eat your fiber picture

You may not be able to tell from my pictures, but I’m 6 feet tall. That’s a whopping six inches taller than the average woman in the US. If we’re talking Japan, I’m nearly a foot taller. Sidenote: this is why I’ve never visited Japan. I fear that when I deplane, everyone would run, screaming, “GODZILLA!!” I prefer to spare them that trauma. But, I digress. My point is: I’m very tall.

Being tall has its advantages, like being able to help little old ladies procure canned goods from the top shelf at the grocery store. But it also has its disadvantages, like needing to consume more calories to stay alive. Right now I eat an average of 1500-1700 calories every day. My shorter counterparts may think that sounds like plenty, but let me assure you, it can feel like deprivation if I don’t compose my meals correctly.

That’s where fiber comes in. Fiber keeps me feeling fuller longer. High fiber foods can also require more chewing, which gives my brain time to receive the signal from my gut that I’m full. The truth is, no matter how tall you are, fiber is vital to weight loss and living a healthy life.

I can definitely tell a difference in my appetite when I leave the fiber off my plate. Take pizza for example. If I eat a slice of pepperoni pizza, I’m hungry within an hour or two. The reason for this is the average chain store’s pizza has only 1-2 grams of fiber per slice. If you consider we need 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories consumed, eating only 2 grams of fiber per meal just won’t cut it.

On average, I consume 25-30 grams of fiber per day. This has proven to be helpful in reaching my goals. It’s also proven helpful in keeping me from driving my family insane, because everyone knows a hungry momma is not a happy momma. To reach my daily fiber intake goal, I eat at least six grams of fiber at every meal. This doesn’t include snacks. Your snacks should carry the remainder of your fiber needs. I know, I know…there is no fiber in ice cream. It’s a shame, really. But substitute a fruit and yogurt parfait topped with almonds, and you’ve got yourself a great ice cream substitute that is also high in fiber.

Remember, the key to losing weight and keeping it off is to focus on lifestyle changes and not flash-in-the-pan dieting. Incorporating more fiber into your diet is one of those little changes that will add up to big success.

Here are some yummy things you can add to your plates and snack time to fight off hunger and feel full longer:

Fruits:
Raspberries – 1 cup – 8 grams of fiber
Apple, with skin –  1 medium  – 4.4 grams of fiber
Blueberries – 1 cup –  3.6 grams of fiber
Banana –  1 medium –  3.1 grams of fiber
Orange – 1 medium – 3.1 grams of fiber
Strawberries (sliced) –  1 cup  – 3 grams of fiber
 
Grains, cereal & pasta:
Pasta, whole-wheat, cooked  – 1 cup – 6.3 grams of fiber
Barley, pearled, cooked – 1 cup – 6 grams of fiber
Bran flakes –  3/4 cup – 5.3 grams of fiber
Oatmeal, cooked – 1 cup –  4 grams of fiber
Popcorn, air-popped – 3 cups – 3.5 grams of fiber
Brown rice, cooked – 1 cup – 3.5 grams of fiber
Bread, whole-wheat or multigrain – 1 slice – 2 grams of fiber
 
Legumes, nuts and seeds:
Split peas, cooked – 1 cup – 16.3 grams of fiber
Lentils, cooked –  1 cup – 15.6 grams of fiber
Black beans, cooked – 1 cup  – 15 grams of fiber
Lima beans – cooked –  1 cup –  13.2 grams of fiber
Baked beans, cooked –  1 cup  – 10.4 grams of fiber
Sunflower seed kernels –  1/4 cup –  3.9 grams of fiber
Almonds –  1 ounce (23 nuts) –  3.5 grams of fiber
Pistachio nuts –  1 ounce (49 nuts) –  2.9 grams of fiber
Pecans –  1 ounce (19 halves) –  2.7 grams of fiber
 
Vegetables:
Green peas, cooked  – 1 cup – 8.8 grams of fiber
Broccoli, steamed – 1 cup – 5.1 grams of fiber
Turnip greens, boiled – 1 cup – 5.0 grams of fiber
Brussels sprouts, cooked – 1 cup – 4.1 grams of fiber
Sweet corn, cooked – 1 cup – 4 grams of fiber
Potato, with skin, baked – 1 small – 3 grams of fiber
Carrot, raw – 1 medium – 1.7 grams of fiber

Happy eating!

 

I am the most confident person in the room, until I start comparing myself to others. When speaking about my weight loss, I feel excellent about how far I’ve come, until I see that someone else is losing weight faster. When I’m playing my songs for an audience, I feel like a talented singer-songwriter, until I hear someone better. Comparison is a nasty disease that eats away at our self-confidence.

Apple-Orange-Comparison

Let’s get this ugly little truth out of the way: There will always be someone who is better than us at something. Go ahead, swallow that jagged little pill. Once you do, we can move forward to the good news.

The good news is, while someone might be better than us at a particular skill, no one can be better than us at actually being ourselves. There’s only one you, and one me. We both have a vital piece to this puzzle of life, but, sadly, the puzzle will stay incomplete if we constantly shrink back from opportunities because we are comparing ourselves to others.

As of this week, I’ve lost 105 lbs. That is something I should celebrate. And if I’m tempted to slap a comparison sticker on it, I should only compare it to where I was a year ago today. If I crunch those numbers, I find that I’m very pleased with my performance. That’s what it should all boil down to anyway, right? Am I being the best me? Are you being the best you? Because, honestly, you can’t be the best anyone else. So how ‘bout we stop comparing ourselves to each other and start being our awesome selves? Deal?

After all, no one else can write the melodies in your head. No one else can type the words to your story. Without them, the puzzle is incomplete.

I usually have my crap together, or at least I like to think I do. I’d say about 75% of the time I’m composed, disciplined, and focused, while 25% of the time I’m scattered. Okay, maybe 75% is a little generous, but the point being, more often than not I have my crap together. Something crazy happened in April, though. Maybe it was the result of all those creepy blood moons, or maybe it was the by-product of a whole lot of stuff being out of my control, but my April was awful. So, if we crossed paths this month, let me publicly apologize, because chances are, I need to.

Maybe you need a visual to really get what I’m talking about. If so, this video pretty much encapsulates my month:

I did a whole lot of hobbling. And, I am only able to cross April’s finish line into the beginning of May because I had help. Lots of help. If it weren’t for my sweet husband and my God, I would still be on one knee, crying. While spectators looked on in bewilderment, they came down from the stands and helped me to my end point, which honestly, is just a starting point for a new month.

So, I’m calling April a wash. I’m not going to look back and dissect this month and pick apart my performance anymore. Instead, I’m gong to focus on the next race. I’m sure the month of May will hold some challenges, but I’m ready.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who  competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” – 1 Corinthians 24-27

So, what do you say? Want to move forward with me into a glorious May? Alright…Let’s race!

So here it is. The official one hundred pound weight loss picture…

100 pound pic

You may think that with one hundred pounds gone, everything is smooth sailing from here on out. Unfortunately, that isn’t true. Now would be a great time to remind you, and myself, that this isn’t a quick-fix, it’s a life-long journey. I’m still waiting for that day when I wake up and suddenly I’ve stopped craving salty and sugary snacks. It just hasn’t happened yet.

Before last January, my nighttime snack used to be a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream AND something salty. That’s right, I said, “AND.” I would eat a whole pint of ice cream and follow it up with crackers and cheese. While it’s true that I may never have to worry about bone density with the amount of calcium I was taking in, my routine was ridiculously high in calories and saturated fat.

Clearly I’m not consuming the same snacks I did just over a year ago, but I haven’t eliminated my nighttime routine completely. A huge contributor to my success has been modifying some of my habits instead of eliminating them completely. So I’m going to let you in on my secret. Yes, I have worked hard at the gym. Yes, I have limited unhealthy fats. Yes, I eat more whole foods. But my secret weapon in this battle for health has been…POPCORN and CHOCOLATE CHIPS!

Every weeknight, after I tuck my daughter into bed, I head to the kitchen and make a bag of homemade microwave popcorn. Then I portion out 16 Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips into a Ziploc baggie. Then I retire to my bedroom to enjoy my snacks and decompress with The Hubs.

This routine has been a life saver. The popcorn contains 170 calories. The chocolate chips are decadent but only weigh in at 70 calories. The total calorie count for my nighttime snack is 240, and it’s worth every calorie! So, I’m going to pass the recipe along to you. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!

What you’ll need:

Brown paper lunch sack
1/2 tsp. Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Popcorn Kernels
Salt
Butter Flavor Cooking Spray
Pepper
Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Ranch Dressing Seasoning Packet

What you’ll do:

Pour the popcorn into a bowl, stir in the olive oil. Lightly salt the kernels and pour into the paper sack. Fold the top down twice. Put bag int he microwave standing up (not on it’s side like typical microwave popcorn). The time will vary based on your microwave’s wattage. I recommend starting at 2 minutes and listening to the popcorn. When you hear a pause of about 3 seconds between pops, it’s time to turn it off. When the popcorn is done, open the bag and give it a few sprays with the cooking spray. Sprinkle 1 tsp of the dry ranch dressing seasoning and a couple shakes of garlic powder onto the popcorn. Fold the top back down and shake to distribute evenly. Then add salt and pepper to taste. Pour mixture into a large bowl and enjoy!


  IMG_7330

elbowIn church several weeks ago, I was sitting next to my husband, who kept elbowing me throughout the message. He was jabbing me as if to say, “He’s talking about YOU!” Now, if the hubs had been nudging me during all of the negative talking points, I probably would have come unglued, but my sweet husband was elbowing me at all the good points. To make matters confusing, the message was about self-discipline, which to that point, I was convinced I lacked.

I finally had enough of the jabs, and decided to have a quiet conversation with my husband about what was going on in his mind. This is the whispered conversation that happened on the front row of church that morning:

Me: Why do you keep elbowing me?
Hubs: That’s you. You have so much self-discipline.
Me: (dumbfounded) No, I don’t. I’d eat a whole box of chocolates right now, if they manifested. (I was kind of hoping they would, but they didn’t.)
Hubs: You’ve worked out 4-5 times per week for 15 years.
Me: Oh…yeah.

I was silent the rest of the message, but I realized something in that moment…

I am self-disciplined. And, not everyone’s self-discipline looks the same. For example, my husband is self-disciplined in managing his time and money. I’m self-disciplined with my fitness. Although, my discipline may look different than that of other people, I can’t compare mine to theirs. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. Besides, the tricky game of comparing myself to others is only a deterrent on this journey. Comparison is never helpful.

I also realized that morning, that while my husband was viewing my habits through a positive filter, I was looking at them through a negative one. I was examining every little nuance of my weaknesses, but he was calling out my strengths. And, as I found out that morning, calling out your strengths is more empowering than obsessing over your weaknesses.

So, I challenge you today to call out your strengths. Instead of focusing on your weakness, let your strength be a springboard to accomplishing whatever goal you’ve set before you today.

If you have a little girl under the age of ten, chances are you’ve seen Disney’s Frozen. If you haven’t, congratulations, you’re a hard core hold out, able to resist even the most heart wrenching pleas of your child. I salute you.

But really, if you have been holding out, let me encourage you to change your mind and go see the movie. Why? Frozen isn’t just a movie about silly princesses waiting to be won over by their “true love’s kiss.” At first glance it may seem that way, but this movie actually has guts. And those guts are pretty applicable to what this blog is about. So let me get to it…

“Don’t let them in, don’t let them see.
Be the good girl you always have to be.…”
Let it Go from Frozen

As I’ve stated before, probably redundantly so, I’m an emotional stuffer. For me, the culmination of this stuffing was morbid obesity. That term, “morbid obesity,” was an actual diagnosis I received after seeing a doctor for a minor issue when I was a teenager. Scary, right?!

By the age of 21, I was hovering around 400lbs. I woke up on my birthday that year (Which is April 12 in case you want to send a gift…wink, wink) and decided I wanted to lose weight. By 2004, I had lost almost 140 lbs. I was pretty stoked. Right after giving birth to my daughter, I was at my lowest weight since sixth grade, which really isn’t all that impressive since this was what I looked like in sixth grade…

me at 12-edited

I’ll admit that, although I successfully lost all that weight, I did it wrong. I lost it through exercise and deprivation, believing there would be an expiration date to my “diet.” I never explored the reasons I ate in the first place, and I didn’t dare think it would be a life-long commitment. As time progressed, I got tired of the deprivation and one cheat day each week turned into seven. By 2013, I was inching back toward that 400lb mark. I was frightened.

It was then that I decided to address the reasons I overate in the first place. I had developed the habit of eating instead of expressing authentic emotions. This was a behavior I taught myself to make it through life with minimal risk of rejection, but in turn, it ended up leading to massive rejection, including self-rejection. Ironic, right?

So what in the world does this have to do with Frozen? One of the lead characters in this charming Disney tale is Elsa. She has a special power that can make it winter any time of year. At first this power is viewed as a gift. Then, after an accident, the power is viewed as a curse. She’s taught that expressing her feelings makes the power grow, so she begins to hide away from everyone, including her once beloved little sister, Anna. Her parents shut the palace gates so that no one can enter, and she’s encouraged not to express her feelings out of fear that others may know that she has secret powers.

“Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know.
Well now they know!”
-Let it Go from Frozen

I found myself relating to Elsa quite a bit throughout the movie. I don’t have secret powers like she does (I know. You’re shocked, right?), but I’m familiar with stuffing my feelings down until I’m completely useless to the outside world. I’ve closed myself off to a lot of people because I’ve been afraid to let them in, afraid to let them see the real me. Sometimes it feels as if all this weight I’ve shed is similar to taking off a winter coat, a coat I was never supposed to put on in the first place. It’s been springtime all along and I’ve been hiding under layers to protect myself from unknown variables. But, it’s time to let it go. The Ice Queen is thawing out. It’s a vulnerable place to be, but it’s worth it.

How about you? Are you in the process of thawing out? Has there been a movie in your life that inspired you to do something crazy (like write a blog post about it)?

P.S….You’ll have to go see the movie now to find out how Elsa’s story ends.

how to build a snowman

Unless you’ve been shacking up in a hole this week, you know the Winter Olympics are happening right now in Sochi, Russia. I don’t know about you, but I am awed by the ease with which all those skiers and snowboarders glide down the side of the mountain. But in spite of all that athleticism and artistry, the one recurring thought I have while watching the coverage is this: I want to build a snowman.

Now, everyone knows that to build a snowman, you must first start with a tiny ball of snow. Never underestimate that little snowball. As you roll it down the slope of a big patch of snow, it will grow and become a powerful base for the rest of your snowman.

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin… Zechariah 4:10

Okay, okay…sorry to disappoint, but this blog entry isn’t really about snowmen. It’s about the power of small beginnings, or as I like to say, the magic of simply starting. When Mr. Snowman started out, he was just a small ball of frozen precipitation. If the ball never started rolling, he would have stayed just that – a ball. But in order to reach his full potential in Snowman Land, that ball had to pick up momentum. It could not pick up momentum, however, until that first step was taken, and someone began to roll the ball.

Are you ready to get the ball rolling?

When I started out on this weight loss adventure, I saw an insurmountable mountain ahead of me. I knew it would take every ounce of my energy just to get the ball rolling. I had to buckle down and focus. I had to decide that what I wanted most was going to have a stronger pull on me than what I wanted in moments of temptation. And what I wanted most was to steadily move forward toward my goal of living a healthier lifestyle. I can’t imagine what my life would look like now if I hadn’t taken that first step.

Every major life decision begins with a first step, and that first step is generally the hardest one to take. Emotions like fear, worry, and shame can play a part in holding us back from starting a new adventure or making necessary life changes. But here’s the good news… They don’t have to hold us back anymore. I am living proof that as momentum shifts forward, those binding emotions can lose their hold, and the pace can pick up. You just have to begin.

So… What’s your first step?

The act of beginning looks different for everyone. For me it started with the baby steps of trying new vegetables and working out at least twenty minutes, three times per week. From there, it snowballed (pun intended) into being more honest with myself and not sugar coating (literally and figuratively) my feelings anymore. My baby steps led to my small beginning of losing two pounds per week. Those two pounds have turned into a colossal ninety pound weight loss.

It’s been a year since I began pushing my snowball down the slope. With each forward moving step on this journey, it picks up momentum, and steadily becomes sturdier and stronger. Of course, my snowman is still a work in progress, but his shape becomes more and more definitive with ever step I take.

I recently had a conversation with my daughter that reminded me of how far I’ve come on my journey. That conversation, coupled with a message at church about how our thoughts matter, really punctuated the fact that I needed to write this blog post about how our thoughts can be a hindrance to us on this journey.

Last week, my daughter came to me and said she wanted to quit her swim team. When I probed as to why, she said it was because she was slow and not getting any faster. When I finally got to the bottom of her declaration to quit, I discovered someone had said something negative about her speed. I asked her if quitting would make her faster. She said, “No.” Then I asked her why she swam. Her reply was “I am a swimmer. I love it.” I came back with, “So do you really want to quit?” She smiled wide and said, “No.” Then she danced away.

There is a proverb in The Bible that says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Meaning, you are what you think. But, sometimes what we think about ourselves contradicts with what others think about us. That can be confusing. It was for me.

2nd grade class pictureWhen I was in grade school, I remember thinking I was a good runner. I was tall. I had long legs. I was reasonably fast. I thought I was an athlete. Unfortunately, I was the only one who thought I was an athlete. My parents thought it wiser to invest their resources in my older siblings’ athletic abilities. My sister was outstanding at softball. My brother, like my father, was a brilliant golfer. I remember signing up for softball one season, but I got the time and date of the practice wrong, so I think my parents assumed I wasn’t really serious about playing. I didn’t get to play that year, or any other year for that matter.

Around this same time period, I was being told by my peers and the girl in the mirror, that I was fat. To be honest, I was fat. I was very fat. Always the trendsetter, I was obese before childhood obesity was the norm. But even though I was overweight, I still believed I was capable of doing anything other kids could do, including run, which I loved. But as I got heavier, I slowed down. As I slowed down, others made fun of my speed. As others called me slow, I began to believe it. Why run if I’m just going to end up being a joke? As my body grew larger, the athlete inside of me began to shrink until I could no longer hear her saying, “I love to run.”

I began to hate running. This was probably the beginning of a bunch of great contradictions in my life. For example, I thought I was pretty too, but according to the media and my peers, I was not. So I began to despise the way I looked. I thought I could be a famous singer. But there were very few role models I could relate to, although I once wrote a letter to a famous overweight rapper, praising him for being so inspirational to rappers of great size. And if I had wanted to be a rapper, I probably would’ve found a role model there. But I didn’t want to be a rapper. I wanted to be Mariah Carey.

So it boils down to this: What I initially thought to be true about myself began to pale in comparison to the social feedback I was getting. I began to live out the life that others had planned for me. Does that sound familiar? If so, I’m here to suggest that it’s time we live our lives according to a different plan. It’s time to silence other people’s thoughts and tune in to what makes us tick. So, what makes you tick? Who are you?

I am an athlete.

And, that once shrunken part of me is nourished and grows with every workout. Sure, I’m still 70 lbs from my goal weight, but if I don’t meet other people’s physical expectations of an athlete, that’s not my problem anymore. According to Webster’s Dictionary, an athlete is “a person who is trained in or good at sports, games, or exercises that require physical skill and strength.” Since I am swimming, strength training, or on a treadmill at least 6 hours every week, I think I can safely say I’ve reclaimed that title. I am an athlete. Who are you?

before and after collage jan 2014

As you start off the new year with resolutions to live a healthier life, I hope the things I’ve gleaned on my journey will help you along on yours. This is an edited re-post from a blog I published in June.

Image

So far in my blog I’ve discussed a lot of issues pertaining to feelings, particularly expressing them rather then eating them. In this entry I wanted to give some practical advice.

I know there is a school of thought that believes the mere suggestion of limits or boundaries begets a rebellious tendency. I vehemently disagree with this, so I am going to talk about a few rules I follow that have helped me along on this journey. If you are the type who doesn’t like to follow rules, ask yourself this question: How comfortable would I feel driving on a winding bridge with no guardrails or boundaries? So instead of thinking of the following advice as “rules,” let’s re-frame it as “things that keep you from falling off the bridge.” So here we go…

Things That Keep You From Falling Off The Bridge    

  • Never go more than two days without working out!
    • This is a big deal, and insures that you get at least 4 workouts in per week. This takes some planning. For example, I knew I was going to be on the road for a couple days recently, so I worked out the day before I left so I wouldn’t break this rule.
  • Know what a serving looks like!
    • A ½ cup of Ben & Jerry’s may seem skimpy, but it will satisfy you and won’t be so guilt inducing. After you get used to measuring everything, you get pretty good at eyeballing a serving size.
  • Measure snacks out into a separate container. No munching out of the bag.
    • When I’m going to eat my favorite late night snack of pretzel crisps and humus, I always portion out one serving of each. Taking the bag and the open container of humus with me to the couch is bad news.
  • Eat plenty of veggies with every meal, and eat them first!
    • I like to eat my veggies first so I’m less likely to go crazy with the carbs on my plate.
  • Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
    • I know it’s cliché, but drinking plenty of water is essential to being healthy. Unfortunately, I am still trying to permanently kick my diet soda habit (all those bubbles make my mouth happy), but on average I drink 68-72 ounces of water per day. I’m a thirsty girl!

These five rules have been great buffers along my journey, and I hope that you find them helpful on yours. Do you have rules that you live by on your life’s journey? I’d love to hear about them. Please comment and share.

Guess what? It’s Christmastime. And, while everyone in the blogosphere is posting their cheerful year-end wrap ups, top ten lists, and Holiday recipes, I’m eating my way through a bag of bell shaped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

photo
As I’ve mentioned before, I am an emotional eater. Instead of feeling some of my emotions, I eat them. After all, it’s pretty alarming to see a grown woman crying in her car outside of a Target store. It’s not so alarming to see her eating a cupcake. So, I eat the cupcake. I don’t like to make people uncomfortable.

Since this blog is based on the principle that honesty is always the best policy, I thought it was important to let you know that I’ve been slipping. Lately, I’ve been eating whatever I want, whenever I want, hoping there will be no consequences. I feel crummy about it. I feel out of control. Whew (wipes brow). Well…there it is. Thank you for letting me un-burden myself.

How did all this begin again? One word: power. I lost mine. Recently, I started to feel like a victim of circumstance instead of an empowered individual. I started to feel sorry for myself. And self-pity always leaves a crack in the door to our lives so that self-destructive behavior can walk right in and set up shop. Well…I’ve decided to kick self-pity out. I’m closing the door. I am not powerless. I am powerful. I just needed to remind myself.

Where does this root of powerlessness come from? I first start to feel powerless when I’m overwhelmed by a feeling, typically a feeling I can’t put my finger on. Usually discovering the feeling and expressing it requires tears, but I have an aversion to crying (you can see my conundrum here). After I refuse to cry about my feelings, I try to forget that I’m emotionally uncomfortable, so I eat. Then I realize that I’ve eaten too much and figure all is lost, and I eat some more. Then I feel ashamed and defeated, which are more feelings I refuse to cry about, and I eat some more.

It’s a crazy cycle, people. Crazy! Well, today, I’m jumping off this crazy merry-go-round and taking my power back. And power, for me, comes from two things.

First, giving words to my feelings has been, and will continue to be, the key to my success. I just need to remember to give myself permission to feel all emotions, including the more taboo ones like fear, loneliness and sadness. I need to remind myself that EVERYONE experiences these feelings and it is okay to cry about them. Most importantly, I need to remember letting those feelings simmer in a pound of butter is never the answer.

Writing those nagging feelings down or talking about them IS the answer. Writing is my therapy. So today, in an attempt to process my feelings and potentially help others struggling with the same issues, I am giving voice to the feeling I have been stuffing over the last week (and the reason for all the Reese’s wrappers around the house). Are you ready? Here it goes…

I have a nagging fear on the inside that I am insignificant. It’s a crippling fear that sabotages my best efforts. It has kept me from pursuing writing opportunities here in Nashville, it has crept up in professional mixers, and it makes me want to eat copious amounts of chocolate. So, messy as it may be, there it is. And strangely, writing it here makes me feel better.

The second thing that gives me power is my faith. I list it second, but it is actually primary. After all, “the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in me” and “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” That is a whole lot of power, folks! Remembering from whom my power comes is vital to my success…in EVERYTHING. Again, I just needed to remind myself.

So, as I close out 2013, I still stand 85 lbs lighter then a year ago today. To be sure, that is something to celebrate. In 2014, I want to remember that I am powerful and pray that God will continue to remind me that I am indeed significant. Cheers to continued success, vigilance and power re-acquisition in 2014!