Sunday, May 31, 2015

Finishing Well

Nearly two years have passed since I last used this blog to share about my life, and now the time has come for me to start writing again.  It’s not always easy, turning your thoughts and feelings into text, but it is something I feel compelled to do.  Steven Covey once said, “One word expresses the pathway to greatness: voice.  Those on this path find their voice and inspire others to find theirs.”   My hope is that God can somehow use my story to bring encouragement and inspiration to others…and so, through writing, I have found my voice once again.

For those of you who are here for the first time, I would recommend you take a few minutes to read through a couple of my previous posts, Why Polyester, Why Polyester Part 2, Daddy's Example, and I am a Runner, and they will help you understand some of my history.  To my friends who are stepping back into my journey, I am glad you have returned.  I hope to use this post to bring you all up to date on where I am today.

When last I wrote, I was two years into my weight loss journey, and through balanced nutrition and exercise, I had lost 169 pounds and was well on my way to reaching my weight loss goal.  Then, suddenly, everything changed. 

One afternoon in July 2013, I went to the park to go running, and less than 1/8 of a mile in, I was struck with a blinding headache.  Having never experienced any kind of migraine before, I didn’t know what was going on.  Over the next year, the headaches became more frequent and severe, to the point that they never let up, and no medicines or therapies provided any relief.  I hurt continually, and it interfered with every aspect of my life.  I was sent from doctor to doctor, seeing everyone from a neurologist, to an eye doctor, to the dentist, and several other specialists in between, in an effort to determine the cause of my issue.  Finally, in August 2014, it was found that I had a large growth in my frontal sinus cavity that was triggering all of the pain.  During surgery, the doctor performed seven different procedures to clear everything out and re-align my sinuses.  The surgery was more invasive then was planned, and the recovery time took much longer than expected, and I was not released from follow up care until the end of November 2014.  I still have some residual issues that linger, but am grateful that the headaches are a thing of the past.

In the middle of all of the headache and sinus problems, I broke my left foot, and I was restricted from any kind of extended walking for three months, and the doctor told me I was not to run or ride my bike for a minimum of six months, or I faced the risk of re-injury because of where the original break had been located.

This brings me to March 14, 2015…It was time to reclaim the ground I had lost and finish what I started!  I knew I needed accountability to get back on track and start losing weight again, so I signed up for Weight Watchers, took a deep breath, and walked into my very first meeting.  The topic of that session was exactly what I needed to hear…Don’t let your setbacks become stay backs!!!

I have never been a quitter.  Rather, I typically dedicate myself to seeing things through to the end, even when it’s difficult.  I may not always reach the summit as quickly as I would like, and sometimes my definition of success in an area changes over time, but when I start out to accomplish something, it’s not very often that I give up and walk away. 

For example, twenty-five years ago, I graduated high school and went on to college to pursue a degree in music education.  I completed all but my final year of my music program, but then as they say “life got in the way” and I did not get to finish school at that time, but I never let go of the hope that one day I would graduate.  In 2009, I decided it was time to go back to school to finish what I had started, and in May 2014, I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Regent University with my Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology.  Graduating with a 4.0 GPA, while being a wife and mother, working a full time job in the investment field, and serving as a pastor all at the same time was no easy feat.  Through prayer, determination, support from my amazing family, and commitment, however, I finished…and I finished well.

Now, it’s time for me to apply that same level of concentration and deliberate effort to finishing what I started in my weight loss.  My previous health issues put things on hold for a while, but that doesn’t mean I have to stay in that place!  I joined Weight Watchers on March 14th, and in the first 10 weeks, I have already lost 26 pounds! 

Weight Watchers awards you little charms for various milestones, and at my meeting last week, I received my 25lb. goal charm.  In a way, it reminded me of my first semester back in school…I received a letter telling me that I had been placed on the Dean’s List for academic achievement.  Now, the paper that letter was printed on wasn’t worth much, but it signified something great in my life.  It was an active celebration that acknowledged that I was on track towards reaching my goal.  The same can be said of the little 25lb. charm.  It is just a small trinket, but to me, it serves as a beautiful reminder that I WILL reach my goal, and I am well on my way!

Let me encourage you today to revisit your dreams.  Do you have goals that have been set aside, but in your heart, you long to see them come to pass?  Turn them over to the Lord, and ask Him for guidance, direction, and provision, and then take action and see where He leads you!

Philippians 1:6 “…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…”
(Just a reminder/disclosure…I am not a medical professional, a representative of any formal weight loss program or a certified trainer, so anything I write in this blog is not intended to be taken as advice, guidance, or recommendations.  It is simply a journal of my own personal experiences.  Thanks!)