon hearing this incredibly ridiculous request.  I would have probably said “What, are you kidding me?! You want me to kill my only child? I don’t think so!” I have the greatest respect for Abraham because his response is immediate:

Genesis 22 3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.

Notice that Abraham responded by gathering everything he needed in anticipation of making the sacrifice. But when it came time for him to go up, he told his servants to stay with the animals and “We will worship and then we will come back to you.” Abraham expected God to provide a substitute for Isaac. He knew he could trust God to keep his promise – the heir to the inheritance.

We can’t always expect that God will give us back what He asks us to sacrifice. Sometimes He does, sometimes He doesn’t. But it’s not because He is jerking us around or playing games with our emotions. As humans we tend to hold on tightly (sometimes too tightly) to things, relationships or situations that are ultimately not good for us. When God asks us to relinquish something to Him it is oftentimes because He has something better for us. Or He has work to do in us (healing, teaching, etc.) before allowing us to continue in a relationship or situation. In letting go, we give God room to move. After all, He’s the one with the Master plan…

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Taking joy in the journey and holding everything loosely,

Lori

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Life happens. Friends move, adult children move back home, a sibling is in the hospital, friends divorce, someone hurts you deeply. How do you respond? My first response used to be panic, fear, frustration, anger – you get the idea. A couple of months ago our pastor challenged us to try a new way of dealing with life events. Whenever something happens to disrupt your day, don’t respond for at least 20 minutes. Don’t react, don’t call a friend, don’t post it on Facebook, don’t tweet it. Just pray. Ask God how He wants you to respond to the situation and then wait.

I wish I’d heard this advice years ago. It would have saved me so much time, energy and aggravation! Instead of responding with anger when someone personally attacked me, I should have taken the time to pray and ask how God wanted me to respond. Instead of responding to my awesome husband in anger when he hurt my feelings, I should have prayed first and talked to him later. Instead of saying an automatic “yes” when someone asked a big favor (that later came back to bite me) I should have taken some time to ask God if it was what He wanted me to do. Lessons learned. The hard way.

We had a discussion with some young friends recently about the best way to start the day. I try to start each day by asking God to prepare my heart for whatever comes. God knows what each day will bring, so He’s not surprised at anything that happens. Good or bad, God wants to prepare us so that when the crisis comes, when disruptions happen we are not surprised or set back. I love Jeremiah 29:11(NIV) –“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.

I experienced this just recently. I purposefully asked God to prepare me for whatever might come during the day. About 10:00am I got a call that before would have put me in a state of panic. I didn’t react, didn’t automatically respond. I just prayed and asked God how to move forward. It was amazing! I had a tremendous sense of peace throughout the day and knew that God had prepared me for.

Life happens – what’s your response?

Taking joy in the journey,

Lori

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You know how sometimes you can just move along in your normal, everyday life then WHAM! Something happens to rock your world? When this type of event happens, what’s your first reaction? Do you immediately begin to fret and worry, letting your mind race through all sorts of scenarios? Or do you talk to God first?

In our 30+ years of marriage we’ve experienced:

  • Marriage – now THAT’s a life changing event!
  • Miscarriage #1
  • Birth of 2 daughters
  • Miscarriages #2 and #3
  • Loss of 7 jobs through lay-offs
  • Loss of just about everything including our house
  • Move to California
  • Adoption of our oldest daughter
  • Move back to Texas
  • Marriage of our oldest daughter
  • Birth of 3 grandchildren
  • Death of 3 parents in 4 months

And these were just the “biggies”. We all experience perspective altering events throughout our lives, but the one constant question has to be: “Do I trust that God is ultimately in control of everything?” Will I let this event send me into the depths of worry or will I hold everything loosely and understand that I serve a great God who is not surprised by any aspect of my situation? Will I sleep peacefully tonite, or will I toss and turn while letting my mind go to the craziest, most desperate places? Will I trust God completely, or will I take this situation wholly on myself and doubt that He will provide? Believe me, I can spout the “words” of faith quite well while secretly panicking like a crazy person. I can play the part of the “faithful follower” while working myself quietly into an ulcer or nice cozy blanket of depression. Been there, done that. But over the years I’ve learned to take big “life events” in stride. Oh I’ll still give in to worry occasionally, but those moments are brief, thank goodness. Now I am more likely to pray first – and then it’s amazing how worry disappears. It’s amazing the calming effect just trusting in God can have. It’s pretty simple really.

“For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him until that Day.” 2 Timothy 1:12

I believe that God is in control. I believe He is not surprised by any situation. I believe that His plans are for my good. I believe He is my provider. I believe He loves me and will continue to guide and direct my path – wherever it leads. I KNOW God is good. All the time.

Taking joy in the journey (wherever it leads!)

Lori

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God has blessed me with many friends over the years. Some are for a season – short burst friendships that are laser focused for a limited time, but rich with significance. Others are “Long Haul” friendships that endure over miles and years. There are Mentoring Friends whose life experiences speak volumes into my life; encouraging, challenging, even daring me to believe God for greater things. Life-Giving Friends who come along side me in the trenches, day to day – praying with and for me through the highs and lows of life. These are the friends I call/text/email when I need prayer covering or support. I know I can rely on these awesome women to pray, encourage and lift me up when life tries to knock me down. Then there are Casual Friends – those who move in and out of my life on the periphery, but I feel like someday they will move into the closer circle of friends.

Recently God introduced me to a new circle of friends – Young 20/30 Something Women. I love how these women are seeking after God in a whole-hearted, uncompromising, unashamed, willing to look foolish way to let the world know WHO they are in Christ. They are an inspiration to me in ways they will never know (unless they read my blog!) – and I am so grateful that God has blessed me with these relationships. I am constantly amazed at how they deal with the pressures of life and still find joy in the little things. These amazing women have allowed me into their lives as mentor, friend, counselor and substitute mom, but what they don’t realize is that they minister to me in return. I wish I had known what they know when I was in my 20s! Granted they’ve had challenges, but they’ve each reached out to God and found His will and purpose for their lives and are pursuing it with passion and dedication.

Most of the time I feel very inadequate to mentor or speak into the lives of my young friends. Then I remember what God has brought me through and it makes a little more sense. I realized that I don’t have to have a life altering, picked me up out the (literal) gutter, delivered me from addiction kind of testimony to encourage someone. I just need to recognize that God has ordered my every step, kept me sane in the midst of crushing grief, healed my marriage and given me a little insight into Who He wants to be in my life. If I can share that with anyone, then I am doing what He called me to do. Be a friend.

Taking joy in the journey,

Lori

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