Sunday, December 26, 2010

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas, oh wait, I got one.

So I hate to sound like scrooge, but there are very few things that I dislike more than playing in snow. I like snow, it's pretty, from inside. Today I did brave it for about 45 minutes with some of my family, but with me being allergic to the cold and all (haha), I decided to call it a day and go inside. I did get some great pictures and will post them!

I have really been feeling the Holy Spirit moving in my life over this Christmas break, more so than I have in the last few weeks. I believe one of the things that He was trying to teach me today was the beauty of simplicity. I am a very simple person, but sometimes I take advantage of the extremely simple things. I am one of those people that likes to be on the run constantly. Sitting on the couch doing nothing is an extreme rarity in my life. All day today I sat on the couch with my daddy and brother and watched football all day long. There was not a minute that I wanted to get up and do something else. I just wanted to be there...with them. I was amazed at how blessed I felt sitting on my couch, not saying a word to anyone, but just being there with them, watching the game. I believe sometimes I get so caught up in the things that really do not matter in life and I miss the small important things that I will remember and cherish forever. Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with a family that I do not deserve!!
Christmas was wonderful! Now that everyone is getting older in my house hold, it was nice to sleep in a little on Christmas morning. I woke up about 7 and started to get a little concerned because my little sister, who is 8, had not barged into my room waking me up to open gifts. Finally she came in about 8. She was so excited, so my brother and I got up and went downstairs to meet our parents and memom. We opened gifts and just enjoyed the beautiful Christmas morning! I opened up a BEAUTIFUL ring that my parents bought me instead of a traditional class ring, which I will also post a picture of! This is the last holiday of things being "normal." Emily will be a Bullock next year and I am very excited about that! It was also our first Christmas with the newest grandchild, baby Stella. She is absolutely precious and we are blessed to have her as a beautiful addition to our family!!
I love my mommy :)

the more kids, the better! I am blessed with a big family!

Now that Christmas has passed there are some other important things to look forward too. I'm sure you're thinking, of course...New Years, but my friend, you are WRONG. Thursday, December 29 2010. 2:30 PM ESPN. ECU vs Maryland. That's right...we're going BOWLING. (No, not that kind of bowling). Military Bowl in Washington, DC!! I would love to be at the game, but am unable to attend this year, so I will be throwing a party and rooting for my boys at home. I would love to ECU return to Greenville with a win! They've fought hard and had a crazy season and I am looking forward to watching the big game on Thursday. :) GO PIRATES!!!!
This is right before we beat NC State earlier this season!
Me and my favorite Pirate! I'll be rooting for my brother in Christ, Daniel, on the field Thursday!!

New Years is the next big thing! I am looking forward to seeing what God has in store for me in 2011. It is an extremely big year for me. I'm very nervous but excited to see how much growth God has in store for me. I plan to graduate in December of 2011. Crazy to think that this time next year I could be a college graduate, then it's hopefully continuing my education then I have to be an official big girl in the real world time. Scary stuff! All I have ever known is being a student. Thankfully, I serve an awesome God who has EVERYTHING under control. He is already in my future and knows exactly what's going to happen!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Voice of Reason

By special request of my wonderful roommate, Brittany, ( I am updating my blog! I really did mean to do this sooner, but with exams and all college hectic-ness, it just gets a bit difficult!
There are a few good things that have happened over the last week or so. First off, exams went great and my GPA is now up higher than it has ever been in college! I'm looking forward to the coming semester and am really crossing my fingers to graduate in December. I am overwhelmed at the blessings and favor that God has shown me through my college career. There are many days where I look back and cannot explain to you how half of the things that have happened to me over the last year or so have happened. All I can say is that God's hand has been through every single thing. He has walked with me, dragged me and carried me- thank You, Lord, for NEVER leaving me. I am not the same person today that I was at the beginning of the semester, just 4 short months ago. The Lord is constantly changing and teaching me. A lot of the time, it's not easy, but my goodness it is worth it!
The second awesome thing that has happened: I went lifting with my cousin two days ago and got calibrated again. Calibers are body fat measuring tools. My body fat percentage went down over two percent! I was jumping up and down with the nurse in her office (the gym I was visiting has a nurse on site at all times). She started jumping up and down with me and laughing. I think I may have been a tad bit excited, but was happy to see the nurse joining in with me on the jumping!

Lately I haven't necessarily "felt" God moving in my life, but I have been thinking more and more about something that He taught me this last year. He basically started moving on my heart and teaching me to not manipulate Him into what I wanted Him to do. A very difficult lesson to be learned. I think sometimes my over-planning and controlling nature ties His hands with what He truly wants to do in my life. I've probably blogged about this before, but it's been a big lesson I've learned and I think a lot of other people need to learn it as well. I love having a plan and sticking to it. God and I have gotten in many wrestling matches over this and He has won every time, either the easy way or the hard way. God will have His way no matter what. I look back and think about the plans I had coming right out of high school. My plan was:
-start my college career off the a 4.0 (that was with math and chemistry in the same semester)
-get into nursing school
-become a nurse practitioner
-find the love of my life in the first year of college
I would like you to know that NONE of those things happened. This is what happened:
-I got on academic probation my first semester in college due to math and chemistry in the same semester
-I ended up giving up on nursing school before I even got there
-I changed my major...twice.
-no love of my life yet, but I"ve stopped looking. He will come when the time is right, but I did find some awesome roommates!

The plans that I had originally were great plans. I always strive for the very best, but sometimes what I think my very best SHOULD be, is not what God's very best is FOR me. I look at how my "plans" actually turned out. Yes, a lot of not so good things happened. I had to spend 5 hours every single day in the library for an entire semester to get myself off academic probation, I changed my major twice and felt like giving up. God was with me through it all. Now He has brought me into a field that I am passionate about. My GPA is high enough to get into grad school and continue my education. He has blessed with my roommates who challenge me and support me. I could not have come up with any other better plan than the one God had for me all along. My prayer today is now that God would continue to change my heart to submit to His will and stop trying to follow my own. It is a daily battle between me and God. I constantly am having to die to myself so that He can live in and through me. Thank You, Lord, for being a God of grace. He understands my heart. He gave me my heart and the desire for greatness, but it can only be "greatness" if it is the greatness that God has picked out just for me!
I read a devotional called "Breaking Free: Day by Day," written by Beth Moore (in my opinion, the best of the best). She wrote:

"To the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power and authority before all time, now and forever" -Jude 25

"My motivation for Bible study and prayer could be all about me, if I let it:
'Fix my circumstances, Lord.'
'Use my powerfully, Lord.'
'Direct me today'
'Make a way for me'
'Make me successful, Lord'
If my motivation for relating to God is what He can do for me, then a lust for His power may grow, but a yearning for His presence will not. God deeply desires to hear our petitions, but His greatest joy is to hear them flow from the mouths of those who want Him more than anything else He could give."

That short little devotional really spoke to me. "Lord, I just want to be in Your presence and know You better. Forgive me of constantly trying to manipulate You with my plans. Your will, not mine!"

In other happenings:
It's finally Christmas break! Exams were survived and no one in my apartment went crazy! Two of my wonderful roommates came and visited me for a few days! We did a lot of shopping and visited the Billy Graham Library. If you live in the Charlotte area, I recommend going! It's completely free! The house where Billy Graham grew up in is on site and it can be toured. Then there's a HUGE library where his entire book collections are. The tour is, I would say, close to two hours and it is about his life and ministry. I learned a lot of things that I did not know about him. I'll post a few pictures from the outing!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Farley and Me

Yes, Farley and Me. As I have mentioned before, my roommates have a cat named Stella. For those of you who don't know, I'm allergic to cats. I can't stand cats. I think they're horrible. I'd rather bite my own hand off than pet one. Thankfully, a cute little chocolate lab named Farley came to save the day. Lauren and Brittany visited a local animal shelter yesterday and met the cute little guy, so Lauren decided to adopt him. Meaning....THE CAT IS GONE!! PRAISE THE LORD THE CAT IS MOVING OUT!!!! I will gladly take the dog over the cat any day! I'll post a picture of the cute little guy.

This semester has absolutely flown by. I received news that I will be graduating next December and I couldn't be more excited! God is certainly teaching me a lot on this journey. Lately He has really been teaching me to be content. I think that it's been quite a while since I have felt "true contentment." I experienced it for the first time this weekend. This last week I had a birthday and turned 20. I don't feel any older, but I feel contentment. I'm extremely content with my life right now. I have an amazing school that I truly love, a supporting family and God-sent friends. I've never felt so blessed. God is teaching me that instead of reaching for the next best thing, to truly sit in His presence and be content with all that He has for me right now. :)

I am very happy to announce that my beautiful cousin and dear friend is getting MARRIED!! Her wonderful new fiance' Tim proposed to her at the Biltmore Estate on Monday. They are a precious couple and cannot wait to witness their beautiful marriage! I am honored to be in her wedding as a bridesmaid. It's getting weird growing up with everyone getting married. I remember when Emily and I were little (we were inseparable), we would always talk about our weddings and what our husbands would be like. Now those fantasies are becoming a reality. She found a wonderful prince charming! She deserves the very best and I am very happy to be able to watch them grow as a couple for the rest of their lives! Congratulations to Tim and Emily!

It's finals week here at ECU and I am looking forward to Christmas break to begin! I want so badly to be home with my family and enjoy their company for a few weeks! I'm looking forward to being at home with the greatest friends that God has given me. There's nothing better than celebrating my sweet Savior with a family who is falling more in love with Him every single day!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

When I grow up...oh wait, I don't want too.

Today was just like any other normal day. I woke up, went to class, studied, saw friends and took a test, solved a medical case study and took a quiz. Then I walked into the student store to grab a scantron sheet to take my physiology test when I saw a man advertising class rings. He asked me how long I had been in school and I said only a year, but I'm considered a junior. He handed me a brochure advertising class rings. He said, "it's about that time, soon you'll be needing graduation announcements." My heart skipped a beat.
I remember when my middle and high school years and how I could not wait to grow up, go to college, get a master's degree, get married and have a family. Now, most of that is no longer a dream... it's reality. I'm only 20 but my goodness I did not know that time would start going by faster and faster the older I got. I remember my first day of high school, graduation, first day of college and now I'm over half way done with it. It's a little scary and overwhelming to think about. I've always been one to have a plan and go fifty million miles an hour without stopping until that plan is completed. Now I find myself wanting to pull back and a little bit and slow down. I think this is something that God has been trying to teach me for a LONG time. I now have a desire to enjoy everything that He has given me instead of planning for the next bigger and better thing, because everything that I experience now is just a step in where God has me going. In order to appreciate the things that I want to accomplish one day, I must remember all that is happening now, so I can remember all that happened to get me that stage.

Lord, give me the strength and the will to slow down and hear Your voice. Help me to enjoy the time that I have to myself now, the things that I am learning, the education that I'm receiving, going out with friends on weekends, being able to drop what I'm doing to go to a football game, because if I blink one more time, I'll have so many more responsibilities.

I'm starting to understand what my parents tell me over and over again, "slow down, don't be so hard on yourself, enjoy it." Thank you, Lord, for giving me such amazing parents who believe in me and are proud of me, but want me to enjoy the time that I have here.

It's exciting growing up, but terribly scary. Thank goodness that I serve a God that has gone before me, yet is even here with me now as I take it all in, step by step.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Spiritual Growth Pains...

I am convinced that spiritual growth pains are far more painful than physical growth pains sometimes. I think I'd rather be sore from running miles on end that go through spiritual growth. (ok, I really don't mean that, spiritual growth is good, it's just HARD). I'm sitting here truly feeling the Spirit move in me, but not knowing what He's moving for or towards. I find myself either on my face or driving down the road just begging God to show me what He's doing. Of course I get the answer that I do not want to hear, "it is simply not time for you to know yet, but just trust me." That comment always puts me at peace but also frustrates the mess our of me. Like I've said in previous posts, I am a girl that loves to have a plan. God is very good at changing plans. Especially the plans that I think are all awesome. Of course, He always winds up winning and everything turns out better than I could ever imagine. It's just the waiting period that hurts the most. I am truly thankful that I'm not feeling no growth.
Speaking of growth, my roommates (Lauren and Brittany) and I are beginning a Beth Moore Bible study about Esther. It's entitled "Esther, It's Tough Being a Woman," I am really looking forward of digging deeper into the Word and learning more about God and His incredible love for me. I'm also looking forward to growing closer to my roommates and really looking into what God is doing in their lives too!

Two weeks ago, I went to Knoxville, Tennessee, with my parents, brother and my good friend, Andrew, and we met up with his parents and sister. We went to visit and attend the University of Tennessee vs. University of Alabama game. It was a lot of fun! My family are pretty big Tennessee fans (besides me, I'm a Gator) and Andrew's family are HARD-CORE (and when I say hard-core, I mean it) Alabama fans. It was fun watching each family's reactions to the different plays of the game. We all had a great time. I posted a picture of my brother and I at the game. I love him so much!

The only game that I really care to talk about, though, is ECU vs. NC State. Let me tell you, that game was by far the greatest game I've ever been to (well, at least the ending was). NC State was expected to run all over us and we beat them by a touchdown in overtime! The reaction of the fans in the stadium was crazy! I had a ton of fun! We take on Navy for military appreciation day on Saturday and it should be a good time!

So here's the news that I have been waiting for a long time to say: I passed my fitness test for my major with flying colors! I don't think anyone could've wiped the smile off of my face on that day. I was so nervous about it and was surprised with how well I performed. I was able to go beyond the expected goals of the test. I am very excited to say that I am now a junior in college and am working harder each day to get closer to my dream. I meet with my new advisor to plan my route to graduation! I'm going to try to be graduated by May of 2012, which would be a year and a half ahead of schedule. We'll see how it goes!
As for what's next in my fitness route, I'm not really sure. I've been taking it a little bit easier lately because I had been putting my body under so much stress while training for this test. I plan to get back to hard core training next week. No goals, no deadlines, just back to the gym, which is where I like to be.

When I began this blog, I was a lot different physically, emotionally and spiritually. I started at a size 10 and about 147 pounds. I am now a size 4 and about 137 pounds. I have no desire to be any smaller and I may even try to tone up a bit to a 6 just because I don't know if I want to be a size 4. The most important fact is that I am healthy. As long as my body is healthy, than it is all ok! :) I am happy that I have met my fitness goals! It of course took me a little longer than I would've liked, but I surpassed my goals!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's been a while...

The semester has certainly caught up with me, that's for sure! School, studying, running, training, cooking and sleeping when I get a chance! Friday is the big day! The fitness test to declare my major. Kinda nervous! I took the practice round running test and passed it, so I'm definitely more confident about the test than I was this time last week!

So last blog, I bragged about my super-awesome run like the wind brother. I am proud to say that he made All Conference Cross Country Team!! He also placed 4th in the conference championship...and he's only a SOPHMORE!! I am the proudest big sister on the planet! I want everyone to know!!

Lately, a lot of my friends are either a) getting in to a relationship b) getting engaged or c) have gotten married. Sometimes I have an emotional girly moment where I'm like, "ok God, when is it going to be my turn?" Then before I can blink, God reminds me (over and over and over and over again, I don't know how He puts up with me half the time), to just chill out and wait. I'm really not a good waiter at all. God promised us that ALL things work together for our good. We just need to wait on the Lord and trust in Him. I will see His goodness! I'm extremely happy for all of my wonderful friends who God has blessed them with a companion. I know that one day they will be extremely happy for me too. I just have to wait a little longer than others. :) Plus, I'm kinda a hard girl to handle. Stubborn? no. I'm I'm definitely not your typical woman, but God made me that way. I scream at football games, I think working out is fun, I like action movies, BUT, I love the color pink, do not have a high pain tolerance, love to exfoliate my face and believe it or not, I do like to dress up and wear heals from time to time. One day, there will be a man to come a long and think, "my gosh, I thought no woman on the planet was like that....THAT'S HER!" So, I will wait for my prince charming, because prince charming does exists! I don't care what society says these days! :)

My cousin is in Nicaragua right now. She is working with malnourished children in an orphanage. She is there for three months and really has a heart for these children. Please pray for her, though, as she has started to come down with some type of illness. She is not supposed to come home until December. She is visiting a doctor tomorrow and hopefully they will be able to help her out.

I know this blog is a lot different from others, but there was a lot going on and I just felt like rambling! Speaking of ramble....I'm off to Tennessee this weekend! (Ok, Tennessee and ramble have nothing to do with each other, but it seemed like a good transition phrase). I'm going with my family, a dear friend of mine and his wonderful family (who I have not met, but am looking forward to meeting). We're all going to the Alabama/Tennessee game. Who will I cheer for you ask? I have no clue...I personally hate both teams. I'm a gator but most importantly I'm a PIRATE! (DOWN WENT THE WOLFPACK THIS WEEKEND!! ECU BEAT THE PACK!!!) It's been an incredible week to be a pirate! Anyway, I'm most likely going for Tennessee because I had some family go there and I'm still incredibly bitter at Alabama for beating the Gators and my man! (Tim Tebow, for all of those who are wondering. I'm convinced that he is my prince charming, so back off ladies)! ;)

As for when I'll update again, there's no clue! Please pray for Anna and my fitness test on Friday. I'll update about it when I get my results!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Unless you faint, puke or die, keep running!

I've never been much of a runner. I'm very much a short sprint type of athlete. My brother on the other hand could run for days at a time. He's seriously amazing. I have absolutely no idea how he does it! I wish that I had his skill! He's built to be a runner. Me, not so much. I am proud to say that he is one of the top runners in his conference and possibly the state. Sorry, I had to brag on him for a minute.
There is a reason why I am talking about running. As a health and human performance major, there is a fitness test that has to be passed in order to be fully declared into the program. You'll never guess what a portion of this test contains, yep, running. There are no words for me to even begin to describe how much I hate running. I have been running like a mad woman the past few weeks, though. I have discovered that interesting things happen when I run. I don't know about you, but I tend to go through a period where I freak out because my breathing starts becoming irregular, thankfully, that's not as much of a problem anymore. Another thing I have discovered is that I am ALWAYS hungry after I run. It's kind of annoying, but another great thing about running all the time is that it helps body fat percentage get lower and lower! :) So, challenge for the week (or however long it is before I post again with a new challenge) go out and try to run a mile every single day. I recommend in the early mornings or evening. It's a great way to relax and make you feel good about yourself!

Running is a great stress reliever. It makes you stronger, helps you breathe better and it gives your heart a good workout. What about the spiritual aspect of running?
"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope." -Romans 5:3-4
I know that when I get caught in a stressful situation, I tend to either a) run away from the situation or b) run to everyone who I think will give me sound advice. Sadly, sometimes one of those important people is not Jesus. Just like I have to make myself daily put on my shoes and run, I need to do that spiritually too. Why is it so easy just to forget about it and sit around just thinking, "I'll run tomorrow or I'm tired?" That mentality is getting me no where. It takes discipline. Sometimes spiritual discipline is even harder than physical discipline. My hearts desire is to run hard straight into Jesus' arms every single day. There are many days where there are big hurdles to jump over in order to get there, but Jesus always promises that He will never leave us or forsake us. He also promises not to give us more than we can handle. In every situation, there Jesus is, standing there with His arms out just waiting for us to call out and run straight towards Him. With that mentality of running towards Jesus every single day, we can never lose the race.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

oh, how I love my roommates!

"Sarah, you know of Reggie Bush, he's a NASCAR driver, right?" haha :)

So my roommates and I are very different Some know who Reggie Bush is, some do not. I laughed at this question for days! God really knew what He was doing when He gave me my awesome roommates! We have a clean freak, health freak, singing freak and just a freak. We do have one thing in common, though, our love for God and our love for the wonderful place we live!

I also have awesome neighbors! There are some girls that also live in my building that go to my campus ministry and we all went to the first home football game last week. It was such a good time! It was a last minute win in our newly renovated stadium and the fans went crazy! Our school even made the number one play on ESPN's Top 10! It was a great day to be a part of Pirate Nation!! Yesterday was our second home game and our second win of the season! I love being a pirate and am proud of my team! Now it's time today to watch my Panthers kick some butt!!

Update on my current training program: my workout partner is the greatest ever! She was a competition cheerleader in high school. She is ridiculously strong! Way stronger than I have ever been, so I try to keep up with her! I love it! Her and I both push each other hard and we wake up sore every other morning because of it. Even though days seem shorter in college and they're packed with stress, a good workout helps me manage my stress so much better!

Lately, I have had another challenge thrown at me. When I am not in class, I'm studying. When I'm not studying, I'm working out. When I'm not working out, I'm at home recovering from my day because I'm exhausted. It leaves very little energy or inspiration to pick up the Word and read it. I get so frustrated (perfectionist mentality, I'm working on it every day), because I want to be able to study it and soak it up. In reality, I just cannot do that at this point in my life and I truly believe that God understands that. I have 2 different short devotionals that I go through each day and then read a few chapters in the Word. I'm actually almost done with the whole new testament which is awesome! When I'm driving down the road, I blast worship music in the speakers. I have learned that it is about asking God to be with you every minute of every single day. I want to be in His presence constantly. Knowing that He is there at all times is the most comforting thing to me. I am never alone. I do not have to be a Bible scholar to have any more of His presence throughout the day. Thank you, Lord, for meeting me at every place I am in life. I challenge you, ask Him to meet you wherever you are. He wants to be with you and He desires that you want Him.

"I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am in." -Philippians 4:11

Sunday, August 29, 2010

He who promised is faithful!

"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful." -Hebrews 10:23

So, I wake up this morning feeling awfully sore (new squat exercises on friday, it was painful to say the least), but I did get up early and got ready for church! Why? Cause God is cool like that, that's why. He has been teaching me about waiting on Him and to be ready to see what He will do. So, here I am, sitting, even though it is extremely hard to sit right now, and waiting to see what God will do. Anyway, back to church, I was there and having trouble focusing in on what was going on until Pastor Mike gets up and quotes my verse!

"I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! WAIT for the Lord, be STRONG, and let your HEART take COURAGE; WAIT for the Lord." -Psalm 27:13-14

I will have you know that I am one of the least patient people on the entire face of the universe. I hate waiting on pretty much everything. For example: I hate resting during reps at the gym because it's a form of waiting until I can continue, I hate waiting when something is cooking, I hate waiting on professors to get to class, I hate waiting when someone is late etc. You get the picture. One of the biggest things I hate waiting on is something good to happen, especially when you have to work in order for it to get that way. Which brings me to my fitness point of this blog:

It is impossible to get results over night. I have worked with a few people over the last year or so that get mad at me because I make them sore after one workout and they do not see a difference the next day. It takes proper exercise and nutrition on a consistent basis for about 6 weeks before the average person sees any kind of results. Just thought I'd throw that in there ;)

Same goes with God. Something was said in church today that made me feel a whole lot better about myself. "The Bible is a story of people who failed miserably at a lot of things, yet still changed the world for the sake of Christ." This means there's still hope for me!!! Totally made my day!! I do not even know where to begin when it comes to things I've messed up miserably with yet somehow it still came out to glorify God. Thank you, Jesus, for making me a walking talking disaster! If that's what I have to do to bring you praise, well let me continue to make a mess of things! God promised us that we will see His goodness, as long as we are walking with Him. So, the big question is, are you walking faithfully with Him? Have you given Him every single part of you? I know there are days where I take matters into my own hands (that's usually when the walking, talking disaster episode takes place). Be encouraged! The goodness of the Lord is coming for those who love Him!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

on my own...

I am now living on my own. Well, kinda, I have 3 awesome roommates. I have a kitchen to cook in, laundry to do and an apartment to clean. My mommy is 4 hours away and cannot help or teach me how to do these things (thank goodness I did listen all those years living at home, even when I acted like I wasn't). I have a new found appreciation for her. At night, after I come home from training and classes, dinner is not sitting on the counter staring me in the face. All the items are sitting in various places in the kitchen saying "cook me or starve." You wouldn't believe the things that you can come up with! I've learned to cook healthy meals using the same ingredients about 1000 different ways. For instance, last weekend my roommates and I wanted to cook something fun, but with me having to get into better shape for my major, the food has to stay healthy. I went to the store and bought a fresh pineapple and some teryaki marinade that was low in calories and sugar. I came home and cut up some chicken and lean steak and also had some fresh shrimp. Marinated those for 24 hours, then put them on skewers along with the pineapple and put them on the grill. It was soo good. I know my mom would be proud! :)

My mom has taught me so much about managing my time wisely and to get things done the night before so I'm not rushing before class in the morning. This may seem like a silly post to you, but this is a new phase in life for me and I wanted to brag on my mom a bit. :) Because of her awesome super-power greatest mom ever skills, I am learning to balance my time between keeping the apartment neat, going to class (while making good grades), studying, training and extra-curriculars.
Speaking of extra-curricular activities, my campus ministry meets for the first time this semester tonight and I am pretty stinkin' excited for all that God is going to do on this campus!!

So mom, thank you for being so awesome and teaching me these things. Without you, well, I'd be failing out of school, buried alive in a mess of dirty laundry, my kitchen would reak from dirty dishes and I'd be just about dead from starvation. Thankfully, I learned from the greatest and none of those terrible things are happening to me. You're my hero and one day when I grow up, I am going to be just like you because I want to have an incredible life and I want my kids to have an amazing mom like you. :)

"Charm is deceptive and beauty if fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." Proverbs 31:30. My mom lives by this passage. She is just awesome!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

To know You is to want to know You more...

"To know you is never worry for my life, and
To know you is to never to give in or compromise
To know you is to want to tell the world about you
Cause I can't live without you

To know you is to hear your voice when you are calling
To know you is to catch my brother when he is falling
To know you is to feel the pain of the broken hearted
Cause they can't live with out you.

More than my next breath
More than life or death
All reaching for, I live my life to know you more
I leave it all behind, you are all that satisfies
To know you is to want to know you more
To know you is to want to know you more

To know you is to ache for more than ordinary
To know you is to look beyond the temporary
To know you is believing that you will be enough
Cause there is no life without you

All this life could offer me, could not compare to you
Compare to you
And I count it all as lost, compared to knowing you
Knowing you

Compared to you
Compared to you
And I count it all as lost, compared to knowing you
Knowing you
And I count it all as lost, compared to knowing you
Knowing you"
-Casting Crowns

I was having lunch with my family and a friend today and was listening to some things that my daddy had to say. He has a friend who is going through some rough times right now and was explaining his friend's outlook on the situation. This man has just been saved and his faith is really taking off. He told my dad that no matter what happens with his life, as long as he has his Bible and his Purple Book (a book about Biblical foundations), he knows that he will be ok. That story about brought tears to my eyes. It made me ask myself, "Do I really think like that? If I were to lose everything tomorrow, except my Bible, would I truly be ok?" Really, think about it... if you woke up tomorrow and could not walk, do physical activity or even lost every sort of financial stability you thought you had, would you be ok?

Do I truly have enough faith in God to depend on Him for absolutely everything? Something to think about as you're going through your daily routine today...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I'm the worst blogger ever...

I know, I'm an awful blogger. I can't find time to update if my life depended on it! Now I'm back and will try to update every once in a while.
My summer workout adventure went quite well! I lost about 5 pounds and have not taken a body fat test again, but I know I've gone down at least one percent. Anyway, now I've moved back to school and am busy getting ready for all that God has for me in the coming fall semester. I've purchased books and registered for classes and it's a great feeling. I feel like I'm stepping into my dream that I've dreamed about for so long. I have applied for volunteer hours for my schools strength and conditioning program. I will be starting the interview process very soon. Your prayers are extremely appreciated!!

This summer God has really been working and changing me a lot. I feel like a completely different person. There are a few quotes that have really hit home for me during this time.

"What you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened, it has all worked together to bring you to this very moment. And this is the moment you can choose to make everything new. Right now." -Beth Moore

"I am confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:13-14

I have really been praying that I will see the goodness of the Lord this semester. As I've moved back to school I have been experiencing the love of God and his goodness. He has provided me with a wonderful new home, an excellent education and wonderful people! Not to mention, the gym is really nice too. haha! The Lord is faithful and He wants to be your best friend and number one priority. I believe that in order to step into the fullness of God and all that He has for you, He must be our number one friend. He is a jealous God and does not want anything coming before Him. This summer, I wanted to spend more time with God, but I feel as though I wanted my physical change more. He taught me how to change my priorities and I ended up with not only a physical change but a HUGE spiritual change. He has challenged me more than ever to, "wait and see what I will do!" I am so excited to see what God is going to do!!

I challenge you to look at your life and where your priorities lie. Is God first? If not, I challenge you to make Him first so that you can step into all that He has for you! Wait on the Lord, whatever He has for you is perfect!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

trying to keep it up...

The body for life plan is still going strong! 5 days in and I feel incredible!! Sorry I haven't been updating, but my schedule has ended up being a lot more demanding than planned. I will try to update at least once a week to keep everyone up to date on what's going on!
If you're still sticking exercise out, good for you! Keep it up!! I want you to accomplish all of your goals! If you ever have a question, just leave a comment and i'll get back to you! :)
Good luck! I'll update soon!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

just when i thought i was educated...

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."
-2 Cor. 3:17

I have learned a whole lot of stuff in the past 4 days that I never knew about fitness. Some things that I had believed for a while ended up being proved false. It's been quite a learning experience, but I've really enjoyed it. I started reading a lot of exercise information by Bill Phillips. He's the creator of the Body for Life program. I shocked myself when I said this at first, but this guy makes Jillian Michaels workouts and nutrition look easy! Jillian is a lot more hard-core and getting things done a lot faster, but does not really give a lot of advice on how to stay fit once you get there. Bill Phillips is all about being healthy for the rest of your life. His programs are slow and steady. Which is a huge test to my patience, but I am enjoying it so far!
I've been working on his body for life program for 2 days and am feeling more sore and energized than I ever did with Jillian. (please know I highly respect Jillian, she is one of my heroes). I am one of those people that wants to help others be healthy forever, not just shed a few pounds and leave it at that.
Yesterday was my first day in this Body for Life challenge, I've almost finished the entire book and have started the success journal. Upper body workouts was a part of day 1. I'm not used to working out the entire upper body in one day, so it was definitely a challenge. I'm feeling a good soreness and felt great going into day 2. Lifting during this program is in stages. You do 1 exercise per body part 4 times with different amounts of weight. You have a "warm up round" with a level 5 intensity (the intensity stages go 1-10). Then you move up from there, without exceeding a level 8. Then you get to what's called a "high point set" meaning you gotta give it everything you got. Convince yourself that you can lift a weight 12 times when you're mind is telling you that you can only lift is 8 times. Talk about working out your mental health. I struggled, but felt very accomplished in the end.
Also, no calorie counting with this one. You go by serving sizes. Just need the size of your palm and the size of your first and you're good to go!
I absolutely love the nutrition part of this program! 6 small meals a day. 4 meals is a protein and a complex carb and 2 meals is a protein, complex carb and a vegetable. I have learned that when I'm not thirsty, I really am, as I am supposed to get down 10 glasses of water a day. For those of you that know me, you know I struggle drinking water. It's not that I don't like it, I just never feel thirsty. I'm lucky to get a bottle of water in a day. Then there is the beloved "off day." Oh my, how I love off days. Being able to eat whatever you want. I didn't learn the significance of an "off day" until this past weekend. When you finally start getting your nutrition under control. For psychological and metabolical purposes, it's essential to have an off day. It first off helps you fill your craving so you don't go insane and it jumps your metabolism by making it work a bit harder. You're body doesn't know what to do with the junk that you're putting in it, so it passes it right along without doing anything with it.
I recommend every body to take a stab at this, but if it's not something that is practical for you, then keep looking. Make it fun!
I feel a lot more "free" now that I'm not tied down by a bunch of rules. I caught myself stressing out about it, and that's not what this should be about. My desire is to be healthy and feel healthy, that's what I want everyone to do. Which is part of the reason I'm sharing my experiences with you.

God is doing some amazing things! I feel as though a lot of people are on the verge of break through. I believe that there is freedom in Christ. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. Cast all your cares upon Him. If there is something that you're truly believing God for, then ask Him. Believe it with your whole heart and seek whole-heartedly after Him! I believe blessings are about to rain down on people who have been seeking break through!

My dad, brother, uncle and some other guys from my church are in the Dominican Republic right now doing some construction work as a mission trip. I am excited to hear all about the trip when they get back. If you would keep them in your prayers, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

it's hard-core now!

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers."
-Psalm 1:1-3

So memorial day weekend is really great and all, but my gosh it's hard to stick to your diet. I went to visit my lovely friends from college since I do not get to see them over the summer earlier this week! It was so great to see them again! The only challenging part of the two days that I was gone was that I ate out every single meal. Talk about tough stuff! I automatically chose salads, but there's a lot to consider when you order a salad. Like: what do they marinate the chicken (or other type of meat in)? How much cheese is on it, how much dressing did they put on it...ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS get dressing on the side. I think I did ok, but I still felt sick after eating out all those meals.

I finally started back at my gym this morning, which was extremely nice to see familiar faces once again. I found a more practical plan that I'm tweaking a bit to fit for me. I recommend Body for Life. The nutrition is so much more practical than Jillian Michaels, (Sorry Jillian, you're still my hero, though)! :) Now, the nutrition isn't the most exciting... but hey, when it comes to nutrition, most people's motto should be "The blander the better"!! :) It calls for a lot of lean protein, a lot of vegetables and good complex carbohydrates. Once you get the ball rolling and can model out what you want for yourself, you don't necessarily have to follow a written book. I just do it for fun sometimes, to experiment so I can form an opinion. (yes, I know, it's weird). Most of the time, I read fitness and nutrition books for knowledge, i don't even do what half of them say. It's just a fun thing to learn.

I really feel like God has been moving lately. What is he doing? I have no idea. I feel like this is a time of preparation for something big. Sometimes I put God into a box, actually most of the time I do. I truly believe that God is going to do things in my life that are surprising, but in a good way, of course. I challenge you to let God help your faith grow. Believe for the impossible. Believe for healing. Believe that He will prosper you, because He will! We also must remember that God's plan for us is better than any plan that we could imagine for ourselves. We really don't give God enough credit sometimes, even though He assures us that He has everything in control. I used to be quite the worrier. I would worry when I didn't have anything to worry about. God is slowly healing me of that, and let me tell you, life is a lot more smooth and relaxing when you cast all of Your worries and burdens on Him. Let Him mold you into who He wants you to be!

Monday, May 31, 2010

This has nothing to do with exercise...

Today is Memorial Day.

Thank you to every single man and woman that has ever served our country. It is because of you that I am free to live in this wonderful country. I do not have to worry about being in imminent danger when I walk outside my front door. I am free to worship the one true God that is illegal to worship in many other countries. I am free to celebrate my freedom that I so often take advantage of. It is because of you that I live free. There is nothing that I will ever be able to repay you for all that you have done and all that you have sacrificed for me.

Thank you! May God bless you and protect you no matter where you are sent. You deserve only the best!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Do as I say, not as I do...

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9

Ok, so you know how I was telling you about how you need to be careful about taking a "rest" day. (Because one day will turn into two etc..) yeah, that kinda happened to me. :/ I know, how terrible, but i'll be honest, I didn't work out on Thursday or Friday. I travelled a lot this week, but it is still no excuse. I could have made time. Today I got my butt handed to me. I was doing real well running one mile everyday, but you'll never believe how bad running a mile hurts after not running for three days. I was in PAIN!!! So, my lesson has been learned. I will forevermore not take three running days off, because it is a pain in the butt (literally) when trying to start back!
My challenge to you today is to stick with it! No matter what excuse you come up with, there is always a way to fit a tiny work out in. Whether it's going up and down your stairs at your house, running down the street or any other exercise you can think of. Just keep your body moving. I will tell you that I stayed right on track with the nutrition, which is good, because if I hadn't- running a mile would've been a lot more painful that it was this morning. Never give up, especially after you hit a bump in the road or mess up. It's not the end of the world. Wellness is a learning experience, it's never something that can be perfected, but you can be successful. Start out with cutting out the foods that you are extremely bad for you. (Fruit instead of fries, baked potato instead of mashed potato etc). Try cutting out as much carbonated and caffeinated drinks as possible (I know it's hard, that's probably my biggest dietary weakness). Drink lots of water. Perservere, I promise if you truly make an effort to become healthier and make better choices, you will be successful. It's up to you how "hard-core" you decide to go. People work and train in many different ways for many different reasons. Do what works best for you! Don't follow a bunch of rules, because those rules will easily be broken. This is one of the only times where rules are open to be tweaked and made to work for you!

There are some days where I feel like I can't accomplish the goals that I have set for myself. It's important to hand it all over to God. He will give you the strength to perservere and fulfill to the desire that He has put in your heart. (As long as the desire is from Him and honorable to Him, of course)! Do not be afraid of a new challenge, especially if it's a difficult one. Be strong and courageous! :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's not everyday you find free chapstick...

"A cheerful heart is good medicine..."
-Proverbs 17:22a

So today Emily and I may have had a little too much fun at the gym, but we got a killer ab workout in with all of the laughs. I think her and I both did not get enough sleep and were delusional. I decided to give some new ab workouts a try and apparently everyone in the gym on a tredmill found us exercising way more interesting than what was being played on the televisions. We worked out our obliques with a medicine ball, standing back to back and rotating while passing the ball. It's a great workout (and apparently people find humor in watching too). I could not stop laughing, it was extremely awkward. People would not stop staring (hence is why I made Emily face everyone and I stood behind her). ;) Hyper-extensions were next and while I was in the middle of a set, Emily brings over a kettle bell. I guess she wanted to make the drill a bit harder, unfortunately the kettle bell felt to be about 3 pounds. (Gee, seems like she thinks i'm strong, huh)? So I threw it down and now she's almost on the floor hysterically laughing. While causing a big scene, she finds chapstick on the floor and yells "Free Chapstick!!" My gosh I'm glad we got out of there. I don't recommend this behavior at the gym, but this morning I just couldn't help it. We did get a great chest and back workout in before the madness began. I'll stick with the excuse that Jesus gave us a lot of joy this morning! :)

I truly believe that people need to learn to laugh at themselves more. Don't be so embarrassed all the time. Let loose and just enjoy the life and the personality that God gave you. Everyone has their quirks and everyone has their moments. Just learn to laugh and have a good time. The Lord wants us to have a joyful Spirit. It makes Him rejoice! Smile when your day isn't going your way, maybe even throw in some laughs. People are watching to see how you will react when something isn't going your way. Especially if they know you follow Jesus. I know it's hard sometimes to not throw yourself a pity party (I threw myself a pretty darn good one earlier this week). But I've learned that everything isn't going to go smoothly all the time. There has to be bumps in the road in order to become a better person and a better Christian. I can look back on just about every pity party i've ever had and laugh about it now. Enjoy life and know that it's all a big lesson to develop character (and flexibility sometimes too). Smile, laugh and goof off today. Enjoy the presence of the Lord!! A cheerful Spirit makes good medicine! :) Be positive about all that's going on in your life, whether it be good or bad! Go buy some chapstick! (Please, don't ever pick up chapstick off of a gym floor. It is not intended to be a free gift. Emily and I kindly left it for someone else)! :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I've got nothin...

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." -Deut. 31:6

Today I got back from my workout and now have a total mind block. I can't think of anything to write. I can say that I ran another mile today and felt extremely accomplished! :)
I guess today I ask you just to reflect on the good things in life. Only positive things. What has God done lately? How is He moving? Then thank him for it. If you want to share, feel free to comment. It's great encouragement to hear when God is working in other people's lives!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming....

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
-2 Timothy 4:7

So I wasn't exactly swimming today, but Dori's (from Finding Nemo) song kept playing over in my mind as I ran on the tredmill this morning. Let me start by saying that I am a terrible runner. It's just not my strength. That ties in directly with why working out my legs are so hard, but today I decided that I was going to run a mile without stopping. (Yes, I know, call me a wimp, but it's a big deal to me)! I had a game plan going into this. My mentality was, the faster I run, the faster it's over. So, I put it up to a comfortable speed (not jogging, but not flat out sprinting), I set it at a 5.7. Not too bad for someone who doesn't run. At the half way point I thought I was going to fall off of the tredmill because my legs were feeling heavy and I wasn't catching my breath well, but about a minute later I was ok. I got to the mile marker and felt great (but I had a one minute warmup, so i decided to run an extra minute), by the time it was over I wanted to kneel to the ground and kiss it. I did feel accomplished, but I do not see a marathon anywhere in the future! ;)

Back when my dad trained real seriously about 8 years ago, he was trained by a body builder by the name of Jeff Letexier. (He also helped train my mom for a while). Jeff hasn't been in any competitions for about two years, but he stopped by our house on Saturday to do some body fat tests and give nutrition advice. I had never had a body fat test done before, so I was real interested to see. He asked me to guess before he performed the testing, and I said mid-twenties, maybe a 24-28. Apparently, I don't give myself enough credit. He got in the results and I ended up being 20% body fat. Not bad at all. That is the lowest average score. 16-19% is considered fit and 15% and below is considered lean. (for a 5'7 female 19-21 year old). I think this summer I'm going to take a shot to get it down to about 17-18%. We'll see what happens!

Last night my dad and I decided to go on a date, but a healthy eating one. There is a new Japanese steakhouse in our hometown and we decided to go check out the sushi bar. For all of you who are opposed to eating sushi, make yourself unopposed. It is the best source of protein on this planet. It is SUPER GOOD FOR YOU!! If you haven't tried it, don't say you don't like it. Just go out on a limb and try it for once. It is really good! Once you get used to eating sushi, trying new things is really fun. Last night I tried a tuna and kiwi roll. I highly recommend it to anyone who eats sushi. My gosh it was amazing. The fruit and the protein in the tuna combined makes a great meal packed with good, solid nutrition!

Today as I was "suffering" in the gym, the verse in 2 Timothy came to mind. "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4:7). I just kept telling myself, "just keep putting one foot in front of the other, whatever it takes, just FINISH." I think that applies to every struggle we face in life. Even when there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Cry out to God, ask Him to give you the strength to just put one foot in front of the other. It doesn't matter what your pace may be, as long as you keep moving forward and keep your eyes on Him, you will come out victorious!! When you lift your hands to Jesus, your problems don't stay problems for long!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Resting and Working Out...

"The LORD your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing."
-Zephaniah 3:17

One of my favorite workout rules is "get enough rest." Doesn't that sound wonderful? Especially on days where I am sore beyond belief. Thankfully, I am not as sore as I thought I would be. My legs really do not hurt bad at all. I have a bit of soreness in my quads and glutes. I am extremely thankful!!
Anyway, it's extremely important to get enough rest while training. Especially if you're training hardcore 5-6 days a week. Muscles have to have proper recovery time or they cannot build. Never train the same muscle group two days in a row. Here's what happens: when you work a muscle, cells break a part and the muscle needs repairing. (That's a big reason why you get sore). If you work the same muscle group the very next day, you're doing more damage to the muscle and it cannot repair properly. So, make sure you get plenty of rest, good sleep and take a day off if you're not energized enough and your body is just ridiculously tired. Careful, though, it's easy for one off day to turn into two, then three etc. :)
Jesus wants us to rest in His presence. The Word says to be still and know that He is God. He also continually reminds us that rest is important. Especially if we're tired and weary. So, enjoy yourself an off day, just don't go crazy! Happy Saturday everyone!! :)
Oh, and a very happy birthday to my awesome workout buddy, Emily!! :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

I think Navy Seal training is easier...

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

As you know by now, I do enjoy getting up and working out, but Fridays are the day where I consider throwing everything out the window. I literally have to drag myself out of bed and go. Leg day is seriously the most dreaded day of the week. Why? Because I know how sore I'm going to be for the next few days. My trainer last year, Sandra, is a crazy woman. She believes in working legs once a week and completely killing them in the process. Now, her leg workouts work, but my gosh they're tough. It doesn't feel that bad while you're working them, but right when you stop is when the soreness starts. I'm really bad about being consistent with working my legs, just because the pain is so bad, but once I get them done and start to see results, it's completely worth it. This is the biggest physical challenge I face on a weekly basis. I absolutely hate it, but I know it must be done in order to benefit the rest of my body. (Plus, leg exercises keep your heart rate up, so you don't have to stress cardio exercise as much that day)! I challenge you to try it out for yourself! It is beneficial once you get through the first few weeks or so. Keep pushing through! Just think, if you stick with it, you'll never be as sore as the first day you started.

Start out with a 2-3 minute warmup. Just get your body moving
**Remember to rest 30-45 seconds in between each set (besides squats, lunges, dead lifts and side sumo squats)
-Leg Curls: 3 sets; 30 pounds (12 times each)
--leg curl machine is the one where you lay on your stomach and bend legs at the knee to where your feet almost touch your butt.
-Squats: 3 sets; 20 pounds (12 times each)
--There's many ways to do a squat, but this is the easiest one to start out with. Take a 20 pound dumbbell, turn it vertically and hold the top, hold it with your arms straight in the center of your body while keeping your back straight. Then squat as deep as you can.
-Lunges: 3 sets (12 times each)
--while resting in between squat repetitions, perform 10 lunges on each leg (keep switching back and forth between lunges and squats until you've done 3 sets of each)
-Dead Lifts: 3 sets; 20 pounds (12 times each)
--this can be done with a small weighted bar or dumbbells. Keep good posture, slight knee bend. Bend over as far as you can (don't let weights touch floor) and pull them back up to where you're standing straight.
-Side Sumo Lunge: 3 sets (12 times each)
--while resting in between dead lift sets, do side sumo lunges 12 times on each leg (24 total per set). Start standing straight up with feet together. Move on leg to the side and squat, stand back up straight then do the same thing with opposite leg.
-Leg Extension: 3 sets; 25 pounds (12 times each)
--Leg extension machine sits up like a chair, your ankles go under a bar and you lift up.
-Glute/Ham: 3 sets; 10 pounds (10 times each)
--this machine is hard to find sometimes. You sit on one knee support yourself with your elbows and kick back with the opposite leg that your knee is supporting. This can easily be done on the floor. Get on your elbows and knees and kick on leg back slowly.
**Make sure you stretch out really good after the workout is over**
If anyone tries this, let me know what you think. I think it's pretty darn tough.

Anyway, every day we have to face challenges and perform task that we aren't necessarily fond of. There are many unexpected things that are thrown at us also. In James it says for us to rejoice whenever we face hard trials. They develop perserverance, maturity and discipline so that we become better people. God wants us to trust Him with no matter what we're going through. He knows exactly what's going on, but He wants more than anything for us to talk to Him about it. He calls us His friend! God wants to be our very best friend. We can talk to Him about anything, just like you would any other friend. It took me a while to get my mind wrapped around that at first, but I enjoy telling God what's going on now. Just remember, whatever it thrown at you, whether it be evil leg workouts or something else, if you keep pushing through and trusting God, you'll come out stronger!

"...for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sleeping Beauty...

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." -Matthew 6:19-21

So this morning I got in a fight with my alarm clock at 6 AM. Let's just say, I won! I won by turning it off and rolling over to get some more sleep. I've felt horrible all day, therefore, I will be meeting up with my elliptical at my house in a few hours.
My grandmother had foot surgery today and it went smoothly. She can't put any weight on it and will have to use a walker for at least 6 weeks. Your prayers are greatly appreciated! :)

Tomorrow is the most dreaded day of all workout days of the week. Friday is official leg day. Why is Friday leg day you ask....well, because you need the entire weekend (and usually monday) to recover. Leg day is AWFUL! I love it, but I'm so sore the next day I can barely walk, but that's what I get for not working them regularly during college. Emily will endure her first leg workout tomorrow. I am interested to see what she has to say. My trainer made this leg workout for me last summer, my gosh it's hard. I'll post it here tomorrow for your reading pleasure, I even challenge you to take a shot at it! Once you get through the first few weeks of doing it, the soreness isn't quite as bad!

You ever have those days where you get down about one little thing and then it feels like everything else in the world is going wrong? Today was one of those days! I woke up feeling terrible because I didn't go running this morning, which automatically made me panic, because what's next week folks? That's right, it's bathing suit season. Then I proceed to worry because I'm not going to feel comfortable. blah blah blah... being a girl is so much fun sometimes... ANYWAY, I was sitting in the office just having my own little pity party when Jesus reminded me that it's really all ok. Jesus wants us to love and appreciate our bodies, but we shouldn't become obsessed with tweaking them all of the time. He cares more about our hearts and what we're doing for eternity. Where is my treasure being stored? "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also..." sometimes I need to tell myself that over and over again. Jesus, forgive me of all the times I get caught up in wordly things instead of putting Your kingdom first. This body is going to disappear one day, but my Spirit will live eternally!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will" Romans 12:1-2

Today I woke up at 6 AM to be at the gym by 6:30. Got my heart rate up with a lot of interval sprinting, then made my shoulders burn because I worked them like crazy. I walked out of the gym by 7:45 in order to be home by 8. Took and shower and got ready for my first day of work. Walked out of the house at 8:50 and arrived at work at 9:30. I worked from 9:30-4:00. Whew! Talk about a crazy day! On top of this I have two classes I'm taking online. This will take a lot of getting used to, considering this is my new normal this summer. I'm working Monday-Friday 9:30-4 on top of training and school. Your prayers are greatly appreciated!
There's a lot of sacrifice that comes a long with being healthy. Let's face it, it's hard to find time to go to the gym for about an hour at least three days a week. Society today is so consumed by always being busy. What does this mean for our bodies? It means they're tired. We don't take good care of them because we're constantly on the run. Our health is usually the first thing that gets put on the back burner. Getting up at 5-6 AM to get a workout in (whether it be in the gym or at your own house) is extremely hard! I tell you, though, if you can get past the first few days/weeks (the hardest part of your workout it rolling out of bed and putting your feet on the floor!!) you will feel better! Your body will function better and you'll have a lot more energy throughout the day. We just have to make ourselves sacrifice that savored last hour of sleep in the morning!
What does the Bible have to say about all of this? Well, when you think about it, sacrifice is the basis of what the Word is all about. If God wouldn't of sent His Son down as a sacrifice to others, well, we'd be in a whole lot of trouble. There's a lot of sacrifice that has to be made. In order to serve God, you must give Him all of you. Which is hard sometimes. I'm not going to lie, there are some days where I'm like, "ok God, I want to do this and this..." and He's like "um. no." (in a loving way, of course). The only way He says "no" or "wait" is because He loves us and knows what's coming. He has our best interest in mind. God's plan is ALWAYS better than the awesome plan that we think is best for us. Today, talk to God and ask Him His will for Your life, or ask Him to take the reigns today. He really does know what He's doing. It's a scary thing handing over the reigns to your life when naturally, we want to be in control! Trust me, God's way is better than any plan we could ever make up for ourselves, no matter how perfect we may think it is!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I am ashamed to say that I did not go to the gym today. :/
It's been a heck of a 48 hours, let me tell you! So, I have a friend from Alabama who I met at school. He decided to go back and visit his family until summer school started. He took a Greyhound bus to Charlotte where my family and I picked him up. This was about 10 PM on Sunday night. Monday morning we went to the gym, came back and got ready to take him back to ECU, 4 hours away. After getting lost (the GPS decided to take us the scenic route, how thoughtful...), we end up in Greenville 5 HOURS LATER. It's cool, though, it was a fun road trip. Then my mom and I drop him off and drive an hour and 15 minutes to Raleigh to stay the night with my aunt and uncle. Then we wake up this morning and drive three hours home. Do you see now why I didn't make it to the gym? It wasn't totally my fault... I was too busy on an adventure. It was a lot of fun! I got to spend some great time with my mom and we got to practice our driving skills. There's nothing like driving in a straight line for hours... ;)
I thought I did pretty good with the nutrition, even though I've had to eat out the past few meals while on the road. Which brings me to my point of the day:
EATING OUT....NOT GOOD. Well, it can be not good. More times than not, eating out is bad. It's tough because you have no control over what goes into your food. Always keep it simple when eating out. Stay away from thick cream based things, cheese, fried foods, ketchup (most restaurant ketchups have high fructose corn syrup to increase the shelf life, stay away from HFCS at ALL TIMES), sweets, salad dressings that you cannot see through! So basically everything, right? Just be wise with decisions. If they bring bread or chips to the table before your food comes out, send it back to the kitchen. When the food comes to the table, ask the waiter to bring a takeout box with it. Pack half of it to go and then eat. Most restaurants serve way too much food for one sitting.
I know I'm always writing down easy tips and advice on how to eat better, but I struggle with it too. Everyone does. God has really been showing me lately that I do not need to be concerned with acting like I "have it all together," because my gosh I'm not even close to that. No one is. We're all human and by grace we have a loving God who cares enough about us to pick us up and dust us off everytime we fall. We must learn that we all make mistakes and we all have plenty of flaws, but the beauty of it is that God uses those flaws to bring glory to Him! Don't be afraid to mess up. Learn from mistakes, even if they're just minor ones. :)

oh, and I just realized that the comment option wasn't checked, so now you can comment on the blog. sorry it took so long!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Girls can grunt too...

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."
-Proverbs 16:9

If you've ever met me, one thing you'll quickly realize is that I am a woman with a plan. I always have a plan, no matter what I'm doing. It got to be so bad at one point that I couldn't sleep if I didn't map out everything I had to do the next day on paper. It's important to plan, especially during fitness. "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,"-Jillian Michaels. Always know what your next step is going to be, how much weight/resistance you're going to use and what time you're going to do it. ALWAYS have your nutrition mapped out and ready. Food is a lot harder plan to follow than exercising. Plan, Plan, Plan! Be careful, though, it's so easy to become consumed with your plans that you neglect other important things. For me, it was sleep. I became so obsessed with having a plan that I couldn't sleep at night, which led to no energy and put a huge barrier on my fitness goals. Be sure to make a plan, but do your body a favor and take care of it in the process. :)

There's a lot the Bible has to say about plans. Everyone knows the popular verse, Jeremiah 29:11 (For I know that plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper...), but I ran across a verse in Proverbs last night that spoke to me. "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." (Proverbs 16:9). I plan too much. (sounds funny, huh)? Seriously, though, it cripples me. I have a my entire college career mapped out by class, have a list of internships I want my senior year and I know what job I want. I live in a dreamland sometimes when it comes to career aspirations, and that's ok, but I heard God clearly tell me last night to SLOW DOWN. God wants me (and you) to focus on what He has for me right now. If I'm too busy living in tomorrow, I could miss out on so many opportunities today. Having a plan is great and it's important to have big dreams and aspirations, but there must be a healthy balance of the two. The most important thing to remember is to get on your knees before the Lord and ask what His will is. His plan for our lives is better than any other thing that we could imagine!

This is completely random, but I had some interesting and fun moments in the gym today with some "macho guys." First off, there was one guy lifting probably way too much weight for a guy his size (but bless his heart, he was a determined little fella) and he looked like he was in labor propped up on that bench grunting. Then I went to the "grunting section" (yes, I call it this because I never see girls over there and guys are always grunting...weird). Anyway, I work out over there sometimes, and today I was doing chest flies with 10 pound weights. I took the middle bench because the 2 outside ones were taken. The guy on my right was a pretty big guy, I believe he was using about 50 pounds? I dunno. The other guy on my left was this huge cut guy. His arms were massive. I have no clue how much weight he was using, but it was A LOT. We all started our sets together (no, not on purpose) so you had these two huge guys and this little blonde headed girl all doing chest flies together. I thought it was hilarious. While we were resting between sets, I really wanted to look over and tell the guys that their shoes weren't matching their outfit, but I refrained. :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Changin' it up...

Yesterday I was starving and wanted something quick and easy for lunch. My mom sat in the kitchen laughing at me because nothing in Jillian's book is simple. She looked at me and said, "you are way too consumed with these rules. You have to makes this plan work for you, or when it's done your just going to reverse everything you've accomplished." Goodness gracious my mom is smart, huh? I'm glad God gave me her to balance out my madness. I've decided that I'm in college, I don't have time to cook all 3 meals of the day. I need to think of more simple and practical ways. Plus, I'm all about simplicity! :) So now I'm am structuring my plan around eating things I know are good for me, balancing out my protein, carbs and fat. I'll also keep track of calories. How many calories are you supposed to have in day? Well, that depends on the person. For me to lose weight and gain muscle mass, I need about 1500-1600 calories a day. No more than 1600! The average woman probably only needs 1500 calories a day to reach her fitness goals. Once you get the desired results, you bump the calories up a bit more to retain what you have. So, I'd say a safe bet would be between 1650-1700 calories to maintain. They must be smart calories, though! A piece of bread does not count as a good carb (unless it is Ezekiel bread, of course, but I'm not gonna lie, it doesn't have the greatest taste)! Your ideal carbs should be complex carbs such as: sweet potato, brown rice etc. As far as protein goes, be smart with it! No fatty meats! Use lean fish, chicken and very lean red meat. Limit your red meat intake ladies!

Men work a lot different with protein, but I'm not going to sit here and act like I know how protein works with men, sorry guys, I just don't know. I do know, men, if you're trying to build muscle mass, the amount of protein you need in a day is anywhere from .75-1.00 grams of protein per pound of body weight. So, if you weight 180 pounds, you can pack on some muscle with 180 GOOD GRAMS of protein a day.

The circuit training is going pretty well. I absolutely hate it, though. I'd much rather do an hour of cardio and 45 minutes worth of weights a day. This whole "going to the gym for circuit training but not laying a finger on one weight" is killing me! So, I've once again changed it up to make it work for me. Some days are spin classes, other days are Jillian's circuits and more times than not, I do weight training routines that my personal trainer designed for me last summer. I ran into her at the gym today for the first time in a year. Her name is Sandra. She's about 50 years old and is in KILLER SHAPE. I mean, I'm 19 and I want to look like this woman. She is incredible!! So, I know I can't go wrong with the routines that she has given me.

The important thing about fitness is making it work for you. No one should ever dread going to the gym. Make sure you find something that you like and that it works for you. I'm not saying go and take it easy. It takes a lot of hard work to be successful, but there are fun ways to incorporate the hard work. My favorite is 30 minutes of cardio, weights then 15-30 more minutes of cardio. That's just how I was taught and it's what I enjoy. Make sure it works for you! If not, you'll never be successful because you're constantly consumed with rules that you really do not want to follow. I recommend buying a book (Body for Life and Body for Life for Women is my favorite) read the book and use their rules as "guidelines." You don't have to do everything they say. Just change it up to where you can make it work throughout you daily life. Even if it takes you a while to get the routine and nutrition perfect, it's ok! Don't give up! If you're truly making an effort and want to be better, the results will come! I promise! The important thing is to make wise choices and be good to your body!

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Friday, May 14, 2010

Day 3- I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well."
-Psalm 139:14
I always knew that a lot of fitness/weight/exercise/health (whatever you want to call it) was strongly attached to your emotions. I really did not realize it until last night. Last night my mom was talking to me and I had a little bit of a breakdown. There's a lot of stuff going on in life right now, but the fitness definitely adds a bit of stress to it. My body is tired and sore and I'm one of those people that gets frustrated when I have goals set but don't see them happen in a week. I think a lot of people are that way. I know exercise takes a lot of hard work and it takes time to see the incredible results. I was just discouraged and down last night. This is my passion. This is what I want to do. Last night I cried out to God asking Him why fighting for my passion was so hard. Then I just felt in my Spirit, "I never said it would be easy, just that it would be worth it." Now of course, in the Bible this refers to the Christian walk. The Christian walk is certainly not easy, but Jesus promises us that it's completely worth it. It can also relate to anything in life though. Like I said when I started this journey, anything worth having is worth fighting for. So, if this is truly my passion, am I willing to fight for it?
I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God puts passions in us for a certain purpose. Because of those passions and desires He has instilled in us, we have the capability to impact a lot of people for the Kingdom of God, but only if we're walking according to God's plan. Obediance is key! I challenge you, cry out to God in times of weariness, discouragement and weakness. God wants to carry you, He wants to hear your cries. God is the best personal trainer there is! There is a lot of good things that come a long with that such as:
1. It's a totally free gift (personal trainers and life coaches are expensive these days)!
2. He WANTS to know you and be with you every single second of the day
3. He already knows what's going to happen-He has a plan. (Wouldn't you want to trust someone that knew the complete and total will of your life? If it's by God then it has to be a good thing! Goodness only comes from God)!
The key is to walk in obediance. Sometimes obeying God is not the easiest thing to do, nor does it win very many popularity contests, but God is faithful! Thank you, Lord, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made! There is a purpose written in my life. A task that needs to be completed that no one else can fulfill. It's a calling on my life. God has a calling on your life too! One you must complete, but only by walking in obediance with Him! Be encouraged! God has chosen you for His purpose! That's enough to make me excited!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

He gives strength to the weak!

"Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."
-Isaiah 40:28-31

Today was an "off-day." Meaning that I only got to take the working out part off. The nutrition is still full throttle. I do not get a free nutrition day until the end of this 30 day journey. I find myself extremely sore and kind of down today. Satan has been attacking me with negative thoughts saying that this thing isn't going to work and there's no way I'm going to inspire people now or in the future. Not cool! I found those verses in Jeremiah to be so encouraging today. The Lord is my strength, especially when I'm tired (sore) and weary. I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things early tomorrow morning. I'm hoping next week to take a spin class, I've heard they're pretty tough. I am thankful for the rest that my body is getting today, despite the non-stop feeling of soreness. It just means the plan is working!
So, my challenge to you today is: even if you're sore...KEEP WORKING! Just think, if you stick to it, you'll never be this sore again! Each day you'll get stronger and the workouts will become more enjoyable and easier. Then, when your "jump start" workout plan is over, you don't have to stress your body out nearly as much. Keep pushing towards your goal despite any pain that you may be feeling! It's worth it!!