Widen Your Horizon

Being the new year, I decided to do an instagram clean-up (myheart_in_ink) and I couldn’t help but be astonished at how far I’ve come not just physically, but mentally and spiritually over the last 8 months.  Life is definitely NOT the same. Eight months ago, the things I’ve tapped into were not even a question, let alone did I even BELIEVE that I was capable or deserving of these things.  I am beyond grateful for how far I have come in this journey to wellness & as each day passes, that fire, that passion within keeps burning more and more.  Now, I’m to the point of truly having goals that are far to reach, but are not impossible whatsoever.

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Through this journey, I’ve had many question and doubt but my life is far too important than to choose to stumble on what others think I should and should not be doing. This, after all, is my life- following after God’s heart. So, if I make a mistake, that’s a learning opportunity and a chance to get better and try something new. I even lost a few people along my journey, and I’m 100% happy with it. I learned a hard lesson a few weeks ago, not everyone in your life is for you- sometimes those “haters” are the closest to us. Sad right? But truth. When you begin to move in and towards your purpose, those “friends” will fall away- because you’re progressing, doing something right, and they’re not.

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It is so foreign to me to even have someone jealous of my progress. It sounds wrong!  Thing is, when you have a vision, you’ve got to go for it anyways, no matter who says what.

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So, with that said- here’s what’s been on my heart the last week and a half-
My passion for dance has ALWAYS been there. I began dance when I was 3 1/2 years old- ballet, tap dance, gymnastics. Somewhere along the way, life happened, the good and the ugly, I got older and insecurities set in, belief that I was not capable of greatness was engraved in my brain and that love got buried- almost to the death of it. Junior & senior year came and I took 2years of dance. I choreographed our dance for our group final & our dance teacher begged me several times to join the dance team BUT I had to turn it down due to my parents.  So then, I graduated- and life got REALLY bad- I spiralled down real quick doing anything and everything, my life was without boundaries or sound judgement- because I just didn’t care anymore, I believed my life was pointless. I became an object, something to be used but never a keepsake.  My view of men was so messed up and I began hiding behind my weight so I wouldn’t get all those looks and whistles. It disgusted me- but that disgust was rooted in bitterness and unforgiveness. I was angry and I took the victim role, I was broken. Gaining and gaining, all the while being controlled by fear.  Sure, I accomplished a few things over the years, but it was like fighting tooth and nail with myself. New mindsets would never stick because who I was told I was (a failure) was too engraved in my brain.  Many people gave up and said I was a lost cause. Only one person stuck it through, and I gave her hell, lemme tell you!  My best friend, my pastor, my big sis.  Several times in the past, I had the typical “I can do this” spurts and they were progress short lived because I was still chained by fear. I didn’t believe I was worthy of anything great. I believed I deserved a life of complacency, a life on a treadmill- going but never getting anywhere. I was afraid to try. Afraid to dream. Afraid to fail.  Dreaming made me want to hyperventilate!   Then I turned 28. Everything within me was awakened and I felt an urgency to move, to go forward, it was time to come out of hiding. I didn’t know what it all meant at first, but I knew I had to run and never look back. Zumba was and still is a legit answer to prayer- but as the months passed, it became more than that. My passion for dance came Alive again. As if my passion for it wasn’t enough, I went on an all dance-type movie binge one night about 2wks ago, right before Christmas. It was then that a new dream was birthed. I don’t just want to be a size 14 or size 12…. That no longer is my tentative end goal. I want a dancer’s body. Yeah. I said that. No, I don’t want to be a size 4. What I am saying is that, I want to be fit. I want to be able to move with agility and grace, to be sharp on my moves, and my endurance twice as what it is now. I want those toned arms and abs. Yeah, that’s a lot for someone who was once pushing 300 lbs- but it isn’t impossible. That, my dear readers, is a miracle. That I am finally able to dream that big & to believe it’ll actually happen.

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Every time I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror, I ask myself “who is that girl?”…. My mind is changing but at a slower pace then my body is. I’m getting there!  Sometimes I still think I’m much bigger than I am- but tonight I saw my old pics in a different light- “wow, I WAS a lot bigger there!”, that is a step in the right direction & yes, I’m proud of myself for finally seeing the change rather than being highly unsatisfied with my amazing progress.

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So, this passion is woven in my veins- it’s not something that will go away. What I thought could be true a few months ago, I have realized and accepted as truth. Part of my purpose is wrapped in this passion- what 2015 holds for me, I believe, is a year of being fearless, having courage & love. What all that entails- I don’t know yet, but I’m moving full speed ahead, I know that if I thought that God blew my mind in 2014, then 2015 is going to be an explosion!

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I am fired up and by the end of 2015, I’ll be looking back, as a completely different person. Ever changing, moving forward, living fearlessly.

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Until next time,
Amanda 😘

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Dream Again!

As I sit here doing some research into what will one day become a goal accomplishment, I find myself stretching that ability to dream again. Right now, this goal seems reachable BUT will require even more discipline than what I have going now. I’m still not entirely able to wrap my comprehension around one day having the ability to do what I so desire to do. I stop to think, what if, my whole life, just as God knew the plans He would have for me, that so has the enemy?  I believe it to be true. With that said; what if my whole life- obstacles and certain things happened in attempt to permanently block me from one of the things I was made to do in this life? What if?? Then I am reminded of the scripture “For I know the plans that I have for you, plans of good and not of evil, to prosper you and not to harm you” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Here’s another area that God is challenging me to dream in- my finances. God says I’m supposed to prosper in His plans. There’s a new avenue in my life that’s opened up, that I’ve honestly been afraid to take seriously. Not because I don’t care about it, but because it all boils down to the lie of  “I’m not good enough, I’m not deserving of good things”. But all I hear in my spirit is “PLANS TO PROSPER YOU, AMANDA”

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So, is it time to stretch that dreaming?  Let myself dream some more, outside of my fitness goal? To let it reach into my finances?  To take another leap of faith and use that fear as more stepping stones? Is it time to take this opportunity serious? Yes. I say yes.
They say do it afraid, but I always thought that term was stupid… until now. I now understand what it is to “do it afraid”.  It means use that fear, step on it and accomplish what you need to accomplish. Do it anyways.
So, dream again. If you’re already dreaming, dream some more. Life is what you make it, we’re the only ones limiting ourselves in this life. Know that it really isn’t too late and whatever time you feel has been lost, know that God will restore that time to you. Take risks. Be adventurous. Do what you’re passionate about and thrive. Go above and beyond. Push yourself. Dream again!
-Amanda

Step on your fears, they’re stepping stones to your dreams

Some update as to my life in the last 2 weeks:
I made a leap of faith by choosing to do a detox, which I was scared to do, but I did it anyways. I made myself accountable to a couple of people, in which I was also scared to do. I broke up with food, meaning, I literally got rid of all the fake, perservative-filled, sugar-filled foods. This was the most difficult thing I’ve done, it took me by surprise how hard it was to do. I didn’t realize how connected I was to food!  I kid you not, I cried. Yes, I cried. I was scared to do this too, so many fearful thoughts ran through my head as I put everything in a bag for charity. I did it anyways. I knew I deserved this. You know what? I don’t regret it, and I am happier and healthier today because of it. Another thing that’s happened,  I chose to dream again. Yes, dream.  Upon having a deep convo with my friend (also my health coach), I chose to dream big. Maybe the dream isn’t so huge now that I’ve accepted it, but at first, I felt like I was so underqualified and undeserving that my goal at hand seemed out of reach!  I’ve also chosen to stand strong when people I love question my actions in regard to my health journey. I always used to be the person that cared too much about others oppinions. God’s approval is all we need! This also was a difficult choice. I cannot believe the amount of things that have happened in so short of time, and how much I’ve grown. Since making my first blog, and embarking on this journey full speed, I have lost 17+ lbs total and many inches. Since doing the detox and clean eating, as well as incorporating Zumba (my fav!), that’s where most of the weight dropped, about 10lbs of it! Why? Because I chose to step on that fear and used it to get closer to my goals. Had I not stepped out, I wouldn’t be as far as I am today. You know what else? Doing what’s right for you and feeling good about yourself enables you to show love to others. In the past, I was always a funny, bubbly person- when I wanted to be, which wasn’t all the time. Because I am loving myself, I can truly be a voice to other people. I am astonished at the people that are inspired by me- ME! This girl!
So, I say today, LOVE YOURSELF. do what you love. ACCEPT yourself.  Trash all the negative thoughts in your head and replace them with God thoughts, of how wonderful you are. We cannot be the change we wish to see if we don’t first work on our inner being. Do what makes you happy, and thrive on it. Stay focused and stand your ground.  Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. Refuse to make self-sabotaging moves. Step on that fear that’s holding you back, do it afraid!!  Life is what you make it, don’t let it pass you by!
-Amanda