About My Dad

Today I write about my Dad. I should say, my Daddy, he loved it when I called him Daddy. My Daddy went to be with Jesus 3 years ago today, the day before my 30th birthday. I don’t like saying I lost my dad on this day. Number one because he wasn’t lost. I know where he is. He was broken, very broken when he was here and now he no longer is. But secondly, I lost my Daddy long before the day he died. I cannot pin point the day or even the month of when I lost him. I think he slipped away sometime between 2007 and 2008. There were a lot of things that went on with my Dad and his health and his mind in that time. I think that was about the time I lost him. I chose not to think of that person as my Daddy. I do not dwell on the fact that he never got to know Maddie or even Eloy and that he never would get to meet Tripp and Mallory. I am ok with that, I am OK with pretending that was a different person in the last years of his life. There are moments when I get mad, at God really, for that hard time he had to go thru but then I remember how perfect God’s plans and timing are. But that is not what this is about.

Today is about my Daddy. The man I grew up with, the man who really was the first man I loved. My Dad and I are and were nothing alike. He liked race car driving (watching, not actual driving) and classic rock. Those things weren’t my things. But no matter what I was into, my dad acted like he was. I don’t remember a time when my dad was not around and I mean REALLY around. He never missed games or performances and I knew I could always call him for a ride or to complain about anything.

My Dad was totally into me. When I was young I never realized how this made him such a profoundly great Dad. I didn’t know how ridiculously lucky, scratch that blessed I was to grow up with a man in my house that loved me more than anything. One could argue my mother would always be my dad’s true love (do not read into this, I am talking about when I was growing up and my parents were married) but I would argue I was his true love. This is how my Daddy made me feel. When I walked into a room and my Dad was there he made me feel like I was the most beautiful girl, smartest girl, funniest girl and most talented girl not only in the room but in the whole world. People who know me now, can now blame my Dad on how conceited I am.

I am sure I got in trouble with my Dad, I just don’t remember it. If it happened it wasn’t often or I just blocked it out. When I got older as a teenager and young adult my Dad grew a little dependent on me and I think that just furthered my belief he thought I was the greatest. I know my Dad was upset when I told him I was pregnant at 16 but all I can remember is how proud he was of Tate and how good he was with him. My Dad was a small guy. Even his presence was small, but in a sweet dependable way. All through my life he made me listen to HIS music and would talk about endless facts of the band mates of The Doobie Brothers and The Eagles and everyone else in their musical genre. When I was small we would wrestle in the living room and he would hold me down and lick my face. It was so gross! But so fun. I can still smell his spit. I know it’s gross but I love that memory.
His favorite cake was pineapple upside down cake and he loved the number 3. He was the third William and his nickname Trey literally meant 3. When he watched Nascar he was obsessed with Dale Earnhardt who drive the number 3 car. He taped every Nascar race, and again would talk about more facts on racing and the number 3 car than one person should ever know. As much as he loved racing he was a HORRIBLE driver. And I mean BAD! There were also passions I never got to see or experience with him. He talked of surfing and riding bulls but his illness limited those types of activities.

He always seemed like a little guy with a big life. I really hope that is how he felt. I hope he knew he made me big and my life big. So today I write and think and talk about my Daddy. The first man I ever loved.

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13 things I was never told about being a mom

We all get told a million things before we start having kids. People are very quick to give advice and tell you how great it is being a mother. And then there are things that happen or feelings that you have that no one warned you about. Some of these things are you not even sure if other mothers have experienced the same thing. Being a mom is the most important job I will ever hold. I have the blessing of molding these little people into who they will become. And there are so many things that have happened or happening that I was never prepared for. I have made a list of 13, because 10 is for wuses and 15 for overachievers. I am sure that there may be some I am missing, please feel free to add more in the comments.

1. Sleep when the baby sleeps… LOL! Um.. unless you never want your laundry done you are never going to sleep when the baby sleeps. In fact you are never going to sleep again. By the time the child is sleeping all the way thru the night, you get the crazy idea to have another child. And after that one sleeps thru the night it takes a few years to get a good sleeping pattern back. Then you have preteens and teen agers and now you can’t sleep because well you have a teen ager and that opens a whole new side of worry you never knew existed.

2. Your bladder is never the same, meaning every time you start jogging or doing a jumping jack you are going to pee on yourself.

3. You will never have a plate of food or drink of anything to yourself, EVER.

4. The perfect date night will turn into you falling asleep at the movies until you finally get smart enough to realize the perfect date night is a nap. And maybe a meal at a restaurant that doesn’t have a kids menu.

5. For the first time you start regretting your tattoo, or piercing, or insert anything you did to yourself if your 20s that up until this moment seemed like a great idea.

6. You will never use the restroom and or take a shower without at least one visitor in the bathroom. Seriously, I read a two year old a book from the toilet yesterday.

7. Everyone who is single, or just without children looks like they are 12.

8. You know, and I mean you KNOW your child(ren) is(are) this most beautiful child(ren) in the world. I KNOW mine are, really just look at them.

9. For whatever reason, when in the company of 2 or more other mothers everyone’s labor story will be told.

10. You may be faint when you see blood, or maybe you have an awesome gag reflex when you see throw up. When it is your child’s blood or throw up you seem to be ok. And on that subject, the amount of boogers you pick and poop you clean up is more than you will ever care to admit.

11. You will eat and do gross things, and not even think about it. All I am saying is there will be a time you are cleaning up dinner and you will realize you didn’t eat dinner, oh wait you didn’t eat lunch either… hmmm you can’t remember the last time you ate. And that half chicken tender that is sticking out of apple sauce looks delicious. You take a look around, and you WILL eat it.

12. You will double guess and feel guilty about every big decision and a lot of small ones. Did you pick the right school, when do you have the sex conversation, do they watch too much TV……

13. You hear that you will never understand the love a mother has for her child until you have one, and that is true. But no one tells you that it’s a love that fills up your heart so much if you think about it you think your heart could literally explode. These little people that are yours, that are the most beautiful people in the world make you feel so tiny yet more significant than you ever thought you would be. It is so overwhelming yet you can wrap your arms around your duty as a mother with such pride.

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We are what we eat

As I mentioned before I started the Advocare 24 day challenge Monday. I have done this cleanse before and the reason I like it is, the eating plan is about eating real nutritious food and while I am on it I feel great. The 21 day challenge is very strict which is what I need when I am starting a healthy eating plan. I will not go into great detail of the plan, because you can find way better information by going to http://www.advocare.com/24daychallenge. I will hit the high points. For starters the food: lunches and dinner are a lean protein, a veggie and a complex carb. (I usually skip the carb at night) Breakfast is a protein, complex carb and fruit. Snacks between each meal can be fruit, nut or healthy fat like an avocado. To keep things easy for me, I basically eat the same thing every day while I am on the challenge. There are tons of ways to get fancy and not bored but right now I do not have the self-control to stick with anything but boring. So every day for breakfast I will eat a hard boiled or scramble egg for lunch and dinner, I either eat grilled chicken or fish, green beans or asparagus and sweet potato or quinoa.

On the plan you eat every 3 hours and drink a lot of water. I have trouble remembering when to eat, and when to take my supplements so I use my alarm on my phone to remind me. Not because I am not hungry, and really I do not need to be hungry to eat but to stick with every 3 hours I need a set schedule.

I am a water drinker by nature. My father had kidney issues my entire childhood so it always scared me into drinking obscene amounts of water. I keep 2 full glasses of water at my desk so that there is always water at an arm’s length. I know that a lot of people have issues with drinking the amount of water they should. All I can say is, make it available. If you can see it, it not only makes it available but it is a visual reminder you need to drink. Drinking lots of water is good for your skin, you digestive system and it makes you feel full so you are not as inclined to grab food when you don’t need it.

This program is so successful because you are eating nutritious healthy food and staying hydrated. Which is how we should all be eating and living all of the time. There is a checklist for you to follow everyday which I think is another very important element to losing weight, keeping track of what you eat. I use the checklist on the 24 day challenge app and I still count my calories in My Fitness Pal app just to keep me in the habit. There are two phases of the challenge with different supplements including a drink called Spark that takes the place of coffee. But it is not like coffee at all. It is more like a crystal light but gives you energy. I particularly like the Watermelon flavor. There are rave reviews of Spark all over the internet. It is one of the advocare products I use even when I am not on the 24 Day Challenge. There is also a fiber drink you have to drink on days 1 – 3 and 8 – 10 that is no bueno. Not because it tastes bad, it taste fine but it has the consistency of sawdust. I get thru the fiber drink by “marinating” water on ice for a few minutes and then straining it into a different cup, without the ice and then mix in the powder. And then the most important thing CHUG. Don’t give your mind or gag reflex time to react. And the longer it sits the thicker it is, so really CHUG.

I like the Advocare 24 days challenge but I am not saying it works for everyone. I think one of the biggest mistakes we make when deciding on eating plans is we think if it worked for one person it will work for you. You see a commercial of a skinny gal standing in what once was her ginormous pants that now swallow her and counld fit 7 of her now newly sculpted body, and we think: It’s a miracle, I need to do that! That just isn’t true. We are all different, thank God, so it makes sense that we all need different eating and or weight loss plans. And FYI there is no miracle plan, drug, work out, or frozen boxed meal to losing weight. There is smart eating choices, hard work and intelligent decisions, that’s what works. I could name a thousand plans and diets that people have found to be successful but I don’t know it all and that is just boring to read. There are common characteristics of successful plans:

1. Plan ahead, we have already discussed the importance of this in my previous post.
2. Keep track, write down everything you eat and drink.
3. Eat nutritious, REAL food. God made vegetables and fruits and animals (that is no shot at my vegetarians out there, I am not saying you must eat meat) Man made preservatives and corn syrups and dyes. Which do you think your body knows how to digest and use correctly?
4. Drink water. Most of us are walking around dehydrated. If you are not peeing every time you have a glass of water (am I going too far?) you are not drinking enough water.
5. Find a plan with food you will eat and that fits your life style. If it does not fit in your life, you will not stick with it.

That’s it, that is all I have. It is not rocket science and I am no doctor or nutritionist. It’s easy when it is just putting it on paper. It gets hard when you are sitting down at the table. That’s when you pray. Or at least that is what I have to do.

My next post will have nothing to do with food or weight loss, I want to mix it up a bit. I hope everyone is having a good week!

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Here I go again…

It has been 2 years, 2 months, 1 week and 2 days since I had my precious twins. I guess it is about time that I get serious about losing weight. Well, let me give myself a LITTLE credit. I did TRY to seriously lose weight a few months after having the twins. And I mean a serious effort but nothing was happening. I even went as far as to spend a fortune on a months’ worth of My Fit Foods to lose a disappointing 6 pounds. Six pounds may sound like a lot, but 3 days of that month I had the stomach flu so I am pretty sure that’s where the 6 pounds came from. I did weight watchers, counted calories and worked out and nothing was working. From about the time they were 5 months old to the time they were a year old, I put in significant effort with no good outcome. There was obviously something wrong with me. To this day I am not completely sure what was wrong. I know it was hormonal but there was no real reason. I am not completely “normal” yet but I am closer. I chalk it up to just having a difficult pregnancy and having twins. I will go into more detail about all that craziness in a later post. So here I am today. Ready and I mean REALLY READY. I have been able to lose about 25 pounds this year, dieting on and off. I have not really been committed; I think I felt defeated after trying so long without results that I just kind of gave up. But that is all in the past, today is a new day. And it is a perfect day to start.

So I need a plan. Planning is particularly important when wanting to lose weight. In my experience, and I am sure most of you would agree, if I do not plan I fail. We plan for all the important things in life. We plan weddings, vacations, our work schedules and our kid’s extracurricular activities. It is equally as important, if not more, to plan our heath. The Bible tells us in Luke 14:28 “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” And I do not know about you; but I want the coolest, tallest, most efficient tower, so I better get to planning.

Masterpiece Fitness has started back up and I have joined some fitness classes with my BFF so I have the working out part covered. But we all know to lose weight it is all about food. And that’s where I struggle. I am an eater. I eat emotionally, I eat because I am bored, I eat because it sounds good… or smells good. I eat because there is food in front of me. Planning on working out is a matter of schedule for me, I schedule in a time and I show up. Done. Planning what I am going to eat is painful. Painful but necessary. I know myself; I know that I cannot plan one meal ahead or one day ahead. I need a weekly plan. So here on my Sunday afternoon, I plan out every meal and snack for the next week and I get to cooking. (As a side note, this is really hard to do while watching Football.) Because writing down what I am going to eat is not enough I have to have everything prepared so there is not thought process when I eat this week. If there is any room to wiggle, I will wiggle, I will wiggle myself into some enchiladas.

I have chosen to start my eating plan with the Advocare 21 day challenge. I am not advocating advocare, get it? Advocating advocare? I know, I know but I couldn’t pass the opportunity up. The reason I like Advocare is the eating plan is centered on cleaning your body from all the junk. I think that is important. I think it is just as important to eat REAL, God made food as it is to count calories. The 21 day challenge comes with some supplements and a regimented plan. For me, when I am starting off that is what I need. I need to be very regimented. Once I get the hang of things and I am feeling better, then I can give myself a little more freedom. When I get to the place where I know I won’t sabotage myself, then I will loosen the reigns a little. In a later post I will go into more detail of the plan, as well as other plans I believe to work.

2 days of breakfast, lunch and snacks

So here is the hard part of this post. I have really been praying about this. I am about to lay it all out there. I have been contemplating on rather I should share with the world my numbers. Meaning my weight and measurements. My initial thought is HECK NO! I am embarrassed. I am HUGE! What will people think? Then I thought, it will hold me accountable. If I put those numbers out there, than I will really be motivated to get them smaller so that I can share the smaller numbers. Almost a way to manipulate myself into success. And then I went back to NO WAY ON EARTH am I letting anyone know my dirty little secret, or to be more accurate my dirty BIG secret. So I prayed on it and prayed on it, and God is telling me to share. I am not doing it to hold myself accountable, although that is a plus. It is more because I am not the only woman walking around ashamed of a 3 digit number that flashes at me in the bathroom. But I feel that way. I feel alone when I think about my weight. I know that there are other women that struggle with weight issues. But in my mind no one could feel as bad as me. In my pea brain, there is just no way that any woman I know shares the embarrassment that I have. I feel like once I passed the 200 mark, I was inducted into the chub club. A club where no one admits their number and I happily eat cupcakes by myself, because I am obviously the only woman on the planet this heavy. But God is telling me that is not true. I don’t know what your number is. And really it is none of my business. It may be 50 pounds smaller than mine or 50 heavier. The sad truth is, there are a lot of you that feel just as embarrassed and shameful as I do. That shame and embarrassment wears on us. Which just gives me another reason to eat. So I am putting it out there, if only to make someone feel like they are not alone. Yes I am embarrassed but I refuse to be ashamed. Because today is the day it changes. Today is when the numbers start getting smaller. God wants you and me to know we are not alone. Not only do we have our Father in Heaven cheering us on. But we also have each other.

Weight: 222.4
Measurements in inches:
Arm: 15
Chest: 47 & ¼
Waist: 44 & ¾
Hip: 50
Thigh: 26

So there it all is. Not a secret anymore. And in 10 days when I am done with my cleanse phase I will post again and the numbers will be smaller and I will be a little less embarrassed. But most importantly I will feel better. Not only because I am eating better and working out. So my body will be functioning better but because I will know that my 222 pound self is doing something about it.

Stayed tuned this Wednesday I will fill you in on my specific eating plan as well as my opinion of other eating plans.

Posted in Weight Loss Journey | 2 Comments

Last Day :(

So it came to our last day in Colombia. It was a long day and I was sick as a dog. I tried to fight the feeling I was dying all day because I knew my hours left with the precious children of Colombia were coming to an end.

The first place we visited was an Emergency Care Center. When we arrived the children we in the middle of their Praise and Worship for the week I am really sad I missed the praise and worship I heard it was so great and inspirational to watch the kids. But at that time I was trying not to vomit so I was sitting outside with a fellow mission buddy who wasn’t feeling great either. Once the kids were done they came out to the courtyard where I was sitting. And the playing began. It is amazing on how fast the kids take you in and want to play with you. I met a young lady Joanna. She is 14. Joanna almost refused to speak in Spanish. She tried her hardest to only speak in English. Taking my dictionary and looking up anything she could. She was abused by her mother and that is why she was at the center. Joanna was very to the point and showed little emotion. I put my arm around her and at first she was a little surprised and looked at me like she was scared but then quickly began to smile and then would not let me stop holding her or her hand. We didn’t get to stay at the center long after that or at least not long enough. I felt that way about everywhere though. There was just never enough time.

We made our second stop right across the street to a house that houses 26 teenagers who have ‘aged out’ of the institution system. In order to live in this sort of house the kids must go to school full time and work full time. They are very few houses like this so most of the ‘aged out’ children do not have the opportunity to go to houses like this. They are fairly new. This is the type of house Orphan Hope will be opening with the money raised at our marathon February 11.

Our next stop was another emergency care center that housed younger children. The top floor was babies. I got the chance to meet a 5 month old Mirriam. She was a doll! She was small for her age and showed signs of Down syndrome. The director of the house told me she was very ill when she first arrived and that the mother was addicted to drugs. Also in the house were young teenage mothers who were orphans themselves there were also a few pregnant teenagers. Down on the bottom floor there was a lot of rough housing going on with the toddlers. All in all it was a great time. I will not lie, I was trying to think of ways to sneak Mirriam home in my purse the whole time.

We then loaded up in the bus thinking we were headed to dinner and the airport but we got a nice surprise. The bus turned down the alley where Amparo de Ninas is! We were all overjoyed. We were told we only had an hour to hang out with the girls. When the bus stopped in front of the gate the bus driver honked the horn. As we piled out of the bus on the other side of the tall gate you could hear the girls screaming with joy and running to the gate. I was overcome with emotion. That feeling in that moment sums up my entire trip. Hearing the running of the girls and the exciting screams; that feeling is hard to describe. I put it in the category of the feelings I had the day I married my wonderful husband or the two days I welcomed my beautiful children in the world. You feel so honored that these amazing kids would be that happy to see you. And you feel blessed to be there and you feel so small. I really felt like God was just waiting on the other side of the gate for us.

There is no way to describe how I feel about my experience in Colombia. I cannot wait to go back. I pray everyday that God gives me the wisdom and courage to bring about all the changes in myself and my life that he showed me I needed to make while I was there. Any time I now let the petty problems of my life get me down I think about that moment outside the gate of Amparo de Ninas. I know that God has plans for the orphans in Colombia. There will be huge changes in the children and in the country; I pray that I get picked to be a part of those plans in what ever capacity he has for me.

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