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

Advertisements

Change

dont-be-afraid-of-change-positive-quotes

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

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

Beauty

1 Peter 3:3

We are always trying to do things to make ourselves more beautiful.  Lose weight, color our hair, new makeup, plastic surgery….oh, the list goes on.  We are always searching for beauty and how we can be more beautiful.  I wish I could lose weight, get rid of my heart surgery scar, were more tan, had smooth complexion…why can’t we just be happy with ourselves?

Audrey Hepburn’s Beauty Tips

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with the knowledge you’ll never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived,  reclaimed, and redeemed; Never throw out anybody.

Remember, If you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the  figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

1 Samuel 16:7

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

I know I do want to be beautiful inside and out.  I need to pray, worship, give, love and obey God and trust him.  He sees the beauty in each of us…we just need to see the beauty within ourselves.

Go – be beautiful…..inside and out!

Connecting with you always…

Leigh

The Plateau

ImageAs you can see from this picture a plateau can be a very beautiful place.  It can be a great place to stand on the edge of and look out and see how far you have come but how far you still have to go.  I have hit a plateau in my journey, but it is only a plateau for me to look at where I have come from and remember all the good things that have happened and be proud of what I have accomplished.  Even God did this, each day when he was creating the world, he would reflect as shown in Genesis 1:31God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.”  We need to do the same.

I can review the past four months and see that I have made so many changes. Spiritually –  I read several devotions every day and I read my Bible every day.  I pray – I mean I really pray and I can see my prayers being felt and answered.  I am engaging in church activities and have been writing in a journal and of course this blog.  I have become a much more open Christian.  I used to be quiet and not ruffle feathers.  I don’t care who knows that I am a CHRISTian and am so happy to love my Jesus!  I went on my Emmaus Walk – a spiritual renewal retreat and it changed my life.  I have a small group that I study and pray with and love so dearly.  I have a best friend that I can feel very comfortable to talk about God too and I am witnessing and sharing the message of God’s love every day!  I still have a long way to go but I am really proud that I have made so many improvements!  I am so much happier.  I feel so much closer to God and I am excited to be on this journey he has given me.  I felt led to do something for him – just figuring it out every day.  Maybe write curriculum, or a Christian book or my blog, submit devotions… lead small groups, continue in Kids Ministry.  Pray as I figure it out!

Reviewing mentally – I have really made great progress – I am talking more about my stressors and striving to correct many of them.  It is still hard for me to put myself as a bigger priority but I am.  I am improving my reading and communication activities, I am meeting with a counselor and I am focused more at work.  I see many improvements but I know that I have a long ways to go to work through my co-dependent ways and my savior complex.  Yes – I want to help anyone in need and sometimes I am mistreated or used but I don’t care – that is who I am!  I am trying to get my finances in good order and I am trying to open up more and ask for help – but it is still really hard.  It is hard to admit you are a failure in anything you do and that is how I feel about myself.  Mentally – I am much better but I am ready to continue to improve!

Physically – I have lost 40 pounds and that is great news, but the biggie is that I am eating healthier, enjoying my food and eating more!  I haven’t lost any weight in the last few weeks and I have been a little discouraged but I know that it is just a time where I need to reflect and see that it was good.  I need to focus on exercising a little harder and make sure I am eating my healthy snacks more often and of course have my 8 glasses of water+ each day.  I haven’t been as faithful to do that lately and I can tell.

The plateau is a good place to be but I am ready to continue on my journey of change.  Here is the definition of plateau.

pla·teau

noun
1. a land area having a relatively level surface considerably raised above adjoining land on at least one side, and often cut by deep canyons.
2. a period or state of little or no growth or decline: to reach a plateau in one’s career.
3. Psychology . a period of little or no apparent progress in an individual’s learning, marked by an inability to  increase speed, reduce number of errors, etc., and indicated by a horizontal stretch in a learning curve or graph.
4. a flat stand, as for a centerpiece, sometimes extending the full length of a table.

verb (used without object)

5. to reach a state or level of little or no growth or decline, especially to stop increasing or progressing; remain at a stable level of achievement; level off: After a period of uninterrupted growth, sales began to plateau.

Fortunately – the plateau for me has seen no growth (in size or my weight) so it is good.  It is time to continue moving forward and going until I can’t stop!  It is a good place to review and to move on.  I am focused and ready for more on my exciting journey.

Physical Fitness – Get passed your plateau – drink more water, eat more healthy snacks and don’t cheat – not even one bite.  (I mean it!)

Mental Fitness – Seek counsel from friend, professional, pastor, and share with them what you are doing and where you are going!

Spiritual Fitness – Pray to get passed your plateau.  God puts you there to reflect but he also set the example of seeing that what he had done was good and you should do that too!

Prayers for you as you get passed that plateau and begin your journey again and go stronger and further than you could have dreamed!

Pray for me to get passed my plateau and to continue this awesome journey of physical, mental and spiritual fitness.

Love ya!

Leigh

Forgiveness

Matthew 6:5-15 “When you pray, do not be like those who only pretend to be holy. They love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners. They want to be seen by others. What I’m about to tell you is true. They have received their complete reward. “When you pray, go into your room. Close the door and pray to your Father, who can’t be seen. He will reward you. Your Father sees what is done secretly. “When you pray, do not keep talking on and on the way ungodly people do. They think they will be heard because they talk a lot. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need even before you ask him. “This is how you should pray.“‘Our Father in heaven,may your name be honored. May your kingdom come.May what you want to happen be doneon earth as it is done in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins,just as we also have forgiven those who sin against us. Keep us from falling into sin when we are tempted.Save us from the evil one.’ “Forgive people when they sin against you. If you do, your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive people their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines forgiveness as ‘to grant free pardon and to give up all claim on account of an offense or debt’. The concept and benefits of forgiveness have been explored in religious thought, the social sciences and medicine. Forgiveness may be considered simply in terms of the person who forgives including forgiving themselves, in terms of the person forgiven or in terms of the relationship between the forgiver and the person forgiven.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ― Mahatma Gandhi, All Men are Brothers

“It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on.” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Forgiveness…what a powerful word….a powerful feeling….a powerful way of life. It’s taken me a few days to pray about this topic because I don’t feel qualified to talk about it but God has put it on my heart to share. Well I should start…in the beginning….from the beginning God forgave the first sin….time went on and man continued to sin….God forgave. He gave his best and perfect son to show us that he forgives us, so why do we struggle with forgiveness? You need to look within yourself first…do you forgive yourself? Maybe for cheating on spouse, lying to children, stealing just a little money from friend, gossiping about a friends child, not praying or going to church as often as you should…ok you get the point. We could beat ourselves up about so many things. You may be working so hard to provide for your family that you have little time for your family. You may feel you always need to do for others and never for yourself…yuppers that described me. I didn’t take care of myself but killed myself to do for others. I had convinced myself I wasn’t worthy of Gods love and also was too busy making sure everyone else had Gods love. I didn’t even know I needed help, I needed forgiveness…well I needed to accept forgiveness and I needed to forgive….myself. We are so hard on ourselves and we need to talk to God brutally honest and just listen. He forgives, he loves, he will give you new life, a rebirth. Just let him!

Next, you may be harboring feelings of anger or frustration with others…maybe ex spouse doesn’t pay child support, or your friend used you and lied to you, or maybe someone let you down…follow Gods example….no matter what the sin, no matter how horrible the hurt….forgive. I cannot understand how God loved us so much to give his only perfect son so he could show me how he forgives. Did you notice, not only did he forgive…he gave his best gift to reinforce it. Forgiveness is so important and it can give you so much happiness if you really forgive. It’s hard…I wish I could say I have mastered it but I am trying to let go of feelings, I’m trying to be positive, and I leaning into God for guidance. Forgiveness…..give it away….and you will get the gift of peace forever!

This song was playing on my radio every time i would get in my car yesterday and I knew it was a sign. Full album on Itunes: smarturl.it Forgiveness (single): itunes.apple.com

Forgiveness by Matthew West
It’s the hardest thing to give away And the last thing on your mind today It always goes to those that don’t deserve It’s the opposite of how you feel When the pain they caused is just too real It takes everything you have to say the word… Forgiveness Forgiveness It flies in the face of all your pride It moves away the mad inside It’s always anger’s own worst enemy Even when the jury and the judge Say you gotta right to hold a grudge It’s the whisper in your ear saying ‘set it free’ Forgiveness, Forgiveness Forgiveness, Forgiveness Show me how to love the unlovable Show me how to reach the unreachable Help me now to do the impossible Forgiveness, Forgiveness Help me now to do the impossible Forgiveness It’ll clear the bitterness away It can even set a prisoner free There is no end to what its power can do So let it go and be amazed By what you see through eyes of grace The prisoner that it really frees is you Forgiveness, Forgiveness Forgiveness, Forgiveness Show me how to love the unlovable Show me how to reach the unreachable Help me now to do the impossible Forgiveness I want to finally set it free So show me how to see what Your mercy sees Help me now to give what You gave to me Forgiveness, Forgiveness Forgiveness, Forgiveness Forgiveness

The perfect woman

I am sure that many of you have heard of the Proverbs 31 woman…it is basically a description of the “perfect woman”. Well it sounds like many women that I know, they just don’t see it in themselves. Women are amazing! We have so many demands on our time from family, cooking, working, managing household budget, making sure kids do homework, attending cheer practice, running everyone everywhere everyday…whew…makes my head spin. Most women are on that treadmill and it is hard to get off….if only it was a treadmill and we were getting exercise. I thought for so long that all the running around I was doing was enough exercise but I just kept becoming bigger and more unhealthy. I finally took control with God as my trainer of my life and was able to adjust my priorities. Turns out….I wasn’t even on my old list….since I decided to work on my mental, spiritual and physical fitness and I found time for God and me….I have more time…how did that happen? Please read Proverbs 31….study it, google, YouTube…discuss with friends and make a commitment to be that woman…I love Proverbs 31 ministries and recommend you sign up for their devotional daily. http://www.proverbs31.org/

Proverbs 31: 8-31 Speak up for people who cannot speak for themselves. Help people who are in trouble. Stand up for what you know is right, and judge all people fairly. Protect the rights of the poor and those who need help. How hard it is to find the perfect wife. She is worth far more than jewels. Her husband depends on her. He will never be poor. She does good for her husband all her life. She never causes him trouble. She is always gathering wool and flaxand enjoys making things with her hands. She is like a ship from a faraway place. She brings home food from everywhere. She wakes up early in the morning,cooks food for her family, and gives the servants their share. She looks at land and buys it. She uses the money she has earned and plants a vineyard. She works very hard. She is strong and able to do all her work. She works late into the night to make sure her business earns a profit. She makes her own threadand weaves her own cloth. She always gives to the poor and helps those who need it. She does not worry about her family when it snows. She has given them all good, warm clothes. She makes sheets and spreads for the beds,and she wears clothes of fine linen. Her husband is a respected member of the city council,where he meets with the other leaders. She makes clothes and beltsand sells them to the merchants. She is a strong person, and people respect her.She looks to the future with confidence. She speaks with wisdomand teaches others to be loving and kind. She oversees the care of her house.She is never lazy. Her children say good things about her. Her husband brags about her and says, “There are many good women,but you are the best.” Grace and beauty can fool you,but a woman who respects the Lord should be praised. Give her the reward she deserves. Praise her in public for what she has done. ERV Bible

So pray daily that God guides you to be this “perfect woman”…notice there is nothing about looks or sex…it is all about being a woman who is well thought of and respected…you are the Proverbs 31 gal…just step up with confidence and imagine it, vision in your mind, share it with someone…be it! I’m praying for you!