Journal of a Plump Lady

plumpladyWell I haven’t written much lately because I have been so busy, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had tons to write about – because I do!  I just don’t really know where to start.  (Should I talk about God, starting nonprofit, starting new business, making changes, family, raising a teenage girl, having my mom live with me, volunteering, or should I just start with me…it is time for self-reflection.)  So here I go…

I have made a lot of changes in my life this year and I feel so blessed!  My work is fun and I feel like I am making a difference and really helping others.  You see – I am pursuing my passion and God has been my guide through all of it!  When you choose to TRUST God – he just makes things so clear.  I always tried to control things but when I finally turned to him and let him have control – things are so much better!

I feel good – that is strange for me to say because I have so many health issues.  Last year about this time – I honestly felt like I only had a few months to live.  I was stressed, depressed and literally hurt all over.  I thought I had a terrible illness – cancer or something.  Have you ever felt that way?  Luckily, I have made changes in my life and I have more energy, feel better, sleep better and am not stressed.  What a difference that is… Now, I really want to lose weight but this is a WAR that I struggle with daily.  I have started working out at least two days a week and I enjoy that and I have done pretty good with that.  I am getting stronger and more flexible.  My real problem – the Food.

Food stresses me out.  I love food.  I love all the herbs, nuts, meats, veggies, fruits…not cakes or chips or anything like that – not even bread – so what is the problem?  My problem – I like convenience – does anyone else deal with this issue – I NEED HELP!  I work a lot and volunteer a lot and sometime I do not have time to determine what to eat; so I run through the drive through and grab food for my family.  We eat out a lot – ALOT.  I know that is a big issue.  I have bought those trendy trays so that I can prepare my food ahead of time but seriously I am not excited about that.  I really don’t want to eat the same meal every day – how boring is that.  I get tired of chicken done forty-nine ways.  It is still chicken…. BORING!!!  You see I like Pasta because you can prepare it 49 ways and it taste different every time – oh and it takes 10 minutes.  So I have diagnosed my problem with food – I need food that is convenient – quick to fix – healthy – without being BORING!

I truly appreciate different tastes and my palette is gourmet cuisine!  I love the perfect cheese on an oat cracker drizzle with a little honey and then followed by a fig.  Yes, that is what I’m talking about.  I love the deliciousness of mixing foods and flavors together to find that perfect combination.  Oh the taste- I roll my eyes just thinking of the surprise of sweet, crunchy, tasty amazing treat.  Sorry – got distracted for a minute!  I need help!

What do you eat?  How do you not get bored?  How can I win this WAR?  I would just take a win of a battle right now.  I am so frustrated with myself.  Why is this so hard?  I want it but I don’t want to work for it – that is not who I am except where food is concerned.  How can it have such a hold on me?

Please share with me today – I need to hear from my friends – heck even my enemies.  I ask selfishly for prayers as I continue my journey.  Maybe we can do this together.

The Plump Lady – Leigh Christian

Jeremiah 29:11New International Version (NIV) For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a fut

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TIME FOR ME

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It is time to start writing again.  I haven’t written lately because I have been busy and I have found it hard to express all my thoughts lately.  I have so many ideas and so many things I want to say and I don’t know where to start.  AAAAAGHHH!@!

I am pretty much an open book – I share my thoughts, feelings and really try to be honest even when it hurts me!  Where to start – well, there is always my health and my weight; or it could be raising a teenager and learning to trust; or it could be sharing leadership or coaching advise, or maybe I could share some words of inspiration.

I have so many things going through my mind, like so many of you do.  I think we all want to be the best person that we can be.  We want to have a great career, spend lots of time with our family and be great parents.  We also want to take time for ourselves and make an impact on others.  How can we do it all?  We have kids in school, aging parents, demanding bosses, bills to be paid, church events, sports events to attend, chores around the house…oh the list goes on…and on.

So how do we react to it all?  Do we get frazzled? Do we make lists to remind us where and when to be places?  Do we try to be everything to all people? We just can’t let anyone down – now can we?   Well – I have tried all these things and I realized that I need to make time for myself as well.  If I am always busy taking care of everything else and everyone else – I will (and have) fell apart and then what?

This is where I usually try to fix everything myself – I start organizing, coordinating, collaborating and try to make everything better. I just need to control it and things will get better. Yeah, right?    I am learning the lesson slowly, however, I am trying to let go and let God take control.  I need to TRUST him more.  He always has a better plan for me. One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

So why can’t I be patient and wait for God to take charge? Personally – I just want God to tell me what he has planned for me; but I know a lot of his plans include my journeys to the plan.   I am doing small things to gradually make this change and follow his plan.  I am turning to prayer immediately when I have a decision to make.  Then I read my Bible and look for answers there.  I read Romans 12 every day to remind myself on how to live.  I need that reminder every day!  I listen to Christian music and I find lots of answers or confirmations there.  I plan to share a blog soon about a song that literally changed my life overnight!  I am still praying through it all.  Often I will seek counsel of coaches, pastors, or close friends to get guidance and advice.  I hope that they will say something that confirms what I believe God is saying to me.  It is hard not to think something is a sign when it isn’t.  For me I have to have about three signs pointing me in the right direction before I get the hint.  God is so patient with me.  I always want to do the right things but often find myself doing the things I hate.  God showed me these verses recently and I have pondered them for several weeks.  Romans 7:  13- 25 The Message Bible   13 I can already hear your next question: “Does that mean I can’t even trust what is good [that is, the law]? Is good just as dangerous as evil?” No again! Sin simply did what sin is so famous for doing: using the good as a cover to tempt me to do what would finally destroy me. By hiding within God’s good commandment, sin did far more mischief than it could ever have accomplished on its own.  14-16 I can anticipate the response that is coming: “I know that all God’s commands are spiritual, but I’m not. Isn’t this also your experience?” Yes. I’m full of myself—after all, I’ve spent a long time in sin’s prison. What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary.  17-20 But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.  21-23 It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.  24 I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?  25 The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

So my promise to God, myself and you…I will make time for me. I will use this time to work on myself spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, and every possible way.  I want to ensure that I am the best ME that I can be and I know it is time to start!   Hope you will find time to make time for you!

Prayers and Blessings.

Leigh

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Change

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Change means so many different things to different people. Often, change is thought of in a negative way. I like to think of the word “change” in a positive renewing way. Change can be a noun or a verb; and even an adjective at times. It is one of the most powerful words and one of the most powerful things to do. Most people are scared of change; but some of us embrace it and know that change is good. I looked up the definition and there were numerous definitions but I am thinking of the first one that I read…to make the form, nature, content, future course of something different from what it is now. I want to make a “change” in me!
My blog has been focused for a few years on being a “changed” person – I wanted to change my future – be a better person, but most of all – be a better Christian. It is hard. Sometimes you make so much progress, only to be knocked back down lower than you started. I have learned though; the battles along the way, those unexpected turns were what made me more aware, stronger and to love deeper. The journey would be boring and not mean as much if it was just a straight path. I have learned to fight harder; to ask for help and to give forgiveness along the way. Sometimes the very people that you think are going to support you, to hold you up in times of trouble are the ones that let you down the most. It is so easy to want to blame them; but that is how God intended for the situation to go. It hurts when someone lets you down, when someone gives up on you; and when they even seem to be out to get you. How can that be part of God’s plan? How can he let us get hurt? I know – it is during these times we look up to God more and beg for help. These are times when we commit to him more; these are the times that we rely on him and not ourselves. You see – when times are going great and we get confidence – we think we can handle everything – we forget to rely on God. That is when he allows things to happen to bring us closer to him again. In other words – he allows us to fall in the deep pit, the insecurity, the sin, the lack of confidence, the petty jealousy and the defeat of comparison.
There is only one thing that does not change – and that is God/Jesus. In Hebrews 13:8 it states, “Appreciate your pastoral leaders who gave you the Word of God. Take a good look at the way they live, and let their faithfulness instruct you, as well as their truthfulness. There should be a consistency that runs through us all. For Jesus doesn’t change—yesterday, today, tomorrow, he’s always totally himself.”
I know that God loves me yesterday, today and tomorrow; whether I am naughty or nice, or even if I completely ignore him. He is consistent. I know he is always there for me, even when I am not for him. God never fails….so why do we resist change? We resist because we know that we fail. It is hard for us to turn everything over to God. It is scary to think you may make mistakes, life choices that are really big, and commit to something you don’t know how to do. Changes may result in losing your job, gaining family members, increasing or decreasing your finances….change can totally disrupt your plans. Change can also help you find happiness. It is not always bad – it is different. Don’t be afraid to take the first step towards change…read a book to improve; attend a class; set a goal; look for a new job; find a new friend…just take the chance to make a change. If you do not change directions – you may end up going nowhere. Change brings opportunities; helps find dreams; and helps us grow… Don’t expect to see change if you don’t make any changes. Besides God, change is one thing that is consistent…things are always changing – it is up to us to embrace them.
I wish it was easy; but, change is hard! I challenge you to think about how you can change for the better and start doing something about it! I plan to make several changes this year – I want to feel better, not be stressed, enjoy life and it is only me that can do it! Let’s change together…

Leigh

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I am “ME” again!

2015 was a blur for me…literally. I really had a hard year. I had so many health issues, my daughter and my mom had health issues, and I was just physically and mentally spent. One thing different than usual though – when I get completely ruined down – is that I didn’t feel spiritually spent this time. That is truly what got me through these rough times. I became closer to God and turned to him even more. I relied on him instead of myself and I made it through somehow! We forget how good God is to us and that we need to rely on him ALWAYS.

My favorite Bible Verse: Jeremiah 29:11   For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

How amazing is that – God has planned out my life – how can I go wrong? Well it is so easy to go wrong – I know – I do it all the time! I make plans without getting advice from God. I tell him what I am going to do instead of listening to him. It’s hard! I want him just to make it easy for me but I have learned that all the twists and turns and mistakes have made me stronger and my journey was planned that way.
So, I thought I would share about some of my struggles – maybe it will help you know my thoughts and my frame of reference. I hope that you can relate or know that others may feel the same way or made the same mistakes. I am so busy taking care of others that I don’t focus on myself and 2015, I just about fell apart. I knew I felt bad and something was wrong, but I kept trudging along. I had my mom and my daughter; both, that had more urgent health issues and I needed to be the caretaker. I had lots of work on my job that I needed to accomplish and I just couldn’t take the time. I had community and church things that were always pressing and needed my attention. I always put other things in front of taking care of myself. I thought I was being selfish if I took care of me! WOW – I learned the very hard way when I almost had a physical and mental breakdown. I knew all last year that I was depressed, not confident, jealous, and grumpy and even isolated myself at times (I am a PEOPLE person – so this was something new). I didn’t even understand who I was and that made me even more stressed! Who was this person inside my frail, worn out body? I had NO energy, had brain fog, just felt terrible all over! I ached from head to toe…I thought I was getting old and that was just how it was going to be for the rest of my life. You see – I am overweight, have mechanical heart valve, high blood pressure, bad knees and a variety of other issues and I just accepted the fact that this was supposed to be how I felt. I grabbed fast food or something for dinner because I had to have food for my family (I am the mom!) Of course I was too tired to cook – I was barely making it through the day. I literally was too tired to get out of my car and make it inside – but I usually did.  Do you think I worked out – well I had a fitness center membership and paid my dues – but I guess you have to go – huh?  I literally had no energy to workout or even walk the halls at work.   Why would I think this was normal? How STUPID is that?
When autumn came, I had hit rock bottom…I was too tired to keep going. I had convinced myself I had cancer and thought I had a stroke or TIAs. Oh yeah, my left hand and arm started tingling…and still hasn’t stopped. I got to where I was not even able to think, forgot things, missed meetings and was just not myself. Who was this person? What in the world was going on? Where was I? Who was I? This tortured me even more. I usually can write about my thoughts, feelings and am never at a loss for words but honestly – I was having trouble even saying words. I didn’t tell anyone except that I wasn’t feeling great. Finally, I went to the doctor – had tests and blood work. I mean a lot of tests and a lot of blood. I had several things physically wrong with me but the biggest thing was that I was completely depleted of Vitamin D. I was even taking a supplement because this time last year – it was low. Vitamin D – the “Sunshine” vitamin is so important and I never even thought about it! I started taking a prescribed Vitamin D as small as a Tic-Tac and it has made such a difference. I have a few other issues and am doing some procedures and Physical Therapy to improve other parts of my body but a simple little vitamin has changed my life. So why did I wait so long to take care of me? Why didn’t I realize that I couldn’t take care of others if I fell apart and in fact, they may have to care for me – what a burden I would be then!
So for 2016, I have found “me” again and I am happy! I like and love me! I am back to who I used to be. Now I am going to be the first to tell you – there are many areas that I need to improve but I am working hard on those every day! I am excited to be going into a new year and finding a better me at the end of the year!

Images and videos of who loves me
I encourage you to take care of yourself. Don’t miss all those warning signs. You are not supposed to feel bad, if you do, go see a doctor. Do something for yourself – it is the best investment you can make. Also, most important…listen to God and follow his plans…he knows the way and he will guide you.
I hope to hear from all of you as you start the New Year to find yourself!
Blessings,
Leigh

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Pity Party – No More!!

images-2 Do you ever wake up and just feel like the world is out to get you? It seems you can make no one happy? Everyone is pulling you in hundreds of directions? The harder you work, the deeper you get behind? You feel left out, not included, and just lonely – even in a group of people? Do you think if you are the nicest person and offer your help and really go out of your way for others – they will do the same? Then you get stomped on again and again. Do you let your mind start racing, start thinking all of these negative thoughts and you just start feeling worse. Well, I started my day off like that this morning. I was frustrated, sad, lonely, mad, feeling sorry for myself….you know that Self PITy that you go in. (Notice I capitalized the letters – PIT…we fall deep in that PIT of self-pity). I don’t even have anything wrong going on in my life…
I realized immediately what I was doing and so I tried to just breathe! I was going to post on Facebook a quote or scripture and I started looking at lots of positive uplifting thoughts. I was reading them faster and faster and really did start feeling better. I read them out loud, I thought and meditated over them. I found some scripture that was uplifting and even heard some praise songs. My mood was getting better. I was slowing climbing up the walls…I fell a few times when an email frustrated me or I heard others talking and laughing and I felt left out; but I was going to stop letting my mind go to the bottom of the pit again. I have always heard of the power of positive thinking but I guess I never really realize what power it can have.
As I grow older, I reflect a lot more on ways I could improve myself…I always know that I could start by not being so hard on myself. I am caring, compassionate, dependable, want to do my best always, am friendly, am worthy…wait – I am worthy. Surely I didn’t’ say that – but you know – my God gives me worth. He cared enough to pay the ultimate price of dying for me. He did that for me…and for you. So when you start your old stinking thinking – look up to God or get down on your knees. Read scripture, listen to praise music, read positive thoughts, surround yourself with positive people. Do NOT let your mind have the power to get you down…into the snake pit…of self-pity. Gosh – I am so blessed with a fabulous family, a great job with people I respect and admire; I am part of so many wonderful community groups and a great church. I am blessed! You have the POWER to change your mind from thinking negative to thinking positive.
In the Bible – David expressed when he felt times of being in the PIT. He shares in Psalm 40 and so many other places in Psalms. Psalm 40:2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. (He’s talking about God for those of you who don’t catch on.)
I also think about Daniel – who was thrown not only in a pit – but a lion’s pit. He came out smiling – praising God. He relied on God to get him through it. God didn’t let him down – he showed out!
So next time you start sliding into the pit – stop it. You have the power to do it – rely on your God. Change your thinking – the power is yours!quote-self-pity-is-our-worst-enemy-and-if-we-yield-to-it-we-can-never-do-anything-wise-in-the-world-helen-keller-358209

Love you lots…don’t you go have a pity party…..no more!

Leigh

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Giving Gifts

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I love being able to give gifts to others. It is so fun looking for the perfect, most thoughtful gift for that special person. It is great watching their surprise on their face and knowing how much it meant to them. The gift doesn’t have to be the most expensive – it just has to be my best at that time. That is all that God asks of us – to give our best…not THE best. So often we hold back because we feel like we are inadequate or our contribution is of little substance – don’t hold back. Share your gifts! I am not just talking about physical gifts – I am talking mainly about spiritual gifts!
One of my favorite Chapters of all the Bible is Romans 12 and it talks about how to use our gifts. Romans 12 6-8 If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.
I have always been told my gift is friendliness – in fact I was always voted Most Friendly throughout my school years. I guess as I have grown older – some may call it hospitality and even in the professional world it is called Networking. I would say that I love doing that! I love making people feel included, welcome and I try to use this gift not only to improve myself but for God. I greet people at church or include people in conversations or invite them to small group or even ask them to serve with me. Your Spiritual Gifts are the gifts that keep on giving over and over!

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I Corinthians 12 4-11 God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful:
• wise counsel
• clear understanding
• simple trust
• healing the sick
• miraculous acts
• proclamation
• distinguishing between spirits
• tongues
• interpretation of tongues.
All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when.

So I encourage you to determine what you gift is and then think how you can use it for God. The blessings and gifts back to yourself are unbelievable!
I also know that I have a gift for sharing my story and I haven’t done that lately. So here is my gift to you and to myself. I am going to start sharing again. What gift will you share today?  If you are not sure what your gifts are – ask others, take course on spiritual gifts, pray….Finding your gift and using it is a great feeling!

Give a gift today!

Leigh

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Be Authentic!

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Recently I was having a conversation with a friend over lunch, and we began discussing what we liked in people; and she said to me that she liked me, because I was authentic. I pondered that for a while and I realized that it has taken me fifty LONG years to get to that point. Seems like I have always been trying to impress someone – my parents, teachers, coaches, friends, bosses….well basically everyone. I wanted to look a certain way, have a certain title, be recognized for achievements, and was just really always trying to please everyone else. I am a People Pleaser – always have been…always will be. I did realize that I could get my feelings hurt sometimes trying to please everyone though! I am often taken advantage of; but I have a better understanding of myself lately. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on who I really am and what I want to be. Sometimes, I really don’t like how I turned out and sometimes I feel so blessed. I realized when I take the positive side of things – I am happier. I have learned to find the lessons or the best practices in a situation instead of having regrets over how I could have done better. My goal now is to be my best and I realized that I really just need to please one and only one – that is GOD! The Bible tells us in so many verses to do what is pleasing to God.

1 Thessalonians (ESV) 4 Finally, then, brothers,[a] we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

Ephesians 5:10 (GNT) 10 Try to learn what pleases the Lord.

Well – that is always my intention but I make mistakes – sometimes, not only am I not pleasing to God but I usually make others frustrated or mad too! We are only human! I am striving to be a better “me” and I am not comparing myself or competing with others. I used to always want to be the best – not just the best me, but the best at whatever I was doing. Now I just want to be the best I can be! I am trying not to compare myself or allow myself to have a pity party. I take pride in who I am and what I stand for. I have become so much bolder in my faith and I love it. Someone asked me to pray a non-religious prayer for a large event – I stressed all day – how do you do that? I didn’t want to offend anyone so I used careful words – it didn’t feel right. That one thing really impacted me so much! I have as much right to pray to my God and Jesus as they didn’t want me too. I don’t want to offend anyone but I want to be authentic and stand up for my beliefs. This year has been a real life lesson for me. I have changed…maybe I am finally mature at 50 – I don’t know but I am a different person. In certain areas of my life – I am not the go to person or the most popular or the friend to everyone like I used to be. I often feel isolated and even like the weird person that people make fun of from time to time. At first, it bothered me so much – then I realized that I need to control me and only me, and the situation would work itself out. I continued to be friendly, and do my work. I am still not included sometimes and I am definitely not the go-to person anymore; however, I take pride in the fact that I help others and do my job. Funny thing – I am not stressed anymore!
Being authentic is just being yourself – not trying to be like someone else. Being authentic is standing up for your beliefs without pushing them on others. Being authentic is being the best “you” that you can be in every situation….be the best friend, mom, wife, etc. Always do your best and show your care and commitment. I hate to make generalizations but I am going to right now. It seems that our society is focused on “What’s in it for me, instead of what can I do to make this a better place…” We need people to step up and step out and be authentic and show what they stand for and live for each moment and be their very best.
Blessings to you and prayers that you will learn to be authentic!

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