Hey friends, it has been too long since I've updated my blog. I've taken a few months off from Crossfit because I was on tour this summer. I was gone from mid June till August and boy do I feel like I've been slacking since I've gotten back home. This summer my goal was to Crossfit 3 times a week and let me tell you, I didn't do it once! Between the late night drives, lack of sleep, and being in the heat all day every day, I didn't want to work out. Good news is, I didn't gain anymore weight, but I did lose some more. I kept up with my healthy/clean eating fairly well considering I was on the road and it was hard to travel with good food, but by golly, I did it. Since I've been back, I've been trying to get back in the swing of things and spending a lot of time with the Lord and asking for guidance and direction. The last thing on my mind was Crossfit, considering that my lease was almost up, I didn't feel led to go back to work, so I could purse ministry full time, and some other things. However, I miss it so much and now it's time to get back to business. Over the past few weeks, I've been making up my own work outs to do at home and it has made me so excited that I've even been disciplined to do that, but it's just not the same. Crossfit Tyler has the best community around and I have to get back in my box. I have recently taken up jogging, because once I lose 100 pounds, I want to run a half marathon. Well, I know I've lost a little over 60 (not just from Crossfit, but overall since I started losing weight), so I still have a little bit more to go. I haven't weighed myself in a few weeks, so I'll get back to you with that in a few days. I haven't chosen a date for my half, because I'm so terrified of it, but I definitely want to start training for it now. I'm about to have to invest in some good running shoes and some proper work out attire. I feel torn about that though, since it's not an expense that I have to have. I'm one of those cheap people that doesn't like to spend money on clothes very often (unless it's goodwill or the occasional ross stop) and I am pretty sure without me working at Starbucks, that won't change. I'm praying about what I'm supposed to do and I do not have peace about going back there, but the money sounds nice, but disobedience doesn't. So, I'm praying and asking the Lord to reveal to me what my 'tent-making' is, so I can have some money coming in on the side. If you have any suggestions, let me know. Anyway, I'm posting this blog update so I can have the accountability to get back into the box with my Crossfit fam. I talked my cousin into joining too, so hopefully this will motivate both of us to get in there together. I feel like I'm starting completely over at the whole strength thing, so I'm trying not to be discouraged here. I know it'll all be worth it though and I thank the Lord for the opportunity to be healthy enough to do it. Thanks for always being encouraging my friends!
On the left was when I first started Crossfit in March.
The left is when I visited the box when I came back from tour,
Hi friends. It's been a week since I was supposed to post last, but I've been insanely busy, but what's new, right? So my week 9 was awesome, but week 10, not so much. Week 10, I only went two days and I felt defeated because I slacked a bit, but I just could not find the energy to drag myself there and I was so busy. You know, lack of sleep, not functioning to my full potential sort of stuff. SKAD had a fundraiser that week too, so I was doing some preparation for that as well. I must say though, I went to a graduation party and danced all night last Saturday, so I got some good cardio in! ha. This week, I've started off great and have had my butt handed to me both days. Went to my Monday-Tuesday and I'm getting ready to go in an hour with my friend Keturah and I'm pumped, minus the fact that it's a jump-roping WOD and I still don't enjoy that. Anything is better than running though, which I did a lot of on Tuesday.
This journey has been so hard, yet so rewarding. I find myself nervous every time I drive up to the box. I've been having tingling toes and some numbness in different areas and it has brought some fear back into my heart, but I'm trying to just push through it. I don't know if it's my circulation that is poor or if my body just isn't used to all this activeness. Hopefully it'll all go away soon because I'm ready to push past the nervousness of things. Once I finish my work outs I am always so pleased because I exceed what I think I'm going to accomplish. That happens every week! It's amazing what you can do if you just make an attempt. I think one of the things that blesses me the most about Crossfit, and I've said it before, but it's the camaraderie. When I think I'm ready to give up on my WOD, someone cheers me on-"You're doing great Stella" even while they're sweating through their work out too. God has been using multiple people to help encourage me and I'm so thankful for it. I could go on for days about this, but I'll spare you.
In other news, it's time that I buy some new work out clothes because mine are falling off of me. Who would have thought you could lose weight in your feet too? Guess this girl is going to have to invest in some work out gear! I did go Friday to Goodwill (my favorite place to shop because I love recycling clothing) and bought a few new dresses since I cannot really fit into my old clothes and well, it was a great experience. I would look and something and assume it wouldn't fit me and when I tried it on, it would be too big. This is very new to me because I've never lost weight like this and went down in sizes, I was always ballooning up.
My eating has been pretty clean. I don't eat overly processed foods, no fast food still (since January,) eating out is very rare (unless it's Jason's Deli), no grains aside from brown rice, just mostly meat and veggies for this girl and it seems to be working out great.
Here's to another month of extensive Crossfit in the box and then I'm going out on the road to hit up Vans Warped Tour this summer. I'll be gone from June 14-August 6 and I'm going to WOD as many times a week as I can, but I'm definitely going to need the accountability, so hold me to it friends!
By the way, I now weigh 267. That number is still so high, but I cannot focus solely on that because I'm losing inches, gaining strength, and muscle! But hooray for being in the 60's!
Week 1 is on the left and week 9 is on the right.
Saturday (After week 10) I got dressed up and went to a friends graduation party. Had to snap a photo because I couldn't believe I could wear this little black dress (that I bought over a year ago, but wasn't flattering on me) and it looked fine!
On the left is from last summer at Cornerstone, and on the right is me last week. It's amazing the difference I see in my face.
So much for having soft girly hands. This is from hanging on the bar while doing knee to chest.
Hi friends. Seems as if I'm having a hard time writing these things lately due to lack of time and energy to do so. Just like the last post, things are so busy for me. Working a lot, crossfit, bible study, fundraising for SKAD, etc etc. Whew. So, I just finished my first WOD of week 9 and it was a soul crusher, but I finished. 6 rounds of 200 meter runs and 25 burpee's. My two least favorite things and I did not think I would be able to finish it, but, while praying myself through the entire thing, I completed in a bit under 22 minutes. Hooray for me.
Let's recap the past two weeks. Week 7, I went my four days (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.) Pushed through even while feeling exhausted. It's so awesome having an amazing team of people pushing you through even when you feel like you can't go any further.
Week 8, I made it to Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday's WOD and missed out on Friday's. Felt kind of bad, but when duty calls, you've got to answer.
Last week Amy had me write down my eating for a three day period and I did it during the weekend and it was terrible. Not bad eating, but just not eating enough.. It's really funny to me hearing that I'm not eating enough, because I'm struggling with the mindset of not wanting to overeat. I have this mentality of 'oh I can't eat that' because I associate certain foods with being overweight and it's a huge struggle for me right now. So keep me in your prayers. I haven't had too much of an appetite, so I'll eat a protein bar for a meal or a little bit of jerky. I know I know, not good. I'm just in a battle of the mind and having the Lord work me through it. Thus, I'm being open with all of you guys, so you can hold me accountable. Ask me how my eating is the next time you see me.
Eating disorders are such a sad thing. Who would think food could be such an issue for so many people? I've had conversations with multiple people, who you wouldn't even think struggle with it and they are have huge issues with it. Friends, I am SO thankful I did not have weight loss surgery. God is literally pushing me through this issue with my weight through these work outs. I feel super burdened for people who do go the extra mile to have this surgery and don't even change their eating habits. That makes me so sad. Don't you want to be free from the bondage of food? That is a little side note from a person I came in contact with last week. Saying 'Oh I can't eat that because it won't go down because of my surgery. But give me my Venti frappucino.' Look, I never want to seem like I'm bad mouthing anyone, because I get it, some habits are hard to break... But c'mon! You can do it! I feel more burdened than anything.
I'm enjoying Crossfit so much and I cannot believe I'm still doing it. This is a HUGE accomplishment for me and I give God the glory for it. He has put the right team of people in my path to help motivate me and He has been giving me the strength to do it. There are days that I have a heavy heart and feel the tears coming on when I don't think I'll be able to complete a WOD and the insecurities try to creep in, but I've noticed if I just keep on moving, 9 times out of 10, I am completely capable of finishing my work out. I'm learning that it is a mental battle and I have to keep on pressing forward.
So that is it, for now at least. I'll try to post more about the WODs and how I've been doing. My weight is down to 270 now and it doesn't seem as if I've lost much in numbers, but the measurements are proof that my body is taking new form. I cannot believe it! I am so thankful that God is giving me this transformation through Crossfit. I think this is the greatest work out plan ever and I urge everyone to try it out! I love Crossfit Tyler and Amy & Brad Chesley and everyone else that cheers me on. You guys are seriously the best!
This is after Thursday of week 8 with my friends Nicole and Janna.
Two amazing women who encourage me every day. I am forever thankful for them.
Went to a music & art festival this past weekend to set up a table for SKAD.
Can't believe I can fit into that skirt. It's my favorite. Eventually I'll have to let it go because the weight just keeps on coming off. Praise the Lord!
I swore to myself I'd never show anyone this picture on the left because of how bloated I look. I would wear this dress and keep the top unbuttoned because it didn't fit. If you see the belt difference and now I can button it completely. In fact, the photo on the right is from a few weeks ago, so it's already getting loose on me. I'm thankful to have these to share with you.
Hi there friends. Life seems to have been insanely busy these past few weeks and I haven't had too much time to just sit, take a deep breath and pour out my heart and thoughts to this here blog. So, let's go back to week four. The week started out kind of lame because I found out Sunday morning that my grandfather (Dads father) passed away. Honestly, it was hard on me for multiple reasons but the main one being the fact that I never allowed myself to get close to him as an adult. I have just tried to kind of look past anything to do with my dad and that includes his side of the family. Which is WRONG. Do not do that. If you have issues with one of your parents, do not, I repeat, do not, miss out on an opportunity to love on the rest of the family. In fact, which I'm getting ready to do, take time to make amends and forgive that member of the family and restore relationships. So, since my grandpa passed away, I missed crossfit on Monday because I had the visitation that night.
Tuesday came and it was an intense work out and my first time to do burpees. I am in no way, a fan of burpees, let's just throw that out there. I ended up knocking the wind out of myself twice and then I started having an anxiety attack because I couldn't catch my breath. Amy was there to encourage me, but I just felt overwhelmed and started to cry. So yes, ladies and gents, this was my first official cry during working out. I felt so stinking defeated.
The next day, which was Wednesday, I had an incredible work out where I got my butt kicked. 50 jump ropes, 50 sit ups, 200 meter run, 40 jump ropes, 40 sit ups, 200 meter run... down to 10, 10 and a run. If you get what I'm putting down, you're understanding that it was exhausting. I felt so stoked that I was actually able to finish the WOD. After I left the box, I was heading to bible study, I had the craziest (and scariest) thing happen to me while I was driving. In my right eye, I started seeing zig zag lines and I would close my eyes in hopes that it would go away and then it moved into both of my eyes. As you image, this was so scary because I was driving, but I tried to keep my cool and just assumed that it was anxiety, since I had been plagued with it for the past few months. So, I prayed, and rebuked it (oh yeah, imagine a girl praying out loud and taking authority over something in the name of Jesus, as she's driving...) people probably thought I was crazy. I had peace about it, but it was worsening more and more and I started seeing rainbows and kaleidoscopes in my eyes and well, I had the thought that I was a) on acid (haha I'm a bit ridiculous sometimes) or b) having a stroke or something. So, I called my friends and went to their home and laid on the couch and said what I was feeling. This wasn't like other times of panic and anxiety because this time, I was pretty calm, just wondering what the heck was wrong with me. So, we ended up going to the hospital and we sat in the parking-lot praying that it would go away and it did, so we ended up driving back to their home and I stayed for awhile and rested. For the next few hours, I had the worst throbbing headache, was totally weak, and I was nauseated for the rest of the evening. Talk about over exertion?!? I have no idea what that REALLY was, but after talking to a few people, it could have been an aura migraine or something along those lines. I'm open to someone telling me what it is, so if any of you have any ideas, let me know.
Well, anyway, Thursday came along and I did not want to go because I had a fear of that happening again, so I stayed home and rested. The entire evening I was kicking myself because I really wanted to be there, but the rest was really great. I had awesome quiet time with the Lord and nothing beats that. I went Friday to the box and had an amazing work out and finished on a good note. Those are the days you feel accomplished.
Week five, I went every day but Wednesday night because I had a bible study and a meeting after. I don't have much to say about that week, except my friend Marisa joined Crossfit with me, so it has been great having her there to work out with. Oh yeah and it has been rather awesome having the man who was going to do my weight loss surgery, at my box, cheering me on! Kind of funny if you ask me.
Week six, is what I've just completed. I went Monday, Tuesday, & Friday. I've decided that I'm not going to go on Wednesdays anymore because of bible study and I don't want to feel rushed leaving Crossfit at 545 and getting all the way across town by 6. At first I was so worried of what everyone would think about me missing a day of working out and that people would judge me, but then I realized how silly that is. As long as I'm being active and going 3 or more days, then I'm doing something. That has been my goal all along. Plus, I don't need to worry about what everyone else thinks. (Conviction)
I've been doing a lot of praying this week about working out and making sure my motives are pure and that I stay focused on Christ. Anything that is put above God is an idol and I don't want my health to become an idol, but I do want to create change in my life and be a better steward of the life I've been given. With that being said, I've noticed that I'm praying a lot more during the work outs and that has been so helpful. God has been giving me the strength I need to finish them and to finish strong. This week, I made little goals for myself during the WODs and on every single one of them, I exceeded my personal goal, so it felt so great to even do that. I'm not where I want to be, but I'm not where I was. I have went down an overall 11 inches in various places and I feel great. Today, I did unanchored sit-ups and jogged my first 400 meter straight for the first time. It was super exciting to see my endurance go up. It is so crazy to me how far I've come and I honestly cannot believe where I'm at today. It just took me getting off my behind and doing something about it. God can really light our behinds on fire when He wants to and I believe that is what He did to me. I wouldn't have it any other way.
The next few weeks will be crazy because SKAD is doing a lot of fundraising for Warped Tour, so hopefully I'll be able to set aside the time to write these. I really hope you guys are encouraged in reading what the Lord lays on my heart to share. He has been really sweet to me and how often I forget.. That drives me crazy, because we need to remember His goodness every day. He loves us so much and the more we focus on our junk, the more we miss the good stuff. So, I'm trying to have a heart of praise, even through the storm, I suggest you do the same. He has been showing his sweet mercies to me this past week. Last night we had an amazing SKAD Community Night and I had the most amazing opportunity to share the testimony of Christ in my life, with two of our newer SKAD kids and I really feel that they were touched. God is constantly working, even if we think He has forgotten about us.
Until next time, Be blessed and put your words/thoughts into action!
This is me from week one, to week six. Feeling pretty excited about this transformation. It is not only happening on the outside, but believe me when I say it's happening on the inside as well.
Well, if you're wondering, after week three, I'm still alive. I certainly did not think I would get this far, but this just goes to show how sweet our Lord is and how much grace He gives one, when in need.
I started out feeling really weak at Crossfit this week. I was just flat out exhausted and mentally I did not think I could complete this week, but I just kept on going. Monday I had the greatest pleasure of working out with two of my dearest friends, Dustin DeLong and Bethany, who has joined me before. I was so nervous to work out with Dustin and I was so concerned that I would be super insecure, but more than anything, I felt blessed that my friend was cheering me on. On Monday we had to run and well, running just is not my thing, all the while Dustin runs like a gazelle and he thrives off of running. It was great being there with my friends and very encouraging. Wednesday was just really not my day. I had an anxiety attack on my way to the box and although I was praying it away, it was still trying to take hold of my thoughts. While I was warming up, I just felt nervousness and anxiety in my bones. It was a feeling and even physical pain, that I have become to know all too well lately. My friend Nicole laid hands on me and prayed for me and it was a blessing to have her there to come along side with me and help me fight those lies As for our WOD, it was my first time doing a burpee and well, I have realized I am NOT a fan of those. Not only did we have to do burpee's, but we had to do burpee box jumps and well, Stella cannot do that. (YET anyway!) So, I knocked the wind out of myself two times in a row and then had a panic attack during it because it scared me that I could not breath. I cannot fail to mention that I even cried. Yes, I cried. For about 1 minute, tears were streaming down my face as I was attempting more burpees and struggling to breath. (Now I'm laughing, then I hated my life) My coach Amy came to encourage me and motivate me, but I found myself irritated and just feeling defeated. I finished the WOD, but by modifying it and taking out the burpee's for the last two rounds. Not my best, but it helped me actually finish.
Thursday, I went to the 10 am class, which I prefer to do, but because of work I rarely get to go to. I had a decent work out, definitely better than the day before and then I spent the day resting because I definitely needed it. I spent some time with the Lord reading a little bit and just laying some things at His feet that I have been finding myself holding on to. Then I went to SKAD. Most of you reading this may not even know what that is, so I want to take the time to explain that because it is a HUGE part of my life. This will make me have to go back a few years, but since you're taking the time to read this, I figure I'll let you in more of my life than just Crossfit, because after all, this is a blog about the soul too!
I come from a rough back ground with drug abuse, alcohol struggles, depression, etc. From the age of 14-21, I found myself in a mental hospital 6 different times for various reasons like suicide attempts and substance abuse. I am a product of a kid who comes from parents who battled addictions and an absent Father. I was trying to find my worth in substances but that never fulfilled me and I was trying to find it in people and obviously that never helped either. Nothing ever helped me feel filled with joy, ever. The last time I ended up in the mental hospital, was June before my 22nd birthday. My mom and I got in a huge fight and I put a knife to my arm and cut myself so deep because I wanted her to see physically how bad I was hurting on the inside. I ended up getting sent to the hospital and had 17 staples put in my arm and I was told I was lucky to be alive because I almost hit my main artery. Then I was admitted to the mental hospital again and as I sat there for over a week, I was trying to figure out what my purpose was. Nothing made sense in life and I had absolutely no hope, but I wanted a reason to live. I remember thinking about God and how I have heard my entire life how much He loved me and had a plan for me and I remember praying to Him and saying "If you're really real, you have to show yourself to me, because if you don't, I will blow my brains out when I get out of here. Show me purpose in life." I know this is going to sound somewhat strange for someone who is not a believer, but it was in that mental hospital, when I was at the end of everything, it was as if He started showing up to me, started revealing His love to me and it was as if I knew about this Man completely out of nowhere. It was a radical change and He gave it to me, silly and undeserving ole me! When I got out, I was offered and opportunity to work with a non-profit that raised money for teens in poverty in Uganda, at a music festival called Cornerstone, in Illinois. I obviously took them up on that offer because I did not have any idea what to do with my life. As I was there, I was just captivated by God's love for me through other people and in His beautiful creation. He was cultivating something deep while I was there. As I was helping this organization, I was beginning to feel a heavy burden for teens struggling with things that I had struggled with in the past and I just knew something had to be done. When I came back to Texas, I prayed a lot and talked to many friends about this vision for starting a ministry to raise awareness about destructive decisions. After one night of chatting with a friend about it, I prayed that God would make it clear to me that I was supposed to do this; after all, I hardly knew anything about Him, but what I had experienced in my near month of new faith. The next morning I woke up to a phone call from a friend crying about one of our mutual friends dying in a drinking and driving accident and after that moment, I realized enough is enough and SOMETHING had to be done. So, after reading the word, I came across John 10:10 "The thief comes to Steal Kill and Destroy; I come that you may have life and have it abundantly." There it was. The Lord highlighted it and clearly spoke to me about this ministry. I made some flyers and printed them with the last few dollars I had to my name and started going to random places and passing them out. I started a Myspace that shared my testimony and those of others and it was so rad, but it was still lacking. I went to our local Starbucks, which I had only been once in my life and passed out flyers to a ton of teens that were hanging out there and the very next day 'Community Night' started. We met at 7 pm on the patio and had a conversation about life experiences and finding Christ. Let's fast forward to what will be almost four years now and here we are. SKAD has been having Community Nights for almost four years now and we have groups in San Antonio and South Dallas/Midlothian and there are more starting up. Our goal and vision is to meet teens where they're at and encourage them in a positive direction. There is SUCH a need for this! We meet with kids who come from rough homes, struggle with various addictions and many who are just looking for a place to belong. The vision over the years has been plucked and pruned and God has FINALLY made it VERY clear with what our goal is and it is to simply show kids that there is an absolute hope. We are the pre-kindle in getting a fire started in their lives. We are building relationships with teens in hopes that we can pour into their lives and find a place for them to get plugged in and receive discipleship. We are a 501c3 nonprofit and God has allowed us to do numerous things that I'm still shocked we've been able to take part in. We have set up a handful of festivals, been on tour a few times, and met thousands upon thousands of teens and it has been such a sweet journey.
So, I shared a lot about that because Thursday night is SKAD night and I went to Starbucks (where we still meet) and had a GREAT conversation with the teens about who they are. It was so awesome and my heart is just overflowing with joy for those kids because they are so worthy! I am very blessed to be able to be a part of these kids lives and I thank God for it daily. It blows me away that these kids continue to come and open their hearts. It is so awesome.
Now we are on to today-which is Friday. My LAST day of the week. May I be bold to say that I kicked butt today in my WOD and I could not be more proud of myself?! My sit ups have improved greatly and today I was cranking them out left and right. It is amazing how if you just keep on reaching towards a goal, you will eventually reach it. The entire time I was doing my WOD, I was just giving God the glory and thanking Him so much for giving me the strength to do it. Guys, I could NOT do this if it weren't for Him giving me the grace I need.
A wise friend once said to me, "He'll give you the grace you need, when you need it. Till then, wait for it."
As for my weekend, I'm looking forward to spending time with some great friends, working a little bit, and living my life as an act of worship to the One God who has given me life.
His love never fails, be encouraged in that.
I've just completed my second week at Crossfit Tyler. I can not say anything other than I am SO thankful for this program and the people who run it, Amy & Brad. They are so encouraging and both push you further than you think you can go, which in my case, is a good thing because I like to quit things, that I feel I'm not good at, relatively fast. This week I started out feeling pretty discouraged because I am feeling rather run down because I have been on the constant 'go' for the past few weeks. Although, it has definitely been great for me because, I am being productive with my time and I am learning discipline, but I really need to find time to rest this weekend. I have improved on my jumprope skills, my squats are getting a little better and I actually enjoy rowing. Despite my feeling discouraged and tired this week, God still gave me the strength and motivation to go all five days. I was also blessed with a handful of amazing friends to share in this journey with; My friends Aaron Wesson, Brooke Landrum and I all completed a WOD together on Tuesday, Thursday Brooke brought her husband Jonah and one of my best friends, Bethany Fauss joined us and we did some strength building, and (today) Friday, my friends Zane Callister (from KC, MO) and Carissa Dunlap killed the insane WOD we had. All in all, God sent the right people alongside to help motivate me in the right direction.
I am trying not to focus too much on how much weight I am dropping because I know myself and I do not want to become obsessive, but I am noticing a difference in my body. Aside from being sore every single day, I can see different places where my weight seems to be shifting. People make comments on my weight loss at least once a day and it is motivating to continue chasing after this goal, but most importantly, I am just so stoked that I'm starting to physically feel better. One thing I have not mentioned too much about is the fact that I was experiencing terrifying anxiety attacks in the past months. I had been in and out of the local emergency room 4 times and every time the doctor would give me a different diagnosis. I finally ended up seeing this natural doctor who put me on some supplements and changed my diet drastically and he said that would help, but God really burdened my heart for something more. Since I started Crossfit and changed my diet, I did not really notice too much of a change in my mental health, but as of recently I am beginning to notice the difference. I give God the glory for all of this because He is giving me the strength to be disciplined and He is the one using these things to help me wage war and fight the battles of mental and physical health.
I am really excited to start week 3 and I hope this upcoming week I can go at it harder than before and really give my everything.
Psalm 28:7 "The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him."