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Refreshed and Ready to Go!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Well I'm getting very excited about this journey that's going to take place. In church yesterday, the pastor was talking about the significance of "40" in the bible, and, long story short, he was applying it to things that have happened for that church and their building, etc.

Basically he talked about at the end of every "40" in the bible, whether it was days or years, something big happened. He applied that to our church moving to a new building sometime within the next month, and he believes that something big and exciting is going to happen, not only for us as a congregation, but for us as individuals, too. My gosh, I felt as though he were talking right to me!

It's so ironic, no- DIVINE, how the messages over the past month have been about freedom, deliverance, trials, growth, change, etc. I tell you, I've been brought to tears every single week since I've been attending there! I just somehow feel like it's my time, and as many times as I've been down this road, I think I'm actually starting to believe it this time around! I don't know why, but something is happening within me letting me know that I'm finally ready!

In one of my teams (you know who you are!) we're preparing to start reading the Thin Within book in January, and I'm looking so forward to it, I'm almost jumping out of my skin! Can I just admit here that I've had that book getting dusty on my shelf for YEARS now?! I've even started it a few times! But something is different this time around, and I just can't explain what it is. I think I'm so excited this time because I really believe that God is going to do something wonderful in me! And you know what else? Even if I don't find my way into those "skinny jeans" by the end of this book, I'm okay with that because something else that has changed in me is that I'm not reading this book to lose weight. I'm reading it to get closer to God! Isn't that what it's all about anyway???? I know I'm doing it for the right reasons this time, so even if it doesn't "work" the way it sounds like it should, I'll know that I've won anyway, because I will have improved my relationship with my wonderful Lord!

I hope everyone has a very safe and happy new year, and I look forward to January 5th when I'll begin the next phase of my life! "Stay tuned!" LOL!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAMSEDGE 1/16/2013 10:33AM

    Sound like you are headed down a good road! emoticon

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DIANASDREAMS 1/1/2009 11:08AM

    Alicia, Another awesome blogg!
I think you get this book already & you haven't even read it yet.
I look forward to this New Year with all my new spark friends.
God Bless you.
Love,
Diana

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THREEWHALES 12/30/2008 4:13PM

    Alicia,
Your blog brought a tear to my eye. I am so ready to begin (even though I have read it through once already) anew with the new year and the book. I can feel God moving in me and I know He will do the same for you.
Peace
Cynthia

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EMMASMART 12/30/2008 1:48PM

    prep yourself for the 5th be ready.

Emma

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PUTTITAT 12/30/2008 3:09AM

    Alicia,
Sounds like you are really seeing some 'inside changes' and that just as good, if not better than those 'outside changes'. And it is through the 'inside changes' that we FINAKKY begin to see the 'outside changes. So, I think maybe our mantra for this year should be something like--2009 will find me feeling fine. But it seems like you had another one--what was it?
Vicki
BLC
emoticon

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FRAECHEL 12/30/2008 1:01AM

    You sound really inspired. I wish you the best of luck.
Raechel

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Second Wind

Monday, December 08, 2008

Well, at the risk of offending anyone who's not the "religious type," I'd like to share something I heard at church today. It was God and faith-oriented, of course, but it was a great message even for those who are not necessarily "church goers." So here it is:

Today the message was about deliverance. (I know; How ironic, right? LOL) Anyway, the point of the message was how, as believers, we have the power to overcome what binds us. The word "live" is in deLIVErance, and you can't have one without the other. I'm going to try to make a long story short by just sharing how the speaker was talking about Satan always growing stronger in our weaknesses, thereby being able to continually hold us back. As long as we allow it, he is there stride by stride with us, keeping us captive to what we want more than the freedom that God has given us. The key words that struck me during this scenario, was when he said we need to reach out to our helper and our strength and let Him give us a "second wind" to pull ahead and leave Satan (or the temptation) behind us.

Isn't that just what we talk about when referring to refocusing? When we talk about needing to get our motivation back, isn't that what we're looking for? The "Second Wind" we need to leave the temptation in the dust?

I have to confess that I have let myself slip this week (big time!) My partner and I have decided together to stop putting so much pressure on ourselves, because it was getting too stressful to make the right choices, and too depressing when those choices didn't pay off. Rest assured that even though we agreed to take a little "pause" until the new year, we were still determined to continue making good choices and working hard... just not letting it control or consume us. Well I am guilty of letting that little ease of pressure become my undoing this week. I "rested" a little too much and made some very bad choices. In essence, I let my guard down and ended up reverting back to my old ways.

Another thing the speaker said that hit home with me was about avoiding those temptations that always make us feel like failures. For an example, if you're swimming in debt, don't go to the shopping mall. If you're controlled by pornography, don't be in the computer room alone late at night, etc. All I kept repeating to myself was "If you're addicted to food, stay out of the kitchen!"

I am going to try to keep this message with me until I have won this war once and for all. The preacher assured us that the better days are ahead of us, if we just let ourselves be open to them. We've got to let our help (whatever that may be for each of you) HELP us! The bible says that there will be temptation in this world, but it also says that when there is temptation, HE will provide a way out! He will lead us from it! Now as a believer, that help to me is the Lord. But for those of you who aren't quite there yet, what is your help? What is it that assists you up out of that stronghold? Where do you get YOUR second wind? Wherever it is, or whatever your help may be, you've got to dig deep and let it do its job!

Now I don't profess to be perfect, not by a long shot! And I'm not saying that one great church service has "healed" me. But I can tell you that I am going to try my hardest to accept that help that is so freely given to me in times of need. Yes, I'm still on "pause" right now, because I feel I need to be. This change in lifestyle has consumed me to the point that all I think about is food or calories or fat grams or what I have to do to burn how much, yadda, yadda, yadda. I've gotten to the point where I feel as though my brain is fried, and yet all this hard work that I think I'm doing is not producing the results that I think it should. This is NOT the lifestyle that God wants for me. Even if I were the perfect dieter who never made mistakes, and even if I lost 100 pounds by living that way, I don't think I would be completely happy. Why? Because I still wouldn't have freedom. All I would have is a different stronghold to replace the first one that was holding me captive for all these years. I know that God wants more for me.

I don't have all the answers, and I don't know where I'm going to go from here. But I've made it my goal for 2009 to find out how I got here in the first place, so I can be set free. I don't want to just put a band-aid on the symptoms until I reach my goal weight. I want to find the freedom that has been promised to me as a child of God. I want to release the stronghold so that my body isn't the only thing getting lighter as the weight comes off.

I don't know if this has helped anyone, or if it even interested anyone. But I felt better getting it out, and I intend to continue this "saga" in my blogging so I can keep track of where I've been and where I'm going.

Thanks for listening,
Alicia

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TMOMMA 12/10/2008 12:09AM

    Thank you so much for sharing. I have been way off the track her lately. You are right we have to put God before all. Let Him help us. We cant do this by ourselves. He is waiting patiently for us to take His hand and lead us in the right direction.

Hugs and Prayers! Twana

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JOYCEY01 12/9/2008 5:33PM

    Well said and thank you. Some wonderful thoughts to ponder.

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DIANASDREAMS 12/8/2008 10:10PM

    Alicia, You are free my friend. Thanks for sharing.
Please check out the Gods weigh thread thin within book ok?
Love,
Diana

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EMMASMART 12/8/2008 1:21AM

    My preacher talked about waging peace. She said that the first step was a peaceful inside and self knowledge. Different perspectives but similar calls to action.

Emma

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How Easily We Veer Off Track

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I am quite disappointed in myself at how easily I let my emotions change my course of action. I was lucky enough to lose the 2 pounds of water weight that I gained last week, and I am determined to lose more this week, as I'm trying to reach a certain goal by July 5th. I've done really well with my food today, but I had quite an upset this afternoon that completely depleted my motivation to get that exercise in that I had planned.

I took my daughter for a perm today (believe me- that in itself was hard enough! LOL) but she finally agreed to it because she's been wanting a change, and I was so excited about it! But when we got there, they told me her hair was too long and thick for one box. They would've had to use two boxes, and they doubled the price on me! Well I wasn't financially prepared for that, and I had to reschedule. I didn't have enough money on me, and not even enough in my bank account to cover the difference. That was soooo incredibly humiliating in front of a salon full of people! I just wanted to crawl into a hole. I cried on the way home, because I was so upset that my daughter had to endure that just because her parents can't provide for her!

A friend of hers got a perm a few weeks ago and Brittany (my daughter) liked it so much. She's been wanting a change and toyed with the idea of perming her hair as well. Although she was scared about making such a drastic change, she was finally ready to do it, and we were going to send text pics to everyone. Now we have to wait another week until we come up with all the money. How embarrassing and depressing! I came home and crawled right into bed with my book and stayed there most of the afternoon. I didn't even cook dinner for my family.

It's amazing to me how one little event can cause such a chain reaction. It's not only amazing, but it's frustrating, too, because it just shows me that I'm still so weak. I've come so far, and I can't seem to grasp the idea of when I'm determined and when I'm not. It's like I have these great spurts where I go and go and go, I lose a lot of weight, and I'm so happy. Then, out of the blue, it's like I just get tired of working so hard at it, and I want to stop for a while. Then I gain, get scared, and get back on track again. It's a vicious cycle that's just going to make this process that much longer.

I love SP and all the wonderful resources here and the people on my teams, but when, exactly, am I going to actually "fix the problem" rather than just keep putting band-aids on it? I was in a 12-Step program years ago, and that didn't help me, either. Yeah, I'm losing weight here, but what will I have to do to actually overcome the obstacles that got me here in the first place????
emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKAYT77 6/20/2008 10:15AM

    Alicia!! Don't beat yourself up because you can't afford it! Salons charge way too much for perming & coloring.. its ridiculous! And yes.. if they have to use to boxes... to perm or color.. up goes the price! There are many of us who can't afford it!

I agree with getting her some curlers of some type & letting her do her own styling.. or get some Mom/Daughter time in by helping her do it. At least that way it isn't permanent & she can change her look everyday! Perms & color do damage hair and your stuck with it, like it or not, unless you want to spend the money to have it undone!

But back to the real problem... you can't let the world beat you down! You're a wonderful person with so much to give! Money isn't everything.. and in this day with prices on everything going up & up.. its hard to afford all those little extra luxury things. Don't get all embarrassed & hide away. You don't want to teach your daughter to handle problems that way. Shake it off & explain to her that some people just have way to much money to waste & that's why things like that cost so much... and the upkeep on them costs money too!! Instead of hiding away find a solution that won't cost so much... something that you can do yourself or an alternative activity that you can enjoy together that doesn't cost money! Its good to teach her about the real life & not being able to afford things... many of us want things that we just can't afford. That doesn't make us bad people.. and we shouldn't be embarrassed by it. We work hard & raise our families the best we can. Instill good values in them & show them all the love & happiness you can have in a family... without alot of money!!

Hang in there girl & stick to your goals. You're wonderful & we all know that!!

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GREENEYES334 6/20/2008 8:11AM

    another thing to think about.... Sometimes certain hair just doesn't hold a perm. I have that kind of hair. I agree, curl her hair see if this is something she really does want.
Now I know that doesn't address the emotional issue. But I know you are a strong woman. You can do ANYTHING you set your mind to. No curling up on the bed a reading a book. The Alicia that I see on the BL team is one that would go exercise and burn all that tension and emotional issues out.
Stay strong, you are worth it!


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PUTTITAT 6/20/2008 2:01AM

    Alicia,
Come on girl--buck up and let's do this! You CAN and you ARE doing this! Yes, that was embarrassing but others have been there too and I'm sure that you noticed it more than anybody else. I'm sure everyone else was busy worrying about their own stuff and probably not even paying attention to what was happening with you.
I agree with CJEGGER--curl your daughter's hair like you think it would be, so she can see if she really likes it. I love curly hair, but having it permed just isn't the same--it tends to get really frizzy...at least that has been my experience.
Vicki

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CJEGGER 6/19/2008 5:20PM

    I agree. Your daughter doesn't look very old...what is she, maybe 13-14? If she has that long of hair, then it will definitely ruin it in the long run. And you will have to have it repermed probably every 3 months, depending on how fast her hair grows. Trust me! I permed AND colored for years......finally quit perming several years ago, still color, but my hair is so much healthier now. And if she DOESN'T like the perm, she's just stuck with it until it grows out or she cuts it all off.

Why don't you first go to a beauty supply store, like Sally's, and get some of those skinny rods that you twist to stay in the hair, and roll her hair up with those while it's wet and make sure she REALLY likes it and understands that it is PERMANENT if she does decide to do it and it's major upkeep!

DON'T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF! Like I tell my 15 yr old who keeps harping on getting a car when he turns 16 (we've told him we probably won't be able to afford one right away)..."the only thing we OWE you is a roof over your head, food and clothing"

Comment edited on: 6/19/2008 5:19:21 PM

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EMMASMART 6/19/2008 10:20AM

    Wait - don't be upset. Talk daughter out of it.

Perms are out of style now. it's all straight hair that's in! I don't know if she will buy it. She'd ruin that long hair. The curls stay in as the hair grows and unless you keep perming you have to cut if or look like some odd poodle.

Check out and see what the others say.. My salon doesn't like to do perms because they are so out of style.


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Was feeling good, but.....

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I tried adding a new blog entry twice last night, and for some reason, it wasn't going through, and I lost it both times. I was excited to share my news about how I looked in my bathing suit this year. For the first time in a very long time, I actually felt THIN. My best friend held up a 'before' picture of me in my bathing suit from last year, and as I stared at myself in the mirror, I was stunned at the comparison. I was ecstatic to share with everyone that hard work does really pay off, and how I had a renewed sense of determination. I even cleverly ended my blog with my new favorite signature line..."It is not enough to want something badly; We must believe that we can obtain it." Then in all capital letters I put, "and guess what? WE CAN!"

It was a very exciting and encouraging blog entry, and I was anxious to share it in the hopes of inspiring others who have hit a plateau, or who are getting bored or tired or frustrated with this whole process. Well, I weighed in tonight, and now I'm the one who needs the motivation. I gained two pounds this week!!!

I know holidays are tough for people like us to get through, but I had exercised every day this week. I suppose I got over confident and thought that since I was exercising, I could eat what I wanted and get away with it. NOT SO! I have always had trouble on weekends anyway, even when it's not a holiday, and it never ceases to amaze me how two bad days can undo a whole week's worth of hard work.

I was very down after weighing in, and I ate three brownies today. (GASP!) I know. I know. NOT the answer to my problem. Which is why I have come here to journal about it. I must learn from it, and remind myself about how good I felt when I saw myself in that bathing suit. I didn't think I was an emotional eater, but I have realized that YES, I am! When I'm disgusted or down or angry, I want to eat. But guess what? There's a flip side to that coin, because when I saw myself in that suit and felt good about my accomplishments, it had the opposite effect! The last thing I wanted to do was eat something bad for me! I didn't want to hinder my progress, and in fact, I even wanted to go work out!

So now, my new method of motivation is going to be a check list. I am going to go back to the beginning and re-read my goals and what I had hoped to achieve from losing weight. And I'm going to check off those things that I've accomplished so far! So even when I'm feeling down, or I've had a bad weekend, I can see it in black and white that I AM making a difference in my life, and I AM succeeding. The proof was in the mirror, and now that I know I can do it, I want to put the scale and the brownies behind me and move ahead to the next point in my life when I can feel that same excitement.

I'm going to copy this journal entry and try to paste it as a blog entry in hopes that it might encourage even one person. Challenge yourselves to think of new ways to find self motivation every single day. Refocus on your ultimate goals, and BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN ACHIEVE!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUTTITAT 5/28/2008 12:21PM

    YAY! Isn't it fun to see your progress? And then we trip over ourselves and show we sre human! Sometimes I wonder if that is just God's way of letting us know we are not there yet, and we still need to keep the focus. I know how you feel with the gain--I gained too! emoticon I figured I would, since we had our Bon Voyage BBQ on Monday, but it still frustrates me! Your blog was a reminder to me that I need to pick myself up and keep pushing myself. No, it is NOT an easy road--we have to push ourselves--and sometimes it means pushing hard. We ARE going to do it!
Vicki

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CATIATM 5/28/2008 9:31AM

    Hmmm .... I've been there many, many times. First of all, WHOO HOO on your success! To not want to convert to Islam and hide under a burqha when confronted with swimsuits is a major victory! Sometimes we lose sight of our progress, and it's great that you can see the difference a year makes! Now, about the weight gain, we've discussed this on several teams. Sometimes, the body holds on to weight, whether to build muscle, or because it's inflamed from tough workouts, or just to much sodium. It's not the end of the world. In fact, very few people just lose weight. ... And those people are men! Women tend to lose 5, gain 3, lose 4, gain 2, and so on. The overall trend is downward, and that's terrific! About those brownies ... you know that wasn't the right thing to do. Forgive yourself, and move on. Don't let it derail your success!

So, in summary, emoticon job, emoticon with the swimsuit, and emoticon well done, you!

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FOREVERGREENE 5/27/2008 11:49PM

    Many of us have experienced this. And you have shared something personal which will inspire others.

Focus on the good. Know you can do it.

Remember the feeling of success.

Success is a glowing aura around you.

keep it up!

Thanks for sharing.
--dg emoticon

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New Year, New Alicia

Friday, January 11, 2008

Well, the new year is here, and thanks to my success this far, and all my faithful supporters, I think this will be the year that I finally achieve success.

Even though I haven't reached my goal weight yet, I already feel like a new person, because I have accomplished and learned so much here. I have exercised more in the last six months than I have ALL MY LIFE. And you know what? It makes me feel GOOD! I have learned that having a bad week does not mean throwing in the towel, and having a bad moment does not mean giving up and "starting fresh on Monday."

I've learned that I can make mistakes and learn from them instead of hating myself because of them. I've learned that I'm not alone. I've learned that happiness is not measured by a number on a scale, and health is not determined by the number on your clothing tags.

Just like negative things can be "vicious cycles" so can positive things be GREAT cycles! The more I exercise, the more I want to eat healthy, and the more I eat healthy, the better I feel, and the better I feel, the more I want to exercise. It's a wonderful feeling to actually feel good about diet and fitness instead of dreading it. It's a great feeling to want to embrace the new lifestyle instead of just the the thought of it leaving a frown on my face.

This is not to say that I enjoy every minute of it, and I'm perfect, and I'm a fitness freak or health nut or anything like that. But it does make my point about being a "new Alicia." Nowadays I prefer to think of dieting as more of a mind set than anything. And I now know that I can do it, and I WILL do it. And not just for my husband and kids this time, but I'm doing it for myself, too. And even that is something that I can't honestly say I've done before.

So in New Year's toast to my team leader and her new motto, I tip a glass and say: 2008 is (FINALLY!) the year to lose the weight!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIGERLILLEE 1/15/2008 12:17AM

    Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement! There is thread in my PMC team right now about how our lives have changed since we joined SP, and I said something that I'd like to add here. I feel that it sums up my thoughts so wonderfully.....

"And perhaps the biggest lesson I've learned is that a sense of accomplishment can come just as easily in one GOOD choice as a sense of failure comes in one BAD choice. It's about making a conscious decision to accept the fact that you may have to lose a few battles if you're going to win the war. After all, if it was easy, what could we learn from it?"

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MAMAJO1958 1/12/2008 9:36AM

    You CAN do this!!!

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THUNDERCAT 1/11/2008 7:08PM

    I am soooo proud of you. You are really hanging in there and it sounds like you have finally come around. We eat to live not live to eat. Activity provides a great deal of diversion from food focus. Great job!
Aunt T

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-WRKNG2ABTTRME- 1/11/2008 10:46AM

    Way to Go. You are on your way!!

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EMMASMART 1/11/2008 9:30AM

    Way to go Alicia. You are really getting the Spark Point! I'm glad to see you are growing in your ability to follow the program right.

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CATIATM 1/11/2008 9:20AM

    That's the right attitude! Good for you!

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FINDINGSANDY 1/11/2008 6:43AM

    Way to go, Alicia!! I feel sure you'll accomplish your goals this year! You've laid some wonderful ground work!

Sandy

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SOUTHERNMOM 1/11/2008 1:22AM

    Way to go Alicia! Keep up the hard work and you will reap the rewards!

Natalie

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