There’s so much to talk about…

Hey Folks:

It has been a really long time since we last chatted and to
be honest, this year has been filled with lots of changes. Since my last post I’ve
changed full time jobs, sent a kid to college, turned 40, changed side gigs and
celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary. We’ll go through each of
those items one by one and I’ll catch you up.

As you may remember, I was pretty stressed out with work for
a long time. This stress caused me to really rethink what was important in my
life and whether or not most things were worth it. In the end, I decided to
apply for a position that was actually in my degree field, health and wellness,
and I got it. I’m now just one week shy of my one year anniversary. The thing
is, no job is perfect, and yes, while I have less stress in some areas, there
are other things that I am getting accustomed to. This doesn’t mean that I am
heading for the hills, but I am determined to never allow myself to get to the
level of frustration that I felt before. I’m grateful that I am able to work in
health and wellness and hope that I am able to impact lives the way that I
would like to.

My oldest daughter graduated high school and left for
college which meant that this year was filled with an enormous change in my
role as a parent. Now I try to be more of a “consultant” as she begins to
navigate adulthood. There are things that she does that I don’t necessarily
agree with, but it’s all part of her learning/growing phase, and I suppose it’s
part of mine too. She’s doing well and heading into her second year and I can
certainly say that I am so proud of the young woman that she’s turning into.

Turning 40 has been a complete and total whirlwind. There
has been something about it that I’m truly starting to like most everything
about it. I honestly think that my time leading up to 40 has put almost all of
the other major changes in my life in perspective and likely prompted a few of
them. There has been something about it that I can’t quite put my finger on it,
but I think it has to do with knowing what I’m about, knowing what I stand for,
and no longer being willing to accept less than I deserve. I’m giving myself
permission to dream again. And not little dreams either, big dreams. I don’t
want a big house filled with stuff (you have to clean it, or pay someone else
to), I don’t want a bunch of fancy clothes (I’m not a fancy person and while I
like to dress up on occasion, I don’t need all that, I’m not trying to impress
anyone), what I want is a life filled with experiences. The ability to go and
do the things that bring me joy without having to ask anyone for permission. If
you are someone who enjoys the big house and fancy clothes, go for it. I’m not
saying it’s wrong, it’s just wrong for me.

On the note of giving myself permission to dream big, I
chose to change my side gig. Initially I signed up to be a coach through
Beachbody for a few reasons, 1. It was in health and wellness, 2. It gave me
the ability to work on my own fitness while helping others, and 3. I saw it as
an opportunity to provide additional income and potential financial freedom for
my family. Fast forward nearly 2 years and I was never quite able to advance in
rank. I’m not blaming anyone but myself because I struggled to get comfortable
with approaching people about their fitness goals. Yes, I work in health and
wellness, but that doesn’t mean that I am able to easily walk up to someone and
chat with them about a fitness program. The other thing was that while I had
the programs and shakes available, many people chose to either order them
directly from Beachbody (ie, the infomercials with the special payment plans)
or they were getting stuff off of Amazon. All of that made me lose interest in working
that business. I believed in network marketing, I just couldn’t make it happen
with that particular product.

Fast forward to this February and I started seeing posts
from former team mates about wine and how they were in the WINE BUSINESS.
Eventually I asked for more information. When I reviewed the info and got on
the phone to discuss it further, I knew that it was a no brainer. This business
model and product just made since. Also, I am actually starting to have success
in this business because other people see where this can go. This is the one
business that I have tried that I truly believe that I can be successful at and
begin to free myself and my family, from the chains of financial bondage. This
is the business that with a little hard work, I will create a legacy for my
family. This is the business that I can use to help other gain their own financial
freedom.

My hubby and I celebrated our 20th Wedding
Anniversary and while the first 20 has been good, our plans for the next 20
will knock your socks off. A lot of it has to do with getting on the same page
about what we want and how we plan to obtain it. Now that we are mostly there, we
can begin to make the necessary changes in order to move towards the life that
we want to lead and to be able to Live Life on Our Terms. Again, the life that
we are working towards has nothing to do with adding more “stuff”, it is about
having the ability to live life to the fullest. I’m so glad that we want to do
this together and that we are creating a plan of action to get there. 

Jess

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What’s Going On!

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Hi Folks:

So let me start out by saying that I completely and totally apologize for being MIA for the last few months. Life has been filled with so many ups and downs that I’m just grateful that I’ve made it this far. Now I won’t say that all of it is over with, but I am starting to gain a better sense of clarity through all of this. This is the deal; I can’t allow all of the stresses from work or any other section of life make me so stressed out that I let it impact how I interact with my loved ones. Life is so precious and the time that I have with my loved ones is precious as well. I cannot and will not allow challenges to impact my family life. Work will be there and if something happens to me, I can and will be replaced. Heck, I could be replaced even if nothing happened to me. My family will always need me and it is vital that I give them the best version of me.

Needless to say, all of this stress has not been good, mentally, physically, and especially from a weight loss and nutrition perspective. Stress eating has been in overload mode and I absolutely have to figure out the best way to reign this in. Cold turkey won’t work because I will lose it in a week and end up in the middle of a pile of junk food somewhere. So where does that leave me? Trying to find a perfect balance between healthy eating and occasional treats. Will it be easy, nope! Will it be worth it, absolutely!

I have to give the very best version of me to my family, the people that I care about and those who care about me. My best version is strong, healthy, with clarity of mind, not stressed out and eating way too much. It’s done, I’m over it, I’m moving on. I have some things inside me that I really want to begin working on and all of the noise, all of the drama, and all of the nonsense that I continue to allow in is not leaving me room to do those things. No more! I am choosing to get my health right and work on my other things.

Prior to my 39th birthday I had a great deal of hope going into this last year of my 30’s, but as my birthday came and went, so did my zeal and my plan on how this year would be epic. I have just over 6 months until I turn 40 and I had a goal to make some things happen before then. I guess there’s no time better than right now to push for the life that I want.

Jess

Pushing Through

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Hi Folks:

One of the biggest challenges that we face in our fitness journey is having the ability to move beyond the mental challenges that come up and persevere until we reach our end goal.  It’s not enough to have a goal and start working toward it; we have to believe that our efforts will not be in vain.  Choosing to live a healthy lifestyle after years of eating unhealthy foods and not being physically active can be challenging.  It’s easy to get started on a program, they challenge comes when a tough day arises and you want to eat a double cheeseburger and fries all while sitting in your favorite spot on the couch, the question is, what will you do from there.  Do you allow a setback to make you sit down and do nothing?  If you don’t see the results that you want as quickly as you want, do you throw in the towel?

God has given us everything that we need to lead a healthy life; in fact he wants us to live that way.  Our soul “mind, will, and emotions” plays an important role in how we react to the challenges of life. This area is the area that is most easily affected by the lies that the enemy tells us.  Philippians 1:6 says that “…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (NIV).  So no matter what challenges are presented, we know that we have help. We have the help of the Almighty who is able to do so much more for us than we ever imagined. We have the help of the people who love and support us along the way. If we need encouragement, they are there for that and if we need an extra push, they can do that too.

Make the choice to get up and push forward each and every day. Put forth your best effort for that day; meaning that your best effort from one day to the next may not look the same. Some days your body will feel better and move better than the next, don’t stress over it, just give all that you have in that moment and try again tomorrow. The biggest thing is to simply get up and “Push Play”.

Jess

Transformation

Hi Folks:

Transformation is a hot word these days as it relates to weight loss and healthy living.  People, including myself, are constantly clamoring to transform their lives in some way.  Choosing to try and live a life that is different than the life that we are currently living.  There are experts who spend their lives trying to help others transform themselves. 

What is transformation, what does it mean to be transformed?   According to Merriam-webster.com, transformation is “a complete or major change in someone’s or something’s appearance, form, etc…” and being transformed is “to change (something) completely and usually in a good way”.  Looking at these definitions of transformation and being transformed, this concept is a good thing and should be done by most people.  However if this is the case, then why is it so difficult for people to actually do this?  Why is it so difficult to transform our bodies or lives into what we want it to be? 

Romans 12:2 gives us a hint, it says to “…be transformed by the renewing of the mind” (NIV).  If you’re like me you’ve read this verse many times and looked at it only from a spiritual perspective.  However I seem to have just had one of those aha moments where I can now see this verse from all areas of my life.  For me, one of my biggest battles currently lies in my ability to lose weight.  What I am learning is that this is completely a mental battle and has very little to do with my body.  I saw a quote the other day that said something to the effect of it being fruitless to want something but to secretly believe that you will fail.  I can’t help but agree with this because time and again I will set out to try something only to fail because in my mind, I can’t do this.

If God tells us that we can be transformed by renewing our mind, then we know that we are capable of doing this, it’s just a matter of how.  I love watching shows like “Extreme Weight Loss” with Chris Powell and “The Biggest Loser”.  On these shows many of the contestants go through the motions of losing weight, but their true transformation does not occur until their mindset changes.  Sometimes it is learning to forgive things that happened in their past and figure out how to move forward in the new life that they want to lead.  When you see it on the shows, it’s almost like a light switch goes off and the contestants and clients move forward with a renewed intensity. 

I’m in the process of reading Chris Powell’s “Choose More, Lose More for Life” and he says that transformation is “your journey toward loving yourself”.   I really love this definition because it simplifies it and breaks it down into a meaningful way to look at it.  I say meaningful because it is truly what those of us who struggle in the transformation department have to deal with, not loving ourselves enough.  Many of us will say that we love ourselves, but our actions show that this is not necessarily true.  Chris says that transformation begins when we believe in ourselves, keep our promises to ourselves and fall without failing.  I know that in my case, I tend to fail to believe in myself, I’m not great at keeping my promises to myself, and when I fall, I fall all the way.  These are things that I am working on to help me on my journey because I firmly believe that when I change my mindset my whole trajectory will change.

Vision and Purpose

Hi Folks:

My key words for 2014 are VISION and PURPOSE. As I thought about what I wanted to accomplish in the coming year and I felt that I needed both of these to meet my goals.

VISION:

Prov. 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish… (NIV)

Lately, this idea of vision keeps coming up.  I’m a person who strongly believes that if the same thing keeps coming up over and over again, you should probably stop and pay attention.  Having vision for your life includes so many facets, too many to name, but thinking about what you want and how you’re going to get there is a good start.  Actually seeing yourself having accomplished your goal is one of the biggest predictors of your success.  Do you see yourself at your goal weight, owning your own business, working your dream job?

If you really want to accomplish your goals you have to “see” yourself at that goal; see yourself being everything that you want to be.  For instance, I can see myself at my goal weight and doing everything that I plan to do.  For 2014 I want to run a few 5K’s, a half marathon, a couple of sprint duathlons, and the biggie for me: an Olympic distance duathlon.  It’s a bit unnerving but I’m going to du it (haha-pun intended).  I will try to do each one of these with a smile on my face.  I am going to do them at a faster pace than I’ve ever gone before.  I can literally see myself running, biking, and finishing each one of these events.  That’s vision baby!

Purpose:

Eph. 5:15 Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people)… (AMP)

Having purpose or living with purpose is something that many of us struggle with.  Ok, maybe it’s just me.  I know that I’m here on this earth for a reason; maybe I don’t know the exact reasons why but that should not stop me form seeking the purpose that God has for me.  One thing that I do know is that I can no longer afford to just aimlessly meander through life, hoping that good things will happen for me.  I have to set out and ON PURPOSE set goals and work on actually accomplishing them.

I will choose to look at each day as a fresh and new start, a brand new opportunity to live on purpose, to do things on purpose, and to live out my vision.

2013 was a decent year for me, but I’m really excited to see what 2014 holds.

Jess

Prayer for the New Year

Father, thank you for seeing me through 2012, all of the challenges and triumphs that you brought me through only serve to make me stronger and build me into the person that you designed for me to be.  I thank you because when I was down, you brought me up.  I felt like David many times through this year, crying out to you in my despair but knowing who you are and continually declaring my faith and trust in you.  I also thank you for the times when everything was smooth because I know that it is only by your grace that everything is well. 

I thank you for my family, especially my husband and children.  They can be a challenge at times, but you always give me what I need so that I can care for and love them.  Life is not always a bowl of cherries but we get through things together. 

I thank you for this coming year.  I know that you know what’s best for me because your word says that you know the plans that have for me, plans to give me a hope and a future (Jer. 29:11).  Because of this I can and will continue to trust you in 2013.  Thank you Lord.

Amen