Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Trust Eliminates Fear

I've been praying a lot and asking for God to give me a sign as to where I need to go.  I've been looking for the obvious sign, one that just slaps me in the face (I know, I expect too much).  Well, I got it this morning.  I subscribe to K-LOVE's Encouraging Word & when I got to work today and logged into my email I had this verse waiting for me.
“ Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the Lord will be joyful. ”
(Proverbs 16:20 NLT)
And He delivers, as He always does.  The question I've been wrestling with in my heart was answered at the very moment I read this.  I knew what He was telling me to do, I was just scared to do it. 
I told you on my post on Sunday that Kev and I have had a rough week.  I've been faced with the question as to whether or not I am in the right place to compete in the KC Weight Loss Challenge, and my heart is telling me NO.  I've been terrified of what people will think; you'll think I quit because I didn't want to do it, I got scared, I'm lazy, (insert excuse here).  But,  this verse assured me this morning that I don't need acceptance from any PERSON, the only person I need acceptance from is God... and He has shown me that I need to walk away from the KC Weight Loss Challenge and focus on living a little more simply, take some quiet time to process things, take a "time-out" and spend some time with my husband and more time with God.  So, that's what I'm going to do.  Let me assure you this has not been an easy decision, but it's one I've needed to make so I can move on. 
I want to thank you again for your votes to allow me the opportunity in the challenge, I am SO GRATEFUL for the outpouring of support I received.  I am still so humbled by the kind words, messages, status updates, etc., that you all took the time to help me get into this challenge.  I was really looking forward to it and I was so excited for the opportunity.  Last Thursday my world was turned upside-down though and it changed my outlook on where I need to invest my time.   I'm trusting God right now and I know He will not lead me down the wrong path so I'm just following His lead... I hope you know I was SO thankful I was given this opportunity; it was just the wrong time in my life.
Thanks for keeping us in your prayers... we feel them:)


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Emotional Roller Coaster

I've had a very rough week.  I've been on a roller coaster of emotions; one minute I've felt on top of the world, the next I've had my world taken out from underneath me.
I'm not really wanting to talk about it on my blog.  But, I would like to ask for prayers for God to show me where He is wanting me to go.  Right now I'm trying to find out what to do next.  I'm praying that God gives me some direction.
I don't mean to keep things a secret, after all, I do share quite a bit on here... but there are some things that I'm just not willing to talk about yet, or might not ever be.  I'm a blogger, but I am a person too.  Right now we are going through something personal that we want to keep to ourselves, but we do appreciate your understanding and support.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's not about the destination...it's about the journey!

I've always loved that quote.  First time I heard it was during a yoga training in college.  It's one of the quotes that has always stuck with me, and I've used it to remind myself that I may not understand why God is doing certain things with my life at the time they are happening...BUT, He always pulls through and I see His vision sooner or later.
Two years ago I was at the lowest point in my life. ever.  I'd gained 100 lbs., my marriage was on the rocks, I was in the depths of an eating disorder that I couldn't control... I'd lost ME.  I'm here now to tell you... I'm back... and better than ever!  I had no clue why God was making me "really think" about dieting and why it contributed to a life long food addiction and binge eating disorder.  Now I do. 
I gained the weight to learn the real reason behind my weight gain (and loss, and gain again, only to lose again...yada yada yada).  The day I woke up and said "I'm done gaining and losing the last 35 lbs over and over, I want to know WHY I can't lose weight and keep it off"... that day is the day that changed my life.  I'll never forget my therapist telling me after I'd gained about 80 lbs, "Amy, you are doing the hard work, the work that hardly anyone does.  You are allowing yourself to eat what you want, and learn about your body instead of being on a diet.  Diets cause disorders".  I had to re-learn (if I ever really knew) to eat when I was hungry, stop when I was satisfied, and quit beating myself up if I ate something "bad".  That was what I had SO much trouble with... I was so cruel to myself.  Knowing what I know now, that's why I put up with people treating me poorly in my life at that time... because I didn't think too highly of myself.  Today, I choose to remove the toxic and negative people in my life because I'm too positive and happy to let their bad attitudes bring this girl down!!!
I have so much to celebrate.  No, I'm not at my goal weight... but I'm on my way.  I'm not giving up.  Never.

This week I was SO blessed to be voted into the KC Weight Loss Challenge!!!!  My friends, family, and their friends and family helped vote me in to 2nd place to secure my spot as a contestant!  I just found out tonight, and I'm so excited for this journey and the people I am going to meet along the way.  The 100 lbs I gained didn't do a lot for my figure, but it's done a lot for my life... and bringing inspiration & motivation to others as I find my way through this makes this ride worthwhile.
Stay tuned and I'll share more info as I know it for the KC Weight Loss Challenge. 
And if you voted for me... I cannot thank you enough for your support!!!
My BEFORE picture for the KC Weight Loss Challenge!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Voting Starts Today!

Today is the first day to vote for me for the Kansas City Fitness Magazine's Weight Loss Challenge!  I was chosen to be 1 of 40 contestants who are competing to get into the Final 12!  Voting goes through Wednesday at 5:00 pm.  I would appreciate your vote, and for you to spread the word to the people you know as well!
I have a bundle of emotions this morning as voting opened.  I'm nervous and can't help but feel a little anxious about EVERYONE seeing my weight.  Especially since it is different from my last weigh in.  I've tried telling myself that there are a lot of factors that made my "KC Weight Loss Challenge" weight different from my last weigh in with Dr. Weeks, but I still am struggling with what I weighed in at last week.
The last 2 weeks I've been under a great deal of stress with work, the biopsy, my weight loss, etc.  Plus, AF is scheduled to visit any day so that NEVER helps the scale for me!  BUT, I've decided to LET GO of the gain because it doesn't matter in the long run... everyday I'm making better choices and THAT is what matters.
I'm getting BACK UNDER 200 LBS.... I promise you that!  And I hope I'm able to do so through the KC Weight Loss Challenge!  I am excited for this journey and hope I make it into the Top 12!

To Vote:
  1. Click here
  2. If you are already a fan of Kansas City Fitness Magazine then you just need to LIKE my picture.  
  3. If you are NOT a fan of the Kansas City Fitness Magazine then LIKE their page FIRST, then go to my picture and click LIKE.
  4. That's it!  Once you like my picture your vote is counted!
  5. Don't forget to share it with the people you know!!
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

*Just as I was getting ready to post this I got an email from a friend with this quote, and it couldn't of been a more perfect time... thank you, you know who you are :)

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. ~Winston Churchill

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Please VOTE 4 ME!

I have been keeping a little secret...
A few weeks ago I applied for a contest...
I didn't actually think I'd get interviewed so I kept it to myself...
Well... After an interview on Thursday night I found out on Friday that I MADE the cut!!

I am competing to be 1 of 12 finalists in Kansas City Fitness Magazine's Weight Loss Challenge!!!!  I have made it this far on my own, but now I need YOUR help!  There are 40 people competing to get into the final 12, and the only way to get there is to have people vote for us on Facebook.
That's where my wonderful, amazing & loyal friends, family & followers come in.  Starting on Monday August 23rd @ 8:00am I need your votes to help me become a contestant!  Voting ENDS on Wednesday August 25th @ 5pm.  All you need to do is go Kansas City Fitness Magazine's Facebook page  , find my picture with the Round 4 Contestants, and click "like". 
This Weight Loss Challenge is 9 weeks and they provide me with a trainer and I will weigh in once a week.  You will be able to follow my journey via weekly video blogs and watch my progress on the Kansas City Fitnesss Magazine Website & on the  Kansas City Fitness Magazine's Facebook Page.  And of course I'll keep my blog up to date as well.
Thank you all SO much in advance for your votes and support!  I hope this challenge will be another way to stay motivated and inspire others to take charge of their health!  I am so blessed to have such an amazing support system on this crazy, overwhelming, humbling & exciting journey!
Now... go out & ROCK THE VOTE!!!! :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Have you made someone feel beautiful today?

A few months ago I told you about the awesome blog Operation Beautiful.  This blog is so amazing and I hope everyone knows about it!  It's gotten so big that Caitlin {creator of Operation Beautiful} now has a BOOK!

Operation Beautiful Video...



Last week my cousin and I were sharing the random notes we were leaving around town, and it felt so good knowing I may have put a smile on someone's face!  I know that people saw these notes and thought "what in the world is this?"  I just hope they went to the website to see what Operation Beautiful is all about!

Here are a few random notes I left...
I left this in a bathroom stall:)

I left this one at the post office
After my first post a few months ago my co-worker put this on my desk:)  


I started carrying a post it note pad in my purse and have my notes all ready to go, so when I get the "urge" to post one I just take it off and place it wherever I think someone should see it!
Go out and make someone's day by leaving an uplifting Operation Beautiful note.  You'll end up being surprised at how good it makes YOU feel in the process.

And always remember...
"You are beautiful just the way you are"

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Don't wait until it's too late.

A few weeks ago I got an email from a friend about a young mother who had been diagnosed with Melanoma at 29 years old.  I played the video while sitting at my desk and was shocked when I recognized her.  (She is married to a guy I went to college with) It made it much more real to me to recognize the woman fighting this battle.  She has 2 young children and is fighting this disease with every ounce of her being.  After watching her video I called my dermatologist right away. 
View Heather's Video Here
I think sometimes we know what we should  do but we are afraid to because we could learn something about ourselves that we don't want to know, because it could turn our life upside down.  The friend who shared the video had no idea that I would recognize Heather, she only sent it to me because she knew I tanned in a tanning bed.  God was speaking directly to me that morning and telling me to make an appointment, quit ignoring the spot I've had for over a year that I've been worried about.  He was telling me to quit wasting money on a monthly tanning package & to find other ways to make myself "feel pretty".   
There have been other times in my life that I knew God was sending me signs, I just chose to ignore them.  I wasn't going to ignore this sign.  I've grown so much in my faith that I've really tried to quit "ignoring" God when I know He is trying to teach me something.
I went to the dermatologist last week and showed him numerous spots on my right leg that I've been bothered by, they were just things he could burn off, so he did.  Then I told him about a spot under my right breast that sometimes will blister, bleed and itch after tanning.  He took one look at it and said "I'm not comfortable with this, I want to remove it today".  Ok, I'm NOT good with doctors usually.  I was laying there on the table with every ounce of strength I could find praying to God saying "thank you for bringing me here, if this is something then I've caught it in time, You'll never give me something I can't handle, etc." 
He performed a biopsy and told me it looked like basal cell.  Well, that terrified me.  He said with basal cell carcinoma a lot of times UV light makes it act up, which were my symptoms.  I was thinking to myself it was only a short while ago that Heather was in this same position, "hoping" her spot was nothing.  That appointment changed her life forever.  I told him the reason I came in, that I'd seen a video that scared me and he said "Well, are you done?"  I said "with what?", he said "tanning in a tanning bed?  Have you had a big enough scare yet?"  I told him I've promised myself that no amount of tanning is worth skin cancer and YES I am done tanning in a tanning bed... for good. 
I never want to be in that position again.  I laid there during the biopsy thinking to myself  "Seriously Amy, you are here because you think that tanning makes you prettier, thinner, etc....."  NO tanning doesn't do those things, instead it made me a terrified 28 year old wife wishing I'd never started tanning way back in high school. 
I got my results two days ago and it was not cancer.  It was benign Warty Dyskeratoma and the only treatment needed was to have it removed, which he did with the biopsy.  I just have to get my stiches out tomorrow & then I'm ok!  Warty Dyskeratoma is usually found in older men- age 50-70, so I have NO idea how I got this but it's gone and that's all that matters.
I got good news.  But, not everyone does.  If we don't learn from the people who God chooses to fight these battles then we will never learn & cancer will continue to be the diagnosis.  Heather's story has changed my attitude on tanning.  I will NEVER go back to a tanning bed.  I will spray tan and have the peace of mind that I'm not making myself a petri dish for skin cancer.  We must change the way we think about our bodies.  Tanning, Makeup, expensive clothes, etc. do not make up the amazing person we are... it's the goodness on the inside that counts. 
I encourage EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU to make an appointment with a dermatologist.  I had him look over my entire body.  You cannot be too safe.  If I can bring awareness to one person, who will pass it on to another, then Heather's fight is making a difference.  I pray for Heather and her journey and if you could add her in your prayers today will you please?  I am so sorry that God chose her to fight Melanoma, but I am thankful that she is bringing awareness to the severity of Melanoma and trying to save others along the way.

If you would like to visit Heather's blog click here.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Why I Blog

In overcoming fear and sharing our stories with others, 
we find the truth about who we really are—and discover that we're not alone.
~ Lisa Hammond

Sunday, August 15, 2010

California Vacation

Kevin and I went to California in July and had an amazing time together!  Neither of us had ever been there so it was a trip we were really looking forward to for a long time.  We flew into San Diego and spent 2 days there, then drove up the Pacific Coast Highway and spent 3 days in LA.
At Torrey Pines
Torrey Pines
 It was a much needed vacation and I was so thankful to get out of town for a few days and relax and love on my husband:)
At Zuma Beach in Malibu

Balboa Park in San Diego
In Hollywood @ THE CARPENTERS Star... They are my idols!!
At the Hollywood sign
Kevin's cousin lives in LA so we got to hang out with him while we were there and he showed us around LA... thank goodness for Kyle!  He got us a little more "up close and personal" with the Hollywood sign and while doing so I fell down part of the mountain... I actually found it really funny & was laughing so hard Kev & Kyle had to help me up:)  I think I may have been delirious from the 4+ hour drive from San Diego to LA that morning!
Kyle, myself & Kev
Kyle is going to be famous someday... I promise!  So keep a look out for him!
We went to Beverly Hills to see Rodeo Drive.  It was beautiful!  The flowers and storefronts were so pretty! 
Rodeo Drive

The flowers on Rodeo Drive were beautiful!
Our last night in LA we ate with Holly (Kev's cousin) and her husband Jorge @ Akasha.
Amazing food, wine & dessert!  Holly & Jorge were in LA from Topeka also so we were glad to meet up with them while in LA!
Kev & I at Akasha.  What a great end to an amazing trip!
I can't wait to go back to California.  I asked Kev if we can retire there!  I've already started saving my pennies:)  The weather was so nice in LA, actually in San Diego it was really cold, but still better than 100 degrees with 90% humidity! 
I'm so thankful we saved up the money for such a fun vacation, it's so nice to get away from everyday life and just enjoy the man I fell in love with 6 years ago:)

I'm already thinking about our next vacation... suggestions?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

All you need is love

I saw this on another blog this morning and had tears streaming down my face. This video is raw, authentic and so real. I pray those of you who have family/friends/loved ones serving in the military have or will have these kind of homecomings with your soldier.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Seriously!?!

Do you ever have days that you are hungry for everything?  I mean, I've had to talk myself out of all kinds of food today!  I've been craving it all from fast food (which I don't eat because of the movie Fast Food Nation) to ice cream, mexican food, candy bars, etc.  I picked a horrible day to go to the store because I took twice as long because I had to tell myself "No, Amy you don't need that Twix bar or those donuts, etc"  Thankfully I left the store with only the items on my list and they are healthy and won't sabotage my eating...but, it wasn't an easy task! 
I wish AF would hurry up and get here so these stupid cravings would go away! :)  {sorry boys, this was a total girl post}

How do you handle days like this?  I pray I wake up tomorrow and all cravings are gone for good!  Hopefully Boot Camp will work every last craving out of my body!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Follow Up: Summer Book Challenge

In June I told you I was going to be participating in a Summer Book Challenge that Booking Mama posted on her site.  The challenge is to read books from Entertainment Weekly's- 18 Must Reads this Summer.  I've read some of the books from the list so I thought I'd share them with you.  I haven't been too impressed yet, but I'm not giving up hope! I'm glad that I decided to step out of my comfort zone and read books that I wouldn't normally pick up to read.  Who knows, one of the others could be my next favorite book!
  1. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer-  Loved this book, and I knew I would because I loved the Twilight series.  It gave me a different perspective on the "other side" of Twilight, which I loved!
  2. The Passage by Justin Cronin-  I had read on several blogs & articles that this was the book of the summer.  So, I chose it for Little Black Book Club's July pick.  We meet this week to talk about it and I'm anxious to see what the girls thought of it.  I personally didn't think it was as good as I wanted it to be, but it was interesting.  I think I've read too much sci-fi lately so it kind of turned me off from it.  But, if you like sci-fi, action, vampires, etc... it's a must read for you.
  3. Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman-  This was my first Nook purchase!  I read it while in California and loved reading on my Nook!  However, this story is so sad!  This book wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great either.  It was a pretty average book in my opinion with a really sad plot.  I did like the different characters but I think my main problem with the book is that it was so predictable.
Those are the 3 I've read so far.  Have you read any of them?  If so, which ones?  My goal was "Guppy" in this challenge- which is 4-6 books by Labor Day.  If you have read any other books lately that you've enjoyed (even if they aren't on the list) I'd love to hear about them too!

I'm currently reading April & Oliver by Tess Callahan and I'm really enjoying it so far!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Replace the "2" with a "1" please:)

I had my 11 month appointment with Dr. Weeks last week and I left pretty excited.  Why?  Because I'm finally under 200 pounds!  Yippee!  I never thought I'd be sharing my weight so openly, or celebrating weighing 199.4 for that matter, but I've decided that God put me on this journey for a reason, so I must embrace it, learn from it, and inspire others because of it.
I haven't weighed under 200 lbs. since Spring 2008- TWO years ago!  Needless to say I'm doing the happy dance:)  I've had very slow weight loss the last few months but the scale is still moving down.  That's all that matters to me!  My total weight loss is 55.3 lbs. and I would love to hit 60 lbs. at my next appointment, which will be my 1 year anniversary of the "new Amy"!  Looking back to a year ago I am so thankful for how far I've come... and even though I still have a long road ahead of me there is no way I'd turn back now. 
I do want you to know that even though I'm excited about the weight loss, I'm much more proud of the work I've done inside to fix the parts of me that were {and still sometimes are} broken. There have been many other times that I've lost weight {if you've known me a long time, you can vouch for that} but I've always focused on the outside, I've never looked within myself to find out the reasons why I used food as a crutch and the weight always piled back on & fast.  I've learned so much about myself, my past, my relationships, my dreams and my struggles that I'm confident walking away from situations I know set me up for failure.  I've learned that my weight problem was {ok, IS} so much more than food, and I've come to grips with that. By dealing with those issues it's made me a much happier person.  Losing weight is the easy part.  Fighting the demons that drive you to the food so you can mask your pain... that's the real struggle.  If you are on a weight loss journey I hope you are dealing with the real truth behind your weight; not just because of the way you look in a pair of jeans or the size you buy off the rack.  Those who love you love you no matter what those numbers are, they love you for the wonderfully amazing person you are on the inside.  And once you begin to love yourself, you'll allow others to love you that much more.

{Left} Month 11- Lost 55.3 lbs total  Under 200 lbs. this month!  Yippee!
{Right} A reminder of the "old" me only a year ago.

Thanks for following me on this crazy journey of self-discovery, it's been quite a ride!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Boys of Fall

I saw a video today that is so awesome. It's Kenny Chesney's new video for the song "The Boys of Fall". When I was in High School football wasn't a big deal to me. But, my husband is from a small town and football in his hometown IS a big deal. The whole town is there cheering on the Eagles and that's what everyone does on Friday night. It's pretty awesome to witness and I hope that someday my kids will experience sports the way Kevin did.
This video is so neat, and if I can be honest... it gives me the dreams of having my own little boy someday so I can be one proud Mama on the sidelines!  If we only get girls I pray they get Kev's athletic ability so I can cheer them on too, cause they won't get an ounce of talent from me in regards to sports! HA!
Enjoy!