Sunday, May 4, 2014

5 months...

It's amazing where 5 months will take you. It has been almost 5 months since my last post and if you're curious, I didn't lost the 50 lbs I wanted to lose by May. Where does that leave me? If I were completely honest, I feel like a failure. Not only in my own eyes, but if I let insecurity and fear rule me, I would be willing to bet, you see me as a failure too.

I've spent the past two years in a broken place and I just assumed this was the life that God has given me. I saw my anxiety and panic attacks as a thorn in my side, but over the past few months, I've allowed depression to creep in and I was blind to it. I have been paralyzed by fear, crippled by insecurity, and I've held myself back because I have bought into so many lies.

I know that a handful of people read this blog because they want to cheer me along during my weight loss journey, but there are also those that want to be inspired and I appreciate both kinds of people. I wish I could say that this post is me being fired up and saying I'm going on this huge adventure, like I did previously, to continuing losing weight, but it's not. However, I can say that this is my promise to look at today and see what I can do differently in this moment. I don't have any major goals, other than taking care of and loving myself because Christ does. That doesn't mean just physically, that means spiritually and mentally.

Some of you may not know, but I've been gone from my home and office for a little over two weeks in order to find rest in the Lord and the next few paragraphs are about my journey. (Skip to the bottom if you're not interested in my detailed consensus of my time in each place.)

I was in Kansas City for 11 days and learned that I like to run from things when it gets hard or if it's uncomfortable. For a few days, I felt completely alone, empty and all I wanted to do was cry. On Easter Sunday, I hit a low point and locked myself in my room for hours until I had to come out to eat something. Then there was a time where the Lord used a community of people love on me, pray for me, and encourage me during the rest of my time there. Every day was different and I started to love it. I would sit in the prayer room for 7 hours, sit at a coffee shop for a few hours, go on an adventure alone to a cool spot, or hang out with people for hours. Then when I finally felt 'safe' and 'comfortable' there, it was time for me to leave.
I drove through Kansas during some tornado's and the Lord revealed to me that I need to trust Him more and find my peace and comfort in knowing that He is with me. I cannot live in Fear. (Any person in their right mind would have been afraid, but God used this to reveal some things to me)
Then I made a stop in a small town in Oklahoma and spent time with two people who have no problem with being honest with me, even if it's hard to chew on. They affirm my love for truth, learning, and challenging questions. I was able to relax, sing along to some 90s country music and just enjoy 'being.'
Then I snuck back to Tyler to surprise my mom to see her for an hour, but she wasn't as excited as I hoped, but that's okay. I also heard a friend of mine speak at Teen Mania about calling out the treasure in others and it only inspired for our summer outreach at Warped Tour. I went to Tyler for the evening and hung out with some friends-which reminded me that I truly miss being in a real community and since the new year, I've isolated myself from that/them. I got my first speeding ticket in my adult life and might I say, I really didn't think I was speeding and I can say that with all honesty.
Then I spent a few days in Dallas at the Catalyst conference. I can't even unpack everything I learned, but the overall consensus is that I am known by God, fully loved by God, and I need to make it my goal to know Him more. It was like the entire conference was just for me and all of the speakers and teachers, read my journals over the past two years and came up with their topics just from that.
I then drove back to Tyler with my friend, went to my office and took care of some things that had to be done, jumped in my car and drove 5 hours to San Antonio. My drive was so special. I had a time of repentance to the Lord.
Over the past two weeks I have had so many clear revelations of how I have such a deficit in my life and I was living off of my own strength for so long. I've been in sin and I've been trying to refrain from it on my own and that is impossible.
So here I am in San Antonio and it has already been incredible. I spent my entire day yesterday reading the word and a book that I've wanted to read for awhile. I now have 11 days left to read, rest, pray, go on walks, and whatever else I'm led to do. I ask that you pray for me and my focus, that it's on the Lord and Him alone. That I don't let stress, fear, or anxiety rise up and I cling to the promises of the Lord.

I want to share a few things with you that the Lord has revealed to me over this time. Some of these are simple, basic, foundational truths that I had wisdom of, but I'm not sure I believed it in my heart anymore.

Jesus LOVES Stella Malone. Even if I'm not doing SKAD or some sort of ministry, I am still His beloved.
If I am unwilling to admit my weaknesses, then I'm not going to show the strength of Christ.
I am worth pursuing and Christ has pursued me every day, with or without me noticing.
Spending time in His presence should be my main motivation to get out of bed each day.
The word of God is true, all of it.
He is my source of life; without Him, there is no purpose for anything else that I do.
He doesn't need me, but He likes to use me.
Rest is a good thing and an important thing.

I'm going to lace up my shoes and go on a walk and rest in the fact that the CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE loves me and my mess and because of Christ, my mess isn't so messy and that I have been made whole in Him and Him alone.
I hope you'll take the time to rest in that today too. Love yourself because you are indeed loved. He didn't make a mistake when He created you; He knit you in your Mothers womb and with passion behind His words, He said 'Man, that is good. You are good!"

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

It's paralyzing...

As I sit and type this up, I am feeling as if I'm functioning a little normal. During the last part of my workout at Crossfit today, I started having, my biggest enemy-anxiety.

[Might I add, that today has just been overwhelming in general. I'm not even going to go into what's going on and that's only because I know the Lord is already at work. My hope is not in the things of this world, but in the One above. I really am excited to see what He does through the challenges of every day life and how He pulls through. He has never let me go, nor will He ever. Somedays it's easier to trust than others, but today, despite it all, I'm pressing into Him. //Random side note]

So, anyway, back to Crossfit. Today my coach came up to me mid work-out and asked my middle name and I know it's because he was making sure nothing was wrong with me, but when he did that, it made me start questioning my body. I was tired, which is normal for strenuous workouts, but I didn't feel anything else going on. Even during my workout, I was praying and just talking to the Lord, but I couldn't stop my mind from wandering and allowing fear to rule me. I did not finish the last part of my WOD because I just felt like I needed to stop.

So when the Coach dismissed the class, I got in my car and prayed and asked the Lord to help me through it and I believe He was giving me peace, yet, my mind kept on thinking how my left arm felt weird and my side was hurting, how my vision was crazy, I was nauseous and I just kept on giving into lies. (But, jeeze, what do I expect when I put my body through crazy stuff??)

So, for two hours, I've laid on a friends couch, desperately trying to distract myself from letting the anxiety control me. I prayed, I looked at social networking, and I just laid here.. Then, I forced myself to get up and shower. I then had some time with the Lord and now I'm here.

I wish I could find answers and why this happens after I have an intense work out, but all it does is make me not want to go back for fear of it happening again. When I'm feeling anxious and panic is running through my body, I can't pay attention to anything else but that. The worst is when I'm trying to change my thought process and someone says something to me like "what doesn't kill you, will make you stronger" or "we didn't die today" and all I can focus on is "kill" "die" and then it cripples me even more. Sad, right?

Adrenaline and anxiety, mixed together, are a dangerous combination.

Do I feel defeated? A little, because I wonder if I could have finished if I hadn't have let anxiety rule. Will I allow defeat to win over me? Nah, I've been here before and I know God is bigger, this is just a war I'm facing. I just want to be candid about my experience in working out because I know the Lord is working in my life and working me through some things. Trust, to let go of fear, perseverance, etc.... The list could go on forever to be honest.

If you could, just pray for me because I want to see the anxiety gone completely from my life. I must say, I haven't had a bad anxiety experience in a long time and I have been really believing that I was completely set free.
I trust, know, and believe, there is a bigger picture for this, which makes it a little easier to deal with it, but it is still challenging and it is still something I'm at war with in my life.

Thank you for allowing me to be transparent, for allowing me to be real, and always being so encouraging.

Ephesians 6:10-20"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, andhaving put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak."

Just a heads up, that as of now when I finished writing this, I feel great and do not have any bit of anxiety in me. Praise God. This is enough to dance about. Rejoice with me.

Monday, December 2, 2013

How did I get here?

This is embarrassing. It has been over a year since my last entry and over the year, I kept on telling myself, 'I'm going to get back in the swing of things' yet, I let my 'busy' schedule and laziness take precedence in my life. It's easy to make excuses over and over and some of them are actually valid, but I think there comes a time in your life when you have to make a choice and fight for something you want so badly. I am 78 lbs from the weight I would be happy at, but my goal is to lose 58lbs by May 1st. Can I even do this? Yes. I KNOW I can, I just have to do it.
I've been out of Crossfit for what seems like FOREVER now and well, it's so hard getting back into it.... I love Crossfit so much because it changed my life, but it's so terrifying every time I go. I started going again at the beginning of November and I went a few days for two weeks and had other days where I jogged/walked around my neighborhood, then for the last two weeks of November, I didn't do anything active. I cannot help but feel like an epic failure, but that's just a feeling. Right?

I miss the days when I used to be a stickler on what I put in my mouth, now I feel like I'm addicted to sugar all over again and I need rehab to get off of it. That stuff is so sick and toxic to my body and when it flows through my bloodstream, I feel it and I physically feel high off the stuff. Say a prayer for me, because I'm going to make a bold attempt to quit processed sugars cold turkey, all over again. If I did it once, I can do it again, right? It also is so terrible for me to have large amounts of sugar because I have hypoglycemia and diabetes runs in my family. My family doctor told me that I'm borderline diabetic, but I'm praying with continued weight-loss and trusting in the Lord for healing, I can reverse that.

Starbucks, get behind me Satan! I haven't worked there for months, yet I just want to go there and get a pumpkin chai or a chai in general. I genuinely think I'm addicted and it's so lame. It doesn't help that I get free drinks all the time and people get me gift-cards there. I just need to be conscience in my choices again and stick with tea or water.

Perhaps I can blame my addiction to Mexican food on my heritage? I can eat chips and salsa every single day for the rest of my life, but that hydrogenated oil is slowing killing (america) me.

I've been pretty lazy lately in my cooking, but I blame that on the lack of food in my home, so, I basically eat whatever I can eat and that's that. However, there are times when I have eggs and I could cook them, but instead I eat a bowl of chex and almond milk and add some honey to it. The problem with that is there is no nutritional value to it and I know it. It's like eating cardboard for breakfast and expecting that to sustain me. I'm supposed to have a protein diet because of my hypoglycemia, so that does nothing for me.

I suppose I am here confessing all of my dirty secrets because I don't want them in darkness. I want to bring it to light, so I can gain victory over it all again. I know the Lord was the One who did it for me last year and I know He can do it again, it's just about surrendering my control to Him.

I feel like in my past posts, there are a lot of failed goals and I'm sad about it, but I'm not going to look at last year, I'm going to look at now. I'm going to make an attempt to post on here often about my journey, even if I'm being lazy and I need your help to hold me accountable. Like, LITERALLY, I need your help and I need you to play an active part in annoying me and asking me if I've been working out and how my eating is. Even if I get annoyed or get sassy with you, (which I probably will) I am desperate because I want my life back.

It's still a dream of mine to run a half marathon and I hope I can do that someday. Right now, I just need motivation to get off my couch. I've been in a little funk lately and feeling slightly overwhelmed with the craziness of life, so I've had a lack of motivation. It's like, when I have a moment to just chill, that's exactly what I want to do. I just need that fire for working out, back again.

I want to have pure motives about it and do it for the sake of being healthy and giving God the complete glory for it. I don't want to do it just to look better or for others attention. I know I would feel more confident in my own skin and it would be nice to feel confident in my clothes. I just need super-natural help all over again. As of the beginning of November, I was 258, but I'm too afraid to get on the scale since Thanksgiving and my sugar binges, so, how about I check back with you at the end of December?!

Like I said, my goal is to be 200 by May 1st. It's totally possible. I just have to get off my butt. Please pray for me because like I said, I need a higher power to help me in this journey.

Well, here goes nothing. It's a new day, a new beginning and here's to healthy choices!

Doing wall-balls. Did I mention that my squats are terrible and I'm starting completely over? Yeah...

This was by far one of my favorite things to witness. During this WOD, all but one of these men had finished their burpees and to help motivate the one who hadn't, all of these men and one woman, joined him to help motivate him. It's so awesome to see everyone work together.

Just another selfie to show how I got my butt kicked after a WOD one day.

This is my friend Josh, aka Jtram and he joined Crossfit with me. We only went to a few classes together because our schedule conflicted, but I'm hoping he will continue in December because it always motivates me to have someone to work out with.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I feel like I'm starting over.

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,
in mid August.

The day my cousin joined!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Week 9 & 10 and partial 11.

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. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Week 7 & 8 =done!

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. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spread the word & spread the hope!

Just sharing this with you, in hopes that you'll considering partnering with us and making this dream/vision a reality! Help us spread hope to the youth of this generation!