Monday, February 22, 2016

The Biggest Loser Didn't Want Me (But Faithful Finish Lines Does)

On the eve of the Biggest Loser's finale, my mind goes back to my own weight loss journey and experience with the show.

Several years ago, my mom and I attended an open casting call in Columbus. We got up at the crack of dawn to drive an hour from home to wait in line all day long with other potential candidates. The folks who stood in line with us were amazing, all with incredible stories and good reasons for wanting to get on the show. Obviously, all of us were overweight and in need of someone to guide us on our journey to health. For some, this was their one shot at losing weight and getting healthy.

When the line finally dwindled and the wait for the audition was within reach, my mom and I were handed applications to fill out for the casting directors. Then we were ushered into another large room where we were herded into different groups. There we were also able to meet some of our favorite past season contestants, Coleen Skeabeck and Shellay Cremen (seriously two of the sweetest ladies!). They offered some excellent advise: BE YOURSELF and tell your own story.

After waiting literally all day, mom and I along with 10-15 other potential contestants were escorted into a large conference room where a casting director was waiting for us. The casting director didn't waste any time with asking us to answer why we wanted to be on the show, what kind of contestant we thought we'd be, and to tell him something unique about ourselves. You can imagine 10-15 of us vying for this guy's attention, all within the 5 minute time span we had.

It was ridiculous.

And fun.

(Yes, this introvert who hates being the center of attention, thought this casting call was FUN!)

But here's the thing: the Biggest Loser didn't want me.

And I'm OK with that.

Because that opportunity led me to where I am today.

I've been on a fitness journey for years now. My journey is not just about weight loss. Weight loss is definitely a part of my journey, but it is much more than that. This journey is about getting healthy in body, mind, and spirit. It is about making small, attainable goals for myself then actually taking the necessary steps to meet those goals.

And I'm not alone on this journey.

Thankfully God has surrounded me with family and friends who encourage and motivate me in this journey.

He's also gifted me with Faithful Finish Lines.

Faithful Finish Lines is an online fitness group that has changed my life! It all starts with the Stepping Forward program which is a 7 week online program for women that incorporates the healthy eating, physical activity, and mental strategies that leader, Sara Borgestede, learned during her 100-pound weight loss journey. Sara, along with personal trainer, Corrine, and community leader, Christine, will give you safe, practical, and realistic strategies to aide you in your journey to a healthier you!

The best part of the Faithful Finish Lines program, in my opinion, is the community of women that are going through this journey with me! This community is always full of encouragement and helps motivate me to continue going when I just want to throw in the towel.

If you're looking for a kick-start to your fitness journey, Faithful Finish Lines is for you.

If you're looking for a program that is simple to follow and gives you results, Faithful Finish Lines is for you.

If you're looking for an amazing community which will support you every step of the way, Faithful Finish Lines is for you.

What are you waiting for? Sign up today! The small financial investment is worth it. (Registrations ends tomorrow)


Are you on a fitness journey? Who are the people in your life who support you?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Finding My Words

My corner of the web has sat quiet for more than a year.

For the most part, I just haven't felt like I had anything to say that would add to the conversations already being had on the web. My personality tends to err on the side of not saying anything at all unless I have something worth saying, words which add value to someone else's life.

And while I never write for the sake of someone else, I hope folks are reading. Not for my ego. But because there is value in community.

With that said, this post has been brewing in my heart for a few weeks. This post is a reminder to myself, a commitment for the new year. Not a resolution, but an opportunity to focus on the things that matter the most to me.

For several years, I participated in the whole One Word challenge. I'd pray and ask God to show me a word for the year to focus on. A word that would be the theme for my life for the next 365 days. 

In 2013, it was return.

In 2014, it was redeem.

I skipped the whole challenge last year.

But this year, this year there isn't just one word. There are five. Five whole words that are more than words. They are areas of my life that I feel God wants me to focus on and be faithful with this year.

FAITH - Faith in Jesus is the center of who I am. Without faith, my life would be but a shallow existence. When I was a little girl, God rocked my world and changed my life. It didn't happen overnight; the change was gradual, and is still happening. The closer I draw to Jesus, the more my life changes. 

This year, my heart longs to be even more faithful in my relationship with Jesus. I want to sit in the quiet with Him and hear His heart beat more than in past yeas. I want to linger in His presence like Mary rather than constantly being busy doing His work like Martha. Oh, His work is good, and I'll keep doing it. But I don't want to miss out on those precious quiet times with Him.

FAMILY - My family means the world to me! God has blessed me with an incredible mom, stepdad, brothers, stepsisters, husband, parents-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews. We're a crazy bunch, each of us with our own personalities and quirks. But I wouldn't trade my family in for the world. God puts us in families, and I love mine.

This year, my desire is to spend more time with my family. The past couple of years with my family has been a roller coaster ride, to say the least. God has and continues to work a HUGE miracle in my family. I cannot wait to see what His plans are for us.

FINANCES - Money. I have a love/hate relationship with money. I wish I had more of it (don't we all?). At the same time, managing money has never been my strong suit, so I need to be more faithful with what I've work hard for and have been given. 

This year, my goal is to get my finances in better order. Last year I took a leap of faith with the NO LIMITS campaign at church and committed to giving an amount that I'm still not sure how I'm going to give. But God knows. And I trust that He is going to show up and show off with my finances as I continue to be faithful in this area.

FITNESS - Oh, fitness. You want to know the truth? I'm 100% happy with who I am and what I look like. Seriously. That's not a joke. I've been overweight most of my life. Most of my 20s I weighed in at over 200 pounds. On my wedding day, I weighed in at 309. So how can I be 100% happy with who I am? Because the number on the scale does not and never will define me. That is God's job. My weight has and never will dictate what I can and can't do with my life. It will never stop me from hopping on a plane and traveling to exotic places all over the world to share Jesus' crazy love with someone who needs to know Him. It will never stop me from being ME.

So why focus on fitness? Honestly, I've been on a fitness journey since 2014. I was introduced to an online fitness group called Faithful Finish Lines and the group has changed me for the better. This year, I am continuing to focus on fitness so that I can be a healthier version of myself so that I can be more, do more, and go more!

FUN - Because who doesn't need a little bit of fun in their lives?! Truly, I believe that God is a good, loving, FUN God! The creator of the universe is the author of fun. He loves it when His kids enjoy their lives with Him, their family, and friends.

So this year, I'm going to focus on having a good time with the life I've been given because it's the only one I've got!

This year, my blog may sit quiet more often than not, but I feel like I'm finding my words again. I hope you'll join me on the journey...

The new year has come and gone, but it's never too late to find your words! What 5 areas of your life do you feel like God is telling you to focus on this year? Share in the comments!