Thursday, October 31, 2013

A 40 pound year, my weight loss journey

Since last October (2012) the Lord has taken me through a journey, one I would never ask for or wish on anyone, but it is one where I was not alone, and one that I think needs to be told.

At Camp New Hope
This journey doesn't start in October, but September 10th, 2012, when I got the hardest news I could ever imagine: that my sweet Samuel, my boy who I helped take care of and loved like my own son; my sweetness who had a claim over my heart like none other; who held my hand just the day before as I read and sang to him in his bed--My Samuel had gone to Glory.
Cooking class! 
Most people don't know how special a bond I shared with Samuel. I was his personal caretaker (along with my mama) and every weekday one of us would go over to my sister Mary Elisabeth's house and help take care of him.
Make a Wish!
Whenever Mary Elisabeth went out of town without him, I would stay and keep him. When Mary Elisabeth had her pace maker surgery I moved in with them for about a month and took care of him. I went on trips to Camp New Hope with them, and even was able to spend some time with them on their Disney Make A Wish portion. I loved Samuel so very much, and could not imagine a life without him. 
We loved each other very much! 
I never thought the Lord would take him from me with me still being single, and to be honest it was a huge struggle. At night I would cry myself to sleep and wake up with swollen eyes. My heart was heavy, and though I knew Samuel was in heaven, happy, and healthy with the Lord, I missed him so very much. It was during this time that the Lord showed me how much He cared and loved me, by listening to my prayers and hearing all my complaints and hurt. He reminded constantly that Samuel was safe and with him. That Samuel was not my life, but that the Lord was. 

Even with this, though, I did not have my grief under control. So the Lord sent some sweet friends who came to me and encouraged me that when they faced tremendous grief they began to work out...the endorphin the body released helped them to be able to make it through the dark time. Of course I had heard this before, but it left a mark. It wasn't until October, however, when my dear friend Lindsey (who had taken some pictures at Samuel's funeral at Mary Elisabeth's request) showed me the pictures that I saw what I had become. Was that really me? Is that what I look like? My grief evident, as if I had lost my joy. These pictures looked to me of a stranger, I didn't see myself in them, all I could see was the sin of gluttony staring me in the face.
Micah and I with baby Noah
Trip to Charleston with Mary E and Dantices! Oct.
It was then that I realized that I had used caring for Samuel and working numerous jobs as an excuse for sin to take over my life. I had no self control, I was not disciplined, I didn't have endurance, and gluttony ruled me more than I wanted to admit. Had I let the idol of food take over me? I confessed my sin to the Lord and begged him to cleans me of it, to help me to rid my body of it. Although I couldn't hear his voice, I knew He was assuring me He would!

He had known I would need some incentive, and He already had a plan for me! In July my dear friend Abby had asked me to be in her wedding. She had one request: that the dress be black. I had seen that as my golden opportunity to finally buy a dress from modcloth, my favorite online store! Optimist that I was, I decided to buy a dress two sizes too small in August, thinking I would be able to lose the weight. Well I did nothing thinking I had time (I had previously been able to lose weight for a dress on several other occasions), but Samuel's death hit me like a train. So when I saw those pictures from the funeral, the Lord reminded me of that dress, if I wanted to wear it I needed to lose roughly 20 lbs.

Every morning I prayed for discipline and self control, and the Lord granted it to me. This time I was NOT going to just diet though I needed those endorphins! So I began working out on a regular basis. An hour of Just Dance (I had all four so it was great variety) and on some mornings I even had sweet and precious friends who would wake up before we had to go to work and would walk around Anmed with me. (Thanks Chesney and Kim!) True to His assurance He helped me to come through my darkest grief, and I found my joy in Him! I worked hard, but it was the Lord working in me!

At the Mall my first day there. 

Abby and I on her happy day! It was cold!
December came around faster than I thought it would, but trusting in the Lord, and praying for Him to give me strength, I made it! Exactly 20lbs later I flew to Michigan and was able to be in Abby's wedding. It was such a joy to be there, and I felt like I looked good...only when I finally saw the pictures, I knew I was not where I needed or wanted to be. So...what to do next...

Turner and I in Feb.
Now that I had met my first goal I could do no wrong in my own eyes and I stopped praying every day for endurance and self control, and did not hand over my sin to the Lord. I gained back five pounds and it was a wake up call...I needed to surrender once again to the Lord. I needed to confess my sins and turn from them. It was hard, but He is stronger than my sin, and He pushed me forward. Encouraging me with that half a pound loss, or reminding me that I don't always have to lose, maintaining is good too.
My cheerleaders! Annie and Gracie. 
My birthday with sweet Chesney! 
Weighing twice a week I was able to stay on top of what I was doing (I know some people are discouraged by this, but it kept me on track!) I was bored now with Just Dance (I had memorized some of the songs...) and it is too cold some mornings to get up. So the Lord introduced me to a new game: Fit in Six for the wii. When I started this, I did not lose many lbs (Maybe 5 in a few months) but my body began to change and tone in a way I had never seen.

Group 11 (minus a couple...)
But the biggest change came in May, when my sister Susannah asked me if I wanted to join a running clinic with her where we would train to run a 5k. RUNNING?!?!? I thought she was crazy, I had asthma, and I have never had the ability to run. I hated it, I could not do it. But...the Lord reminded me that I can do all things through Him, and that He would give me the strength. I had my inhaler, I was much healthier now than I had been in years, why not try? So I did. I was in a slower group, but it was such a blessing to me! Anytime my legs cried out in pain, and my feet swore they could not take another step, and my lungs burned for air and a break, I would pray for endurance. I would remind myself that I was God's temple. I would pray and pray and pray that I could just finish that next minute, then when I did, that I could do the go on to finish the run well. I would admit to the Lord that my weight loss and health is only because of Him, Him carrying me, Him pushing me further, Him sending me the cool breeze when I could no longer bear the heat.
I did it! 
Running helped remind me that the Lord is ever present and He does care about our needs, He does help us with our sin. And who would have ever guessed I made it through the First Flight program!!! (Many thanks goes to group 11: Tina, Sandy, Kim, Randy, J.J., and Stephanie) Thanks so much for pushing me forward and encouraging me along the way! Also thank you Rebecca Lamb for running with me when I needed a partner! And to top it all off, I even ran the entire Midnight Flight 5K!!!!
I have a great cheering squad! 
Through all this the Lord has been there, constantly holding my hand and pushing me forward. I could have never made it through running without him. Even still (as I continue to run) I pray for the Lord to help me get through it.
Another precious encourager Hannah! 

 This journey is not over, but as October has now ended and it's been a full year since it began, I thought I would show how the Lord has worked mightily in my life! He has not only helped me lose weight, (gained as only a symptom of my sin) He has helped me persevere and shown me His power even when I am weak. Yes I still miss Samuel. Yes I still struggle with over eating sometimes. Yes there are days when I am lazy and will not get out of bed to exercise. Yes I am sinful and forget His help, and sometimes I want to take all the credit; but I know that it would be unjust of me to do that. I remind myself who answered my prayer of endurance, who
At friend's wedding
strengthened my leg and my lung, who carried me in my grief. Who gave me my family and friends to encourage me? Who blessed me with a healthy body to be able to do anything? All answers are the Lord. He deserves all the credit, and that it why I write this. I wanted to give Him the glory. I am so blessed to have a Savior and Comforter like Him!

Me and my sister Susannah

Tonight! 40 lbs later!! 

There are so many people to thank who have encouraged me: My parents, my sisters and brother, my nieces, Lindsey H., Hannah, Chesney, Kim P., Abby, Rebecca L., Group 11 of First Flight, the Dantices, and anyone who ever encouraged me...(there really are too many to thank!) Thank you!! Thank you!!! The Lord used you to push me forward.


  1. You're an inspiration. SO proud of you... and love you dearly. Samuel would be proud of you too.

  2. I am sobbing buckets right now. You are beautiful in every way and I am so proud of you! You have pushed yourself diligently and relied on the Lord and for that you are an inspiration! I always have called you Samuel's other mother and you will always be. <3 The Lord blessed his life, mine and our whole family so richly with the gift of you. I am proud to call you my sister and friend. I love you!