Thursday, July 2, 2015

They Didn't Believe Me

So this is the story of my healing.

For the past 3-4 months of my life I have been having troubles with my thryoid levels. I was diagnosed at 17 years old with hypothyroidism. This is a disease where your body doesn't produce enough of the thyroid hormone causing you to be tired, gain weight, it can cause depression, among many many other things. I started taking medicine to give my body the missing thyroid so that I could function normally. It was monitored all through my pregnancy, and afterwards. About 3 months ago (around the same time I started really dieting down and training hard) though I started having a lot of symptoms of hyperthyroidism. I went to my endocrinologist and was tested and she actually upped my dosage. I thought.. this can't be right. So I found a new doctor. Before I went and saw this new doctor I was having migraine attacks so bad that I went to the hospital. My heart would race and I was unable to sleep. My symptoms were getting worse and worse. When I finally got to see the new doctor he decided to start lowering my dosage because he could tell from my symptoms that I was obviously taking too much medicine. So he lowered it, and my symptoms continued. To shorten the back and forth of calling and telling them I was still too high, this kept going on. I was sleeping 3-4 hours a night about 5 nights out of the week and would get about 6 hours twice a week on nights that I was just so exhausted from the previous nights of not sleeping. Keep in mind I was still working out for 2 hours a day burning over 1,000 calories 5-6 days a week and consuming around 1300 a day. I then began to wonder if my extreme diet and training were really what was wrong. How could I sleep for 3 hours a night, be awake with a racing heart and mind, and still have energy and a racing mind all day long? WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON WITH ME?! So when I was finally at wits end after trying benadryl and OTC sleeping pills with absolutely no success, I called him and asked for sleeping pills to get me through until my next appointment. He agreed and gave me an RX for ambien. After starting the ambien I was able to sleep better, but still not through the night. So I was satisfied somewhat but still confused as to how with a drug like ambien I could still not be sleeping.

This is where the story gets good:
I started to have random times of extreme depression. Crying, hard, upset over very small things. I felt extremely overwhelmed and just awful. But I also still had times of the rushing crazy energy. This was all getting so confusing. Is my thyroid high? Is it low? Why do i get depressed like its low and then racing like it's high? God was about to answer this question. On Sunday June 28 I decided to get my butt back in church. So I went. Pastor Clark was doing a message over the book "The Blessed Life". He talked about tithing some but what God spoke to me about was my time. All these past months I had lost track of my time spent with God. I still listened to preaching and teaching but I was neglecting my own real personal time with Him. God wants our first and best in EVERY area and I had not been giving him that. I decided I would start giving Him my best again. on Tuesday morning I woke up and had my quiet time and I told God that I was tired of dealing with all of the sickness and craziness going on in my life and that I was going to seek Him until I found the answer. Elijah woke up and I got his breakfast ready and then it all started. He was taking forever to eat his breakfast and I started getting very very frustrated with him. The heart racing, pumping, overwhelming, yet depressing and sad feelings were overtaking my body more than they ever had before. I ended up having to apologize to Elijah because I was getting SO angry with him. I contacted my mom not knowing what to do. I took Elijah to daycare early and headed to target to get the new RX the thyroid doctor prescribed for me the day before, along with new sleeping pills. The pharmacist proceeded to warn me that the new sleeping pills can cause depression, which comes in to play a little later. My mom is in a ministry with a lady named Jo McGuffin who has been specially gifted from God with ministering healing. I contacted her and asked her if she could possibly meet me very soon. She agreed to meet with me as soon as I could which was at 7:15 when I got off work. I went to her and she prayed for me after speaking the Word over me and building my faith. As she prayed my throat stopped hurting, my head stopped pounding, and I was having the most odd tingling sensation behind my eyes. I knew I was healed. As she prayed for me God told me to NOT take those new sleeping pills that night. He also showed me that all of the depression I started randomly having started when I started taking the Ambien. So that explained it. My mind was still racing and I still had a pounding heart and anxiety because my thyroid medicine is STILL too high (because I have been receiving healing for a long time now) and I started getting the depression because of the sleeping pills. God placed the puzzle together for me so I could finally understand what was going on. I talked some more with Jo and then got in my car to go home. I was worshipping God just praising him and thanking him for my healing when he just OVERWHELMED me with his supernatural joy in my spirit. He had me cracking up so hard i was crying and banging on my steering wheel. This continued for about 20 minutes, even when I got to my parents house to pick up Elijah. I just layed in my parents floor laughing hysterically enjoying the spirit of the Lord overtaking me. God was showing me that he was basically sealing my healing. It was kind of like okay, it is done. God has been rocking my world ever since. I didn't take the new sleeping pills that night because I knew God was telling me not to, and had even set that pharmacist in my way earlier in the day as a pre-warning to not take them. I woke up in the night but my heart racing was not near as bad as it had been, but I did take OTC sleeping pills. THEY ACTUALLY HELPED. I slept all night. God also spoke to me and told me that the end is near. And that I would see how He was going to use this for His good. That's what God does. He takes what satan means to destroy you and He changes it to get glory. My doctors, who told me I would never be healed of hypothyroidism are going to be astonished when they have to KEEP lowering my doasge until I am off of it completely. In the mean time of them lowering my medicine ( i cannot stop taking it all at once, it's very dangerous) God is going to supply me with what I need to deal with these symptoms which I can tell as they keep lowering it I keep feeling better and better.. If I went through this whole thing for 2 people to see that God heals, it was all worth it. I am healed in the name of Jesus. THANK YOU JESUS.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Ugly Truth

I kind of pride myself in my ability to be transparent and open about my flaws and shortcomings. I'm not sure if that's necessarily a good or bad thing but, then again, I am proud to be this way. I feel like people have more respect for others when they allow themselves to be seen for how they are and the problems they face instead of trying to appear like they have it altogether. Let's face it folks, we are all walking disasters just being protected by the grace of God. 

The ugly truth for me right now is:

I typically get an average of 4-5 hours a night, sometimes 3 and sometimes 6. But it is driving me absolutely insane. I am cranky and bitter and frustrated because of my lack of sleep. I just can't seem to go to sleep after waking up at 2:00, 3:30, 4:00. I have tried everything. Otc sleep aids, lavender, yoga, PRAYER, Benadryl,  stretching, milk, calming music and white noise, reading... you name it and I promise I have tried it. 

It effects every part of my life. It effects my relationships because I'm grouchy and uninterested due to lack of energy. It effects my training and ability in the gym. It effects my spiritual life because I have a hard time keeping focused. And it mostly effects my mind. People, I am so exhausted. This girl needs your prayers and also I need your grace as I go through the process of figuring out why I cannot sleep. I feel as though I am losing my sanity. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

How much is too much?

I'm going to get really honest with everyone. My passion for fitness has literally become an addiction for me. I have had to step back and re-assess my goals and priorities to make sure I keep the proper balance in my life. When I started this journey in December 2011 I never IMAGINED that I would ever love eating healthy and working out. It was so so so hard for me. I loved food so much and I loved NOT being sweaty. But, I had no self esteem and my relationship with myself and food was ruining me. I didn't respect myself because I didn't really see the point in taking care of my body... because I didn't even realize how much worth God had created in me. I had always been taught but it had never been a truth in my heart. My dad would testify to the fact that I would literally cry and whine and complain when he was too tired to help me work out. I needed constant encouragement to keep going and to keep me motivated. As I kept being pushed by my dad and started to get a little more confident using our bow flex in my dads garage, I started to not hate it AS much. But, i still did not like it. It wasn't until one night when he refused to go out with me and told me I needed to do this for myself that I sucked it up and started going out and doing what he had taught me. Then I started getting up at about 5 am to do it and that's when I knew I would never go back. I finally started losing some baby weight and I realized how much energy the working out gave me to get through my day. My confidence was slowly building. 

Fast forward to February 2015. I had gotten off track somewhat during the holidays so starting December 26 2014 I got back to my clean eating and working out. I was doing insanity, I got myself some whey protein, and invested in a polar ft4 training watch to keep me motivated. I have found when you invest money into something it will motivate you to stick to it! At least that's true for men As I started working out again I felt
better and started to lose that dreaded winter weight I had allowed myself to gain. 
Yuck! I had gotten so in shape the summer before and when I saw these pictures in January I wanted to DIE! I couldn't believe how being lazy for 2 months and not eating clean put the fat back on SO fast. So when I moved out in February and was unable to go to the gym at 5am I got myself a new routine. I would go pick up Elijah after work and go to the gym on Monday and Wednesday. On Thursdays I don't have work so I also go on Thursday mornings. When Elijah is with his dad and I don't have plans I go Friday night and sometimes even Saturday! Sunday mornings have become my favorite because pretty much everything is available. I started learning new exercises and just literally got to the point where I had no specific routine I just showed up, picked my body part, and cranked it out. I had gotten to the point where I was training for almost 2 hours on the days I would go and burning around 1,000 calories every time. I was addicted. 

I say all of this to say, I'VE HAD TO DETOX. I realize even something that is good for you and can make your life better, can also become something that consumes you. I do not want the gym to EVER be my first priority or to EVER become a god in my life. I will never allow myself to get to that level because I would have to quit altogether. God is my only God and he deserves my heart, not the gym. Elijah is my priority. My family is my priority. Helping others is my priority. It is our own responsibility to make sure we keep ourselves in the right perspective and not let things overtake our lives. I love my lifestyle. It has done amazing thing for me. But God has done far greater things and will keep doing greater things. I humbly admit and repent of abusing my time and prioritizing the gym over my Jesus. I am so thankful for a God who loves me enough to show me these truths and save me from myself even when I place things in front of Him. Is there anything in your life that is out of order? How are your priorities? If you need any prayer, please don't hesitate!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Because you are all asking...

So recently I have posted a lot about my fitness journey and it has raised a lot of questions. I have tried my best to respond and help anyone who asks for my advice but I figured writing a blog with all of this information would save everyone a lot of time!

For the past few years since I had Elijah I started this healthy lifestyle journey. It started out as an emotional roller coaster for me. I had very low self esteem from not knowing my identity in Christ and allowing a toxic relationship to give satan a foothold in my life. After getting pregnant at 18 and having an extremely rough (emotionally) pregnancy, my weight was a whopping 154 pounds. I am 5'4 and that was definitely not any kind of muscle weight. I ate because it made me feel good. Food had become my comforter, when God should have been. I started reading the book "Made to Crave" and God used it to transform my mind. Another book I read during this time was "Captivating". Both of these books had a tremendous role in forming new thoughts about myself and how truly precious I am as a woman and as a daughter of the King. God showed me my value and had I not had these revelations, I would not have the discipline and motivation I do today to keep going and improve. It is because of His unfailing love for me, and his constant pursuit of me, that I know I am worth all of the effort I apply to being the best I can be. If you have a problem going back and forth and back and forth in your healthy lifestyle changes, please take a look at the condition of your heart. It is the most frustrating thing wanting to change but not being able to figure out what is holding you back from staying consistent.. YOU ARE WORTH IT. I can tell you that all day but you have to believe it about yourself before change will stay.

With that being said, I need to get a few things out of the way.
1. I am no fitness/health guru. I have not had schooling. I had a trainer for 3 months last summer and that's it. I am not a super chef. I don't know everything.. Shoot, I don't really feel like I know much at all. Everything I am about to write is not anything other than what I have tried and what has worked for me. Everyone is different and everyone's body responds differently to different things. I have tried things I have seen work for others with little to no results for myself.
2. Be realistic. I have been the absolute worst at following all of these SUPER ripped and toned fit tanned fitness people on Instagram expecting my body to look like theirs. Is it possible? I honestly don't know. But if I compare each of them to one another, they all have differences. You have to expect the same for yourself. Not any persons body can look exactly like another's. God just didn't make us that way. Learn to see your body for what it is, yours. You cannot go into this expecting to look like someone else because you just won't. You might get a tighter lower abs faster than you grow your glutes. Your biceps might come in sooner than you notice your quads or lose that bra bulge. Only compare yourself to you. Don't expect thing that are unrealistic for you but also know you can ALWAYS improve. Also, understand that it takes time. Like I said I started this journey December 2011. It's not an overnight thing. Be patient. Be realistic. Love yourself.

NOW for the other stuff:
I do weight training at least 3 times a week. If I can go more I do. The most I go in a week is 5 days because it is important to let your muscles rest. Some days I will just do cardio if I go that many days out of the week but I never do more than 20 minutes of intense cardio on weight days and 30 mins on non-weight days. I do a minimum of 45 minutes on weights on a low energy day but typically I go about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. That amount of time has grown the more addicted I have become to the results of how great I feel after working out. When I started in the gym I would do weights for about 30-45 minutes and 30-35 minutes of cardio. I liked cardio because it was comfortable and easy and it didn't take much thought. But building muscle is absolutely key to burning fat long term and seeing muscle definition. Hours of cardio will never have you looking defined and cut. YOU MUST GET UNCOMFORTABLE AND LEARN TO LIFT CRAP.... and when you see how strong you get you will love it! I use a polar ft4 heart rate monitor when I train. It lets me know when my heart is in the appropriate zones and tracks my calories burned. I absolutely love it and I bought it on amazon. I wear a neoprene waist trimmer ($5 at Walmart mart) when I do cardio. It helps you sweat more and sometimes I go ahead and wear it when I am doing weights too. I also suggest weightlifting gloves if you plan on using barbells or dumbbells. If you can't afford a trainer get on and check out all of the workouts on there. Plenty of instructional videos from trained professionals and it is all free. Also, don't be intimidated to ask someone at your gym how to use a machine. I love when people ask me about an exercise I'm doing and I love asking others about what they are doing too. Always seek knowledge from people who inspire you! I have met some of the most genuine and nicest people in the gym and they are full of advice and encouragement. #FitFam is a real thing!!!!

This is where it gets real. FOOD. LOVE FOOD. Food is not your enemy! Food is your fuel. just like you won't get fit eating 2500 calories a day full of chips and soda, you won't get fit eating 800 calories of spinach and carrots. You MUST fuel your body and not only with foods that are healthy for you, but that meet your goals. If you are trying to lose fat but you are consuming too many carbs, it's never going to happen. Everything about food is definitely scientific and you will have to tweak it as you go. For me, currently, I changed my diet from a "clean eating" approach to what all the fitness freaks call "If It Fits Your Macros". This intrigued me because all of these Instagram fitness people are posting froyo and donuts and they have banging bodies. It made no sense to me. so I started my research. I started paying attention to what I was eating not relizing HOW MUCH CARBS AND FAT TOOK OVER MY DIET!!!! They were complex carbs like brown rice and sweet potatoes and wheat grain bread which are good for you but the percentage of them that I was consuming was sabotaging my fat loss. Also almonds and cashews and peanut butter and avocado. All okay in the right place, but I was not eating them accurately. I got on some websites and found out I needed to be eating 1250-1450 calories per day to be losing weight. Based off of that number I got on another website ( and found an article that helped me understand that for my body type and for FAT LOSS I needed to wayyyyy change my diet. I decided to start eating for my macronutrient needs. For my body this is 50% protein, 30% fat, and 20% carbs. I've been doing this for 2 weeks now and my results have blown my mind. I try my absolute hardest to meet my protein goal first. 175 grams of protein. 70 grams of carbs. 47 grams of fat. I use myfitnesspal app to keep track of everything and it has been a lifesaver.

Currently I eat a lot of egg whites, hard boiled egg whites, low fat cheese, fat free cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, turkey, chicken, tilapia, salmon, broccoli slaw,
tuna, spinach, avocado, shrimp, salsa, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and whey protein. I use salt free Mrs. Dash to flavor a lot of my food and I always try to get the leanest meat. ground turkey instead of beef, etc. I throw in some wheat thins or a wrap or pretzels or almonds just depending on what I need to meet my needs that day. the great thing about it is you don't have to feel guilty eating a donut as long as it fits into your macros for the day so I SUGGEST PLANNING ALL OF YOUR SNACKS AND MEALS IN THE MORNING. That way you are on track for the entire day! Keep in mind the cleaner you keep it the better results you will have BUT it won't kill you to have a donut and make sure it fits in to your macros. I cook and prepare my food in advance so it's ready to go. I also use a food scale that was about $5 at Walmart mart to get accurate measurements on the food I am eating. Also drink a lot of water! Fruit tends to have way more carbs than you expect so plan on cutting wayyyyy down on them.