Intellectually Awesome

It’s been awhile and this post won’t be Fitness-related, but it’s easier to get the word out through this medium. 

It’s been a struggle the last 4 years searching for ways to help Sarah learn and grow in her education. The smallest achievements are rewarded and I feel so proud of her. She works hard in school, in afterschool tutoring, and at home for even the tiniest improvement. I cry for her…a lot. But I also smile for her even more. Every IEP meeting has to have tissues ready for me. My momma heart longs for her success and growth. Let’s be honest, I get frustrated with her at times. Probably more than I should, because I don’t understand sometimes.

She’s been in different therapies and schools. She’s been tested for different conditions. It’s been hard to accept and I have had her tested for different things, just to make sure – but this week, I am relieved to know that we can ease up on spending our financial resources and time on searching for answers. 

Sarah doesn’t have dyslexia like I thought. Sarah has a lower IQ than most at 68-72. Some areas as low as 40 – but most tests fell right within the 70 range. Children’s Mercy diagnosed her as “intellectually disabled.” That’s the politically correct phrase for mentally challenged. 

I’m still gathering my thoughts and researching what programs are available to her now. But in the end, I’m so glad I know for sure and can press on for her to have a healthy, happy, fulfilling life. 

Children’s Mercy said that she will even have difficulty living independently. College will probably not be an option, and in a couple years – she should learn a life skill to prepare for the workforce instead of focusing so much on academics in school. 

Eh. I know Sarah. I know her determination. I know her heart. I also know what big dreams she has for herself. She will live on her own. She will continue her education – even if it’s not at a pace as everyone else. She will be a teacher in some fashion. Maybe not in a traditional setting, but she will teach. God put that desire in her heart and she will be the best. 

What other 9 year old asks for a teacher’s desk and school supplies for Christmas? 

In the end, after sitting behind a 2 way mirror during all that IQ testing – I know even more than before, that Sarah is an overcomer. Even though it was hard, I can tell it was so hard for her, she was discouraged, she knew she didn’t have the right answers – she smiled and pushed through until the very end. 

That’s her spirit. That means the world to me. 

Curiosity Killed the Cat (it didn’t kill me!)

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 5am. Stepped on the scale after 2 weeks of great nutrition and hard work. 

EXACT same weight. 

Humph. Sigh. Moan. Groan. 

I wanted to whine and throw a tantrum like my 4 year old son when he doesn’t get to watch “The Lego Movie” for the 156th time. 

No. Stop it. Stop.it. 

I’m not a newbie. I’m seasoned in how this healthy journey survives and lasts a lifetime. Putting validation in a number or a small box that I step on, is a sure fire way to stop true, lasting success, right in its tracks. 

How was I feeling before the scale?

A.m.a.z.i.n.g

The scale will eventually show the awesomeness. But for now, I learned that I still struggle with my emotions when the scale doesn’t respond how I want it to. The number not being where I think it should be, spins me into a “this doesn’t work for me, something is wrong so I should eat everything in the pantry because it doesn’t matter anyway” kind of whirlwind. I don’t want to jeopardize my journey for a few seconds of curiosity. 

I can try to think of a million usual reasons why the number didn’t move. Muscle, inflammation, hormones, cheat meal on Sunday, etc. But I won’t. Why? Because that gives the number on the scale more power. I choose to move forward….marching forward, being faithful, and doing exactly what I know I need to do in order to be a better wife, mother, leader, and friend. 

Success

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One week down. 

Nutrition is right on key and where I should be in order to take care of myself.  I feel so much better – more energy, sleeping better, and my mood is a lot nicer – just ask my family! Water intake has been right on track as well. Exercise is slowly returning. A bit of swimming, cardio machines, and a Piyo class with lots of squats (Yes, it hurts to move today! Love it!)

4lbs down this week. That’s just an added bonus. I am just so thankful to be myself again. 

I am sure not where I was when I left the Healthy U journey. I could have been frustrated seeing how much my endurance has decreased when I jumped on the elliptical. But you know what? I certainly burned more calories since I had to work harder. And I’m definitely not where I was when I began this journey a couple of years ago. 

Week 1. Successful. Still determined.

Fake it until you make it

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Vacation Bible School. A week of craziness while investing in the next generation. I was asked to be a part of a skit this week. I was “Sally the Runner” – I was determined, committed, and focused to finish running. My running friends pooped out on me – I still ran. My napping friends tried to make me stop – I continued on. My pizza friends tempted me with the cheesy goodness – but I stayed focused, kept my eyes ahead, and kept running. (My pizza “friends” were a bit too realistic! Ha!) 

At the end, Sally shows the kids that she stays committed because of her relationship with Christ -because  He gives her the strength. 

Yes. 

Have you ever heard the line, “Fake it until you make it?” I felt like a phony up there being “Sally.” But I know I have it in me. I have been Sally and I am a fighter. An Overcomer. That brief moment of faking it awoke that “Sally” attitude within me. 

I don’t care what the scale says. I don’t care that my clothes don’t fit. I could care less that people can tell that I have physically changed and have gained weight. It has been a battle to not care about those things. Let’s be honest, ok…I really do care. I care way too much.  But I care even more about how my choices have made me feel – who I have become.  I’m tired of being miserable with myself because of my decision to give up being healthy. I have had enough of feeling sorry for myself while eating McDonald’s or finding happiness in my next high calorie binge…thinking I will get back on it next week or after the weekend – only to keep going in the vicious cycle. 

That’s the reason why I begin once again. I don’t look back. I own up to my mistakes and my failures. God’s power has been within me all along – and I may have to dig it up again, but I bet I won’t have to look too far. 

 I am determined, I am committed, I am focused. 

Brave

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Being brave isn’t beginning. It’s beginning again. Moving past the fears of failing, pushing thorugh the sense of falling short, getting courage to press through because you know how hard it really is. 

My goal? To be healthy again. Weight loss – to see 180’s again and eventually to my post Healthy U number of 154. 

What’s a bit intimidating? That there’s no end. There’s no finish line. Just a series of wins….and let’s face it, losses. It’s a fight. The fight to be healthy both inside and out will be with me a lifetime. I’m not training for a marathon that will end next year. I’m not trying to beat a certain number on the scale. I’m in a fight to live life and for me – dragging my butt to the gym every day or eating a salad when I really want that Big Mac is what keeps depression in the back seat. Silly, huh? Small decisions bringing big results of freedom. But I guess that’s with any addiction. Choosing to stay home instead of going out to party for an alcoholic. But for me, it’s choosing to leave my house instead of burying my head under the covers.

Brave. Courageous.  I’m not Superwoman, but God make my impossible – possible. 

Laundry and Yoga Pants

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This journey never ends. I have been in a rut the last year of comparing and being discouraged. I wear my yoga pants not to work out – but because they are comfortable…and you never know if I was at the gym or not ;) 

Overcomer is still my ring tone on my phone. I see my half marathon photo every day in my bedroom. I’m reminded every day of what I can accomplish and have accomplished. In fact, I had those yoga pants on this morning as I took Isaiah to school. Overcomer blared on the radio. Ok. I could drive my car back home and fold 7 loads of laundry. Or I could face my fear and go to the gym again. Just ask my hubby, I will do anything to find an excuse not to do laundry!

I parked far away to muster up the courage to go in. I hold my breath as I scan my membership card – hoping no red lights and alarms will flash. 

My locally-owned gyms have been more than a gym to me. They both have become friends and interested in my journey. So much, in fact, that a couple years ago – I was rewarded a lifetime membership to Brian’s Gym. I haven’t been taking advantage of that amazing blessing this year. 

I didn’t set off alarms today. My membership wasn’t revoked. In fact, I was met with many smiles, “how are you”, “what’s your new goal?”, and I even got a good size bag of powdered peanut butter from the owner. 

Why do I compare myself to others? It only spirals into depression and self pity. Why do I think others will look down at me for gaining weight? 

I started this journey for myself. I let go of the pressure of trying to “be enough” for others and start again to show myself that I am enough. For myself. For God. 

“You got the heart of a champion

Don’t you know you can do anything?

Your greatest strength will be found within

‘Cause I, I will be there always to cheer you on

You can make it, take it, keep moving on

There is nothing you can’t overcome

It ain’t over yet”

Cheer You On – Jordan Feliz

Crowded Gyms

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I love the fresh start of January. One week in and loved meeting my goals every day. January means crowded gyms. I’m an introvert at heart – I love my workouts by myself, but also have learned that I need group classes as well. I was brave and did 3 different (crowded) classes last week along with my 2 days of working out alone. 

You know what? It was great. It was great seeing old friends, meeting new faces, and let’s face it – not being the only one who went right instead of left during Zumba, had to learn the Bear Complex, or had to rest just a few seconds during Pump. I was met with encouragement and smiles – no judgments of my time away the last few months. No looks as I entered the gym carrying more pounds than I left with in the Fall. While I was checking in at the gyms I go to, I thought for sure the computer system would raise red flags and sound an alarm warning people of my absence. Ha! I have learned to love the crowded gyms in January even when I can’t find a free treadmill or have to wait to use the squat bar. Because I know what it’s like walking in feeling defeated. I remember walking in not knowing how to turn on the treadmill, thinking everyone was looking at me – laughing at my feeble attempt to get healthy. But you know what? I have no evidence supporting that claim. No one has ever laughed at me. Even when I fell off the treadmill at the beginning trying to run. I feel connected to all the “resolution” members. 3 years ago, I was one of them and I was…and am a success after a lot of hard work. 

This week another Healthy U class graduated. They were amazing and I loved seeing their lives transformed as the year progressed. This year was the first year I wasn’t directly involved on stage. I helped out where I was needed. Most people there that night didn’t even know I was a past Healthy U winner losing 86lbs and 36% in 2013 (100lbs altogether). My limelight has long ended. It was bittersweet for a moment. But I am in the limelight of future Healthy U classes. I want to be the one that shows them that it’s not over after their year. This healthy journey takes a lifetime with no graduation. 

Today marks my 2 year anniversary from graduating Healthy U. I loved seeing the encouraging posts for friends 2 years ago and all the photos from that night. It was the best! I may not be where I was that night, but I maintained it for close to 2 years until 3 months ago.  Setbacks happen. I’m not starting over but picking up where I left off. Also, after one week – I’m sore but happy with myself. And 5lbs lighter.

Overcomer? Yes. Yes I am. And just in case you didn’t know it, you are too. There’s nothing special about me that isn’t any different than you!