A Farewell to 2014

I am so thankful for this year. In 2014 God blessed me with so much that it’s actually a bit overwhelming to think about. The people I’ve met, the places I’ve been, and the lessons I’ve learned have all been such a gift and I cannot express how deep my love and gratitude is for getting to experience it all.

Here’s my favorites:

• Northland and everything that comes with it.

• The Tishters;)

• Seeing my little brother get married.

• Spending the Summer in Sturgeon Bay with my brother and sister in law and making many friends there.

• Meeting Andrew and falling in love for the very first time.

• Deepening my relationship with my Heavenly Father and submersing myself in His word and learning more and more about doctrine, theology, and his deep love for me.

• Leading worship in many incredible places with such talented and fantastic people.

• Fighting for my health. (Running, lifting, Spartan races, eating clean, having surgery)

• Seeing my family move out East and have crazy adventures. (Also getting to visit them this Christmas!)

All in all, 2014 has been such a wonderful chapter to my book. I am so blessed and cannot wait to see what 2015 has in store!







This Week: Success and Failure

Tomorrow is another day. Thank you Lord for second chances. …and third chances. …and fourth chances…

I’m pretty sleepy, but this week is about to get CRAZY, and I wanted to make sure I took the time to not leave my blog hanging on the last post I wrote, in which I was pretty upset.

SO. This week has been basically a roller coaster. I’ve had equal success and failure. I’ve actually needed the week weight-wise exactly where I started it. which leaves me to feel kind of indifferent, but definitely disappointed in myself.

At the start of this past week I was more upset than I had been in a very long time about my weight. I knew I’ve gained some back, but when I stepped on the scale and saw that I was officially the heaviest I’ve been in the past two years… I was sent over the edge. I’ve fought SO hard to lose this weight and I swore to never go back there… so why am I watching this happen?

Anyways, after that day, I buckled down. Counted all my calories, worked out HARD, and drank an entire gallon of water. By the end of that day I felt very proud of myself. I kept that pattern up for the rest of the week and by Saturday I was down 4 pounds.

AND THEN THE WEEKEND. …sigh. This weekend killed me. A and I went out on a special christmas date and I had a panini and fries and then we went out for ice cream after. Then today I hadn’t gotten to eat more than a granola bar and three bites of a salad until we went to a Christmas party and by that time I was SO hungry, I didn’t even care that I had two helpings of dessert. …argh.

Yeah. I know what the scale will tell me tomorrow. I’ll be back up in weight and very disappointed. I’m considering not even getting back on the scale until January first. I have HUGE plans for 2015, so maybe I should just chill on the whole scale thing and just work hard regardless of the number.

The only thing I’ve kept up since I’ve started it, is drinking a gallon(+) of water a day. I’m so grateful that A suggested that I do it. I pee a LOT, but I can feel my body actually getting healthier. My acne is actually clearer; I’ve had no new breakouts. and even though my eating hasn’t been on point, I haven’t been feeling too sick over the foods. I’m really excited about drinking all this water actually and incredibly determined to keep it up!

This week is Christmas and it’s going to get very busy. Will be on the worship team for Xmas eve, so that means I’ll be at church most of that day, and then that following morning I fly out with my siblings to visit our family out East. That will be super fun and I’m beyond stoked. Really praying I will make good choices while I’m there.

I probably won’t write another post for a while, but as of right now, here’s where I’m at:

I’ve made really solid improvements this week and overall in my health. This weekend was a bump in my plans, but one that will not stop me from getting what I want. I am focused, I am determined, and I am calm. Nothing will get in my way of becoming the girl I believe God has created me to be. He has made me strong and stunning. I radiate with the light of Christ, and because of that I know nothing is impossible.


I honestly cannot remember a time when I have been so frustrated, so challenged, and so discouraged while trying to lose weight.

I’ve been at this for a week now. During school I’ve been off my game, so of course I anticipate a bit of weight gain or a plateau. BUT I’ve been going hard every day in my workouts this past week, eating real food and proper portions, drinking tons of water… and I’ve GAINED WEIGHT.

Not only have I gained weight… oh no, I’ve GAINED WEIGHT. I am now officially the heaviest I’ve been in the last two years.

I don’t know what to do. I feel like an absolute failure. I hate this, I hate this. I hate this. I’m trying! I swear I am! How could this be possible? What is going on? Why isn’t this working?

None of this makes sense to me. Nothing adds up. During my entire journey it’s been the same: workout + eating clean = weight loss. So WHY is this not working? I can’t put it together and it’s driving me absolutely insane. I don’t know you guys. I don’t know what to do.

Giving up isn’t an option. It never has been and it never will be. But I’m so blinded by this…

I love being healthy. I love working out. I am STILL overweight and I STILL have a ways to go… so why won’t my body let me? What is happening?

I don’t have answers today. I wish I did, but I don’t. I don’t know… Maybe tomorrow I will. I wish this wasn’t part of the journey, but I guess it is. Sometimes we just have to endure. Sometimes, even when we are facing the wind, we have to keep going. We must make that choice. I guess this is that time for me. I don’t like it at all, to be quite honest. I want results and I want them now. But I guess this is testing my mental strength more than ever before. How bad do I REALLY want it? Will I keep going? Will I push through? Will I endure?

Stay tuned, I suppose…

Weekend Recap: Running Slow, Cheat Meal, Church…etc.

This weekend was pretty chill! I woke up and ate a great breakfast and then headed out to run. I did better this time than Thursday, but I can’t help but feel pretty darn discouraged over how slow I’ve gotten. I use to easily knock out 3 miles in about 29 minutes. I know that’s not really fast, but it was good for me! I’m back up to an 11:30/12:00 mile! YIKES. not happy. I guess that’s what I get for taking a break from running for MONTHS. ugh. Whoops. Well, I’m still determined to get out there, no matter how slow I am. I only stopped for very short walking breaks twice on my run on Saturday, so I was pleased about that. Tomorrow is suppose to be warm(ish) again, so I’ll probably head out again and see what I can do:) I want to do P90x, but I’m going to save that for the days I’m snowed in and take advantage of the nice weather now.
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After my run I made a smoothie and had a quest bar (NOM). Then I headed out to do some Christmas shopping and found some great deals! Got home and made a giant caesar salad for Granny, A, and I. It was a light dinner because I knew A wouldn’t get done with worship practice till late. So we ended up eating around 8:45 (not the best), but kept it light with salad, so it wasn’t too terrible.

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Church was this morning and it was great. On the way there A says “I have to say, I love Faith (our church). It’s my favorite church I’ve ever attended.” When I heard that my heart just melted. I LOVE seeing him get up and play the drums every weekend. I will never get over how talented he is and I love that he’s filling in a role that was so desperately needed at church. Everyone just loves on him and it’s just such an incredible blessing to him. I just stand back, take it all in, and praise and thank God for it. The message definitely tugged at my heart strings too. I won’t go into too much detail, but I really feel convicted about praying for and seeking out my friends, especially those who are far from God. I need to get more outside of myself and my comfort zone and simply love on them. I pray that’s a focus in my life and especially while I have more time on break.

After church A and I like to have our once a week treat/cheat meal. We went and got Chinese and yes, it was delicious. Honestly, I didn’t even do that bad. Half of my plate was veggies, and I stayed away from noodle and rice and just stuck to the shrimp and chicken. You better believe I had crab rangoons though… 😛

We then spontaneously decided to go see a movie, so we stopped at the theater and Mockingjay was just starting so we (FINALLY) got to see it! That was our first movie together, too! haha. It was fun, and a fantastic film. Mockingjay was my least favorite book and film (part one at least), but J-Law did an incredible job acting, so props to her.

We got home, and A had to get going back on his way home. His winter job starts tomorrow, and he wants to wake up early and hit the gym, so he needs a goodnight’s sleep. It’s weird not being able to see him daily anymore. A tough adjustment, I’m not going to lie. But I know it’s good for not only our relationship, but for us as individuals as well. I’m excited to see what God does during this time!:)

I haven’t eaten since Chinese (still full!)…But I can’t stop drinking COFFEE. gosh I love this stuff. AND Peppermint Mocha creamer oh my GOSH 😛 If I can, I think tomorrow I want to chill at a coffee shop or the library to just read for a while. I’ve got quite the list to get through (another post for later) and time’s a-wastin!

AYWAYS! This week… I’m thinking I should make some goals. Let’s see…:

1. Eat clean all week (even if/when eating out!)
2. Work out everyday. No excuses.
3. Finish Xmas shopping. Be smart with money.
4. Love more.
5. Finish 2 books. Spend less time on computer.
6. Drink more water.

I just wanted to say a real quick thank you to anyone who has been reading and encouraging me to keep writing! It’s really happymaking and I’m actually really enjoying being able to take the time to write:) So thanks guys:D Welp, that’s all for this weekend! Here’s to tomorrow 🙂

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What I’m reading: Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour/ The Gospel of John 
What I’m listening to: Lissie (really digging her voice currently) 
What I’m watching: Game of Thrones, Season 4

My Ultimate Grocery Guide!

Please take note that this is all stuff that I personally eat. These are foods that I love and that have worked well for me and aided in my successful weight loss. I’m no dietician and what works for me won’t always work the same for someone else. It’s important to know what works best for your body and eat (healthy) things you enjoy eating!:) Here are my favorites!

Fruits: (Best when organic/locally grown/bought)
-Apples (Red Delicious/Honey Crisp/ Granny Smiths are FAVE)
-Bananas (I like mine brown spotted and soft, yum yum!)
-Cantaloupe (Could eat an entire one in one sitting, I kid you not.)
-Grapefruit (Bitter, but SO good when juiced with pineapple and oranges!)
-Pears (only when soft, please!)

Vegetables: (Best when organic/locally grown/bought)
-Sweet Potatoes (Super food!)
-Squash (Spaghetti and Butternut are SO so good)
-Tomatoes (nom nom grape tomatoes!)
-Romaine Lettuce
-Edamame (Find these delicious devils in the frozen food section!)
-Green Beans
-Sugar Snap Peas
-Olives (technically fruits? meh, oh well. I like black best!)
-Red Onions
-Chickpeas (hello hummus and chickpea tacos!)
-Bok Choy (Only ever had this in a Vietnamese dish, but it was incredible!)
-Kale (Chips)
-Artichoke (Delicious on pizza!)
-Garlic (fave to cook with)

Meats & Seafood: (Best when organic/lean/grass-fed/local)
-Skinless Chicken Breasts (A staple for me)
-Ground Turkey
-Ground Chicken
-Extra Lean Ground Beef
-Pork Chops
-Steak (all kinds, lean though)

Dairy, Nuts, Seeds, Bean, & Oils:
-Almond Milk
-Rice Milk
-Greek Yogurt (LOVE)
-Mozzarella Cheese
-Skim String Cheese
-Feta Cheese
-Pretty Much Any Cheese 😛
-Low Fat Cottage Cheese
-Unsalted Almonds
-Unsalted Pistachios (Good for your heart!)
-Unsalted Sunflower Seeds
-All Natural Almond Butter (Give this a try!! It’s incredible!)
-All Natural Peanut Butter
-Chia Seed (Mix it in everything! Greek yogurt, oatmeal…Very good for you!)
-Coconut Oil (Cook with this!)
-Black Beans

Whole Grains:
-Quinoa (Has the most protein out of any other grain!)
-100% Whole Wheat Bread
-100% Whole Wheat Pitas
-100% Whole Wheat Tortillas
-100% Whole Grain, Low Sugar Cereals

-Hummus (Literally could live off of this stuff.)
-Blue Corn/Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips
-Vegetable Chips
-Air-Popped Popcorn
-Gluten Free Pretzels
-Protein Powder (Mix in smoothies…yum-o!)
-Sugar free gum
-Low Calorie/Sodium Soups
– Quest Bars (Find at GNC or online…expensive, but seriously so worth it.)
-70%+ Dark Chocolate
-Rice Cakes
-Dried Unsweetened fruit
-Green Tea (drink everyday… it speeds up your metabolism!)
Well, there it is! I feel like I’m forgetting a bazillion things… and I’ll probably continue to update this list as much as I can, but are the things that are basically at the core of my diet. Vegetables and Fruits are what I try and eat the most of. I stay away from as many processed things as possible.

I read labels and look at the serving sizes, calories, carbs, sugars, and protein and take it all into consideration. I also look at the ingredients. If the ingredients start with or have sugar, or high fructose corn syrup or beached enriched flour within their first few ingredients, I’ll stay away. The Ingredients are listed from what’s used most to least, so that’s certainly something to take into consideration as well!

One last thing: WATER. Maybe I’ll do an entire post dedicated to water, because drinking (enough) water changed my world and I can’t stress enough of how important it is for us to keep our bodies hydrated! DRINK. MORE. WATER. and when you think you’ve drank enough… drink some more! 😛

If you have any questions or comments, please share! I’m more than welcome to feedback of any kind. Like I said, this is what’s worked personally for me and I can honestly say that my life was never the same after I changed what I fed my body.


First Day of Break Love

Today was my first official day of winter break and it was glooooorious.

Slept in until 10:30, ate some cereal, an apple, and drank some green tea. Read my bible, journaled and headed out for my first outside run since September.

While I was running, I realized that that was my first time running in Marinette since I decided to lose weight back at the start of it all. Back when I was still 250+ pounds and running was insanely difficult. During my run I also couldn’t help but think about all the bullying that I got while I was growing and going to school here. People who probably have no clue the kind of impact they made on my life. Times where it was both physical and verbal and completely tore me to pieces. When I was younger I wanted nothing more than to prove them all wrong… Now I just use it to fuel my fire. Those thoughts kept me running today. I ran 3.5 miles and am very proud of myself.

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Got home and gram-cracker had salads for us from Real Pizza. nom nom nom, it was delicious. Wish I had more Quest bars though.. gonna have to go pick some up.

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After that we went out and ran some errands. Stopped at Aldi for a grocery haul. Picked up some spinach, chips & hummus, cantaloup, mango, almond milk, chicken breasts, oats, greek yogurt, soup, and frozen veggies, among other things. It was a fun time and I’m to say I’m excited about being away from the D-Hall is such an understatement! I can already tell just from one day of healthier eating my body is thrilled.  For dinner I cooked up a chicken breast and green beans and it was SO good.

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Spent the rest of the evening laying low. took a bubble bath and read more of my book. Watched some TV with gram and made a green smoothie bowl for dessert:)

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Praying for another productive yet chill day tomorrow. I still need to get some Christmas shopping done, and want to finish reading my book. I don’t think I’ll run tomorrow, but I’m definitely going work out. I’m thinking 15 min. of HIIT or jumprope and then working on arms and glutes. My legs are pretty sore, so I think I’ll wait to run again until Saturday.

I’m wanting to really keep up on this blog. Mostly it will be my babble nonsense, but I love writing and I think it’s just a good habit for me to get into, regardless of anyone reading or not:) Tomorrow I’m thinking I’ll post my Ultimate Grocery Guide for anyone who is interested in reading on what kind of foods I’ve eaten to lose weight!

Welp, that’s it for today… I’m off to watch netflix!:)

Things I’ve Left Unsaid

So far on this journey I’ve done my best to make myself very transparent. By doing this I was keeping myself accountable and hoping to inspire others towards a healthy and fit lifestyle. I’ve been avoiding this blog for a long time, but I’m here now to talk about what’s really been going on with my journey to a healthier lifestyle.

When I started losing weight it was like a drug. I never wanted to stop. I was obsessed with the number on the scale and my reflection in the mirror. I let these things define me and my worth, and for the first time I was getting the responses I have always hoped for. The number kept on dropping and my physique was slimmer. I was strong, I was healthy, I fit into the clothes I wanted and I got praised for it daily. My life was right where I wanted it. I was at my peak health and was determined to forever keep it this way. My body had become my everything. My body had become my god. I had health. I had fitness. I had strength. And from the summer of 2012 to 2013 I had dropped 80 pounds and life had never been sweeter.

With my new and improved life, I didn’t need God anymore. Because hey, that’s what the numbers on my clothes and scales were for. Of course, this isn’t something I would have outright acknowledged at the time, but it was exactly where my heart and soul was at.

Let’s fast-forward now to my time here at Northland. I’m just about to complete my second semester and I have never been more at war with my body. When I was overweight, that was simply my reality and I simply accepted it. When I was decided that wasn’t how I was going to live my life anymore I lost weight and achieved my goals on a daily basis. To say Northland has made staying in shape and healthy hard would be the ultimate understatement. Between the insanely processed foods (even the veggies!), the “gym”, and the hardest study workload of my college career, it’s been a tough road maintaining, let alone losing weight. But I’m not here to make excuses. Because trust me, I know excuses mean nothing in the world of losing weight. You either do it or you don’t.. But I digress: that’s not what this post is about. Alright here, let me be honest…

Physically, here’s where I’ve been:

I have gained back 30 of the 80 pounds I have lost. I am no longer in magically one-derland. and I have been destroyed because of this. I hate that I no longer have the freedom to workout like I use to in Memphis. I hate that I don’t get to cook my own meals and do my own grocery shopping. I hate that I don’t have my juicer or blender. I hate that even if I eat “clean” and portioned meals in the dining hall and workout 4 out of 5 days, I STILL gain weight. I hate all of it and I’ve cried more tears over it than I’ve ever wanted to. I’m nowhere I want to be and nowhere near achieving the goals I’ve wanted to this year. I’m frustrated and exhausted. I’ve tried everything and feel like a failure. I hate seeing myself in the mirror and I avoid my scale like it’s the bubonic plague. This year for me physically has been devastating compared to the previous.

Spiritually, here’s where I’ve been: 

I have never been more in love, more grounded, more captivated by Christ. I am blown away with everything I have learned during this past year. With only the help of God I have overcome an addiction, I have loved deeper, forgiven wider, and laughed louder. I read His word with brand new eyes. I am SO in love with Scripture, I can’t get enough of it! I am overwhelmed by Christ and what He has done for me on the cross. I have more of an understanding of what truly matters in life, and I never want to know anything else. Leading worship brings immense amounts of joy to my life and I can’t believe I get the opportunities that I do to help lead here at school and church. I’ve learned to let the Spirit lead and what that truly looks like in my life. I’m learning more theology and doctrine than I ever have and I love it. I can, with full confidence, say that Christ has completely transformed my life this year.

…So where do I go from here?


I wrestle with God. I’m mad because I desperately want to succeed in health and fitness. I love love LOVE working out and eating healthy, but I hate that it’s so difficult to do well here at Northland. So I wish I could run away. I wish I could afford to cook and make all my own meals. I wish it would stop snowing so I could run outside…. But that is not my reality. This is something I must remind myself. I’m in a different season than I was when I was in Memphis and that’s okay.

This is not all to say that I’ve given up working out and eating healthy. But I’ve had a focus shift. I belong to Christ, not to my scale. I find my worth in God, not my reflection. I live daily with the help Holy Spirit and by doing this, I am truly in a better place I have ever been in before. I think maybe this is something God has been waiting for me to see for a long time. If I live my life with the attitude of everything I do brings glory to Him, that must include my workouts. That must include what food I consume. That must include all of me, not just pieces.