What if…

Late night thinking when I should be asleep…
My journey isn’t a temporary journey, it’s a permanent journey. I’m a lifer. I’m in it for life. This isn’t a diet or “let’s do this until I get smaller.”  NO.  As I get closer and closer, stronger and stronger, healthier and healthier- I ponder on the “what if.”
Many of the people I follow on instagram (myheart_in_ink) have weight loss success that began as complete unhealthy & obese people.  Now, they are coaches, nutritionists, teachers or trainers. I can’t help but think, what if that was meant to be my future all along?  What if that fire that burns within me isn’t just for now? Because it isn’t and I know that my goals have changed because I finally believe that I can reach even further longterm goals. This is beauty. Beauty because I once was that girl afraid to set any goal because she feared she wouldn’t be good enough anyways, she failed in her mind before she even took a step. It took a lot to get here. It hasn’t been easy and yes, I still have fears but I’m not afraid to envision myself as a really fit, beautiful inside and out, confident woman of God running after God’s heart. I’m in progress.  I’m not afraid to see myself so confident that I do not care that all eyes are on me, waiting on my direction. I’m not there yet, but I’m closer than I was when I woke up this morning and that means something.  The thought isn’t as overwhelming as it once was.  What if? What if I was so chained down by fears, blinded by unbelief,  addicted to self-comfort and fake smiles that my true calling was hidden, better yet; buried beneath it all?

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The mind truly is a battlefield, we truly do fight fights no one knows nothing about and its with the person between our ears!   Obviously, all of this isn’t visible, it’s all what’s in our heart and head. 
A few weeks back, God showed me a dream that I was giving birth and I thought about it for several days after, until suddenly God said “your dreams are being birthed”. Then I was reminded of what He showed me 2 months ago, and it all clicked.  No, I don’t know EXACTLY what’s ahead, but that’s the beauty of trusting God. In July, I felt as tho I was taking a leap of faith, stepping out onto water, the unknown. I no longer fear the unknown, I just go, trusting that God is clearing my path, with just enough view ahead, while He holds my hand. I am OK with that and I am at peace. I know that it has gotten better and it does get better from here! Keep going, whoever you are and whatever your path is. You’ve got what it takes!
Until next time,
Amanda

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From My Heart

What has been upon my heart over this last week, is this:
Our body matters, our body is a gift God gave us, our body is like a house for all that is within us, our body is sacred and should not be treated with disrespect or sabotage. I pray that the reason why you choose to lead a healthy lifestyle IS NOT because society is telling you that you’re fat. Frankly, society can swallow it’s own judgment. Why? Because choosing to lead a healthy lifestyle isn’t about anybody else BUT YOU. If there is ever a moment that you should act selfishly, it should be to care for your body, because you DESERVE IT. Because YOU’RE WORTH IT. Because love cannot abound to others, truly, until you can act out your love to yourself. Love is an action, do for yourself because you love, respect, cherish, and believe in yourself. Words are just like a breeze passing us by, so saying and doing are two comepletely different things.

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Our body is a temple. Envision your house- do you allow just anything or anyone to enter it? Do you prefer that your house is clean, organized and presentable?  I can imagine that like myself, you do not allow just anything or anyone into your house, and you do prefer that your house is clean and presentable. So goes the same for our bodies. Our body is a keeper of what keeps us alive- think about it- heart, brain, lungs, stomache, kidneys, liver, bladder, intestines, bones, blood, muscles, etc etc.

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  If we put “allow” bad things into our body, are we protecting those things which keep us alive or putting them in harms way? Serious way to think about our bodies, huh? 
Although some deceases are genetic, we can still do our part by using wisdom with  what we eat. Our bodies need the proper nutrients in order to function at it’s maxium potential.  Eating healthy isn’t easy and it’s not always fun, and it’s OK to indulge sometimes, but what we do 80% of the time is what matters most.
Find something that works for you that keeps your body moving- a body in motion promotes longevity. If you desire to live a long life, if you desire to see your children grow up, to be around when your grandkids come along and so forth, make the change today. The people who matter the most to you are counting on you to live your life to its fullest,  to make the hard healthy choices today so you can be there for them tomorrow. Choose today.
Until next time,
Amanda

Growth & new beginnings

Alot has happened in the last several weeks! To begin with, I’ve since begun my own ItWorks Business as of last week!!  I have lost a total of 44 pounds as of today, just 6 pounds away from my first goal!!!  I’m fitting into things that I haven’t been able to wear for 7years at least, even my holloween costume doesn’t fit me right anymore from 4years ago- so much for trying to bring that outfit back!  I’ve faced a couple tough decisions, and had to make choices that didn’t make sense to me, but were the right choices.
There are things I’ve had in my heart for years that God planted there, that I have wanted so badly for the time to come, and now is the time it seems!  I have been in awe and suprise that things are actually happening and it’s because I chose to do what I knew was right. So often in life, God will ask something of us, that is of course, a betterment to ourselves, but until we finally obey and do what He’s asked, we won’t see what’s in our heart come to pass!  What we want is possible, but often, we have some growing to do prior to God giving us what we asked for. I know without a shadow of a doubt that everything happening in my life is a product of my obedience and doing what I’ve always known I was supposed to do. For me, it is getting healthy and treating the body He gave me with respect and honor. To honor my body, I must feed it right, keep it hydrated and moving. Most importantly, He needed me to love my body, even in it’s transitional stages. It’s required alot of self-discipline, patience (with myself), and forgiveness (with myself)… fruits of the spirit!  How can we practice those fruits in life, if we can’t practice it with ourselves?   It has been more than a weightloss journey, more than a wellness journey, it’s been an awakening, alertness and awareness of myself.  Being able to identify an issue/feeling/thought/action and seeing the truth. Then, in identifying the truth behind it, I set it straight with what the word of God says. For example, 3 weeks ago, I admitted to a friend that I had difficulty in an area. She was giving me testimonies of how God has worked and I saw the truth behind my issue. Fear. Yes, fear, again!! That little stinker!  I was making a decision out of fear. I’ve made the decision to not let fear rule my life, that fear will not win, so I have since made the mindset change, and God has been showing up even more ever since!!

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The new things in my life, teaching and running a business, do scare me some- but I refuse to be bound and stuck. God’s plans are to prosper me in this life, but if I let fear be my ruler, how will I ever prosper? I won’t. To prosper, I must move forward. To prosper, I must use the fear as a stepping stone. I am capable of so much, but it’s up to me to believe it and move with faith. Faith and fear cannot co-exist!
Until next time,
Amanda

Words of encouragement

Don’t doubt My work
Your time has come, trust.
Stay humble, baby girl.
Humility comes before honor.
Don’t be saddened by the way it’s come about, it’s My hand at work! Everything the enemy means for evil, I take it and create something good, something wholesome, something worthwhile! Continue to stay alert, continue to see thru My eyes- Seeing the real truth
I’ve saved you, remember, the first will be last and the LAST shall be FIRST!  It’s ok.
You’re gonna be ok,
YOU’RE GONNA DO GREAT!!
Don’t be scared, I’m with you!
I’m guiding you through the  untread waters,
I am your eyes, I am your hands, I am your feet, I am your heart, I am.
Remember, do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent- silence is no more.
I love you. I love you dearly. My precious, wonderful, sweet, loving child. You can do this, and you will. I’m helping you, I Already equipped you, you’re right on!

Acknowledging Fear

An opportunity has been presented to me and want to know the truth?  I’ve been avoiding anything that has to do with it… but today, after being asked yet again, I had to self-evaluate. Why am I acting this way? Why do I feel as tho I’ve stopped breathing and my heart has sunk to my stomach? The answer came so clearly, “because I’m scared”.  Wow. As I felt that truth ring through, I saw that conquering our fears are often alot like an addict’s first step: admitting to thier addiction. I had to acknowledge the specific fear…. and ask, “why am I scared of this?” The answer? Because I’m afraid that I’ll fail & do not know enough… as if I’m unknowledgeable of this particular thing. What if that fear is just an imaginary wall I’ve just set up inside my head? Because staying where I’m at is safe, while stepping out and taking on more responsibility is what I’m destined for but I’m holding myself back….because “I’m scared”. 
I remember years ago when this opportunity was just a “maybe, one day, but I don’t think so” and suddenly it’s become a reality and I’m the only one on the verge on turning my own dreams down? What is it with self-sabotaging and fear of failure? My whole life, bound by fear of so much, being fed that I was destined to be a failure all my life….
I am so thankful to be at a place that I am recognizing those fears, and putting them where they belong- Beneath me. So, I may be scared to death and I may not have a clue how I’m gonna do it, but I have to trust that the person asking this of me is only doing so, because it’s finally time.

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I know that God has so much planned for me to do in this life and alot of it, I am afraid of!!!  These things, I am wholeheartedly passionate for, all the more reason for me to push. We can’t ever enter into greatness if we’re too comfortable staying small!  Until next time,
-Amanda

Enjoy Your Season Before It Changes!

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I once read that we should thoroughly enjoy our single life while we can, because, once the right one comes along, well, before you know it, you’re married. The time of being single is a blessing from God but so many of us fail to gather that LOVE from God, so we still desire a person to be with in our life to get that “love”. We then become ungrateful for such a precious time God has given us…and, without realizing it, we’ve put our preparation time on pause because we seem to think our plans are better than God’s plans for us. I know, I know, that’s harsh- but the truth. How do I know? Because I’ve made the mistake before, and 2 of those times my heart got a lil too involved… so I added unneeded pain to my life. Of course, God is ever patient, loving and forgiving, so He’ll heal what’s hurt. What happens every time we put our preparation time with God on hold? WE PROLONG THE WAIT for the real man of God that He has for us!  To think, that if I had just let God prepare me 4, 5 or 6 years ago- I very well could have been married already! It’s all our choice.
I have to remind myself daily that I’m in preparation mode, I’m being prepared. Like Esther was prepared before she was brought to the king. We’re just like that. How am I being prepared?  I’m focusing on me, doing life for me, learning myself, accepting and fully loving myself. We must be whole beings ourselves before God can bring our spouse to us!  Two halves of people DO NOT make a whole when you come together, why? Because God is who completes us FAR before any man should be in the picture. A man isn’t what completes us. Having a mate is an addition to our life, a blessing, a new level of life. It’s not just about the fact that, “oh, yay, I can have sex now”, sure, that’s a great thing to look forward to but if that’s a focal point, it ain’t gonna work baby, cuz your goals are wrong!  Marriage is on a whole other level, it requires more love, patience and forgiveness  than the amount that we have right now… There’s no such thing as a perfect marriage, there’s always going to be ups and downs, just like life itself is filled with ups and downs. If we’re not ready for it, we’ll be one of the ones to “give up” so easily. So, I’d rather wait until God says I’m ready, and when that day comes, will be the day that my spouse is also ready too. Yeah, I’m 28. That doesn’t bother me. A very close friend, who’s like a big sister to me, didn’t get married until she was 35! Guess what? That gives me reason and hope. I’m not worried, and you know what else? I bet if I fully surrender in this prep mode, the process just may go quicker!  However, I am thoroughly enjoying every moment of this season. Knowing that it’ll only come once, I am enjoying it all. All the alone time that I currently love? Yeah… I won’t have so much when I’m married, even further, next to none when I have my kids! So, I’m not in a rush, I am basking in the beauty of being single.
Since I’ve been getting fit and healthy, I’ve very recently (in the last 2wks) been experiencing more “attention”  and, can I just say, IT’S ANNOYING! 
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Lol, I was at lunch just yesterday with a friend and our waiter was hitting on me! Definitely not used to all that mess. I know, it comes with the territory, but I don’t know how to handle it in the way that God would have me deal with it!  God will show me, I’m sure of it, but it’s moments like that when I throw in a mental reminder to get my eyes back on track.
No man is worth my time if He doesn’t first love God from the depths of his soul, and I mean ACTIONS. Don’t feed me words, words are nothing but wasted air unless backed up by actions. In the beginning of 2014, I knew I wasn’t ready for a relationship but I wanted to stay in it, so did he. Things crashed quickly because we WEREN’T READY. Whether or not that’s who God would have for me or not, doesn’t matter right now. It’s honestly, none of my business at this point in my life. I am happy to say that, he and I are pretty good friends right now, but I had to heal for about 2 months first. If I had just waited, and said no, I would have saved myself the extra hurt. So, I don’t know about you, but I am throwing a party of 1 for as long as I can, cuz this season will be changing soon and I wanna be ready when it comes. Until next time,
Amanda.

Words: either life giving or to death- choose wisely!

No one can make you do it. The only excuse holding you back is you.

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I was the girl who had a sea full of excuses, and those excuses were rooted in fear. I didn’t want to try because I thought I couldn’t do it, because I thought I’d fail anyway, because I believed the lies inside my head. I allowed the unknown to leave me complacent in life, unbeknownst to me, literally BOUND by fear. I believed I wasn’t deserving of good things, of treating myself as one who deserved the goodness of life.
Despite my beliefs and relationship with God, I was still tangled up by the lies and roots of all I was ever told as a child. Never tell your child anything negative about themselves- YOU are molding thier definition of self. It’s the most difficult thing to break out of and rebuild, don’t do it. Love your children no matter how many horrible things they do. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS believe the best, have faith, let your words be full of life, love and encouragement. I know what it is to be bashed by your parents words. It’s horrible.
So, today, choose life, not just in how you live, but in WHAT you speak. It begins with our thoughts, not everything that runs through our brain is true! Some of it is rooted in fear- fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of success etc etc… The battle truly begins in our mind, and IF we can filter out the negative, then what comes out of our mouth will be life giving. Whether it be words and beliefs of your ability OR to a loved one. Our words are so vital to our success or failure. If you don’t believe in yourself from the beginning, then you’ve already failed. You ARE capable.
You ARE smart. You CAN do whatever you put your mind to. Believe that it’s possible, and for myself, I rely not on my strength, but God’s. It is truly through Him that I can do anything, and He is the ONLY reason why I’ve been able to do this. So, so, SO many times my thoughts got in the way!!  I prayed that God would send help my way, not just his supernatural strength, but people. People that are hands, feet and mouthpieces for God- He sent me 2 people. How do I know that they’re Heaven sent? Because I didn’t know either of them before I began the journey to a healthy me. I began the journey, I prayed and there they were. I’m so thankful for them, I can’t even begin to explain!  Ha. Well, until next time,
-Amanda

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

Loving ME

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It’s so crazy that even tho God forgives us and puts aside our sins, we still hold them over our own head. As if to punish ourselves, at least that’s how I’ve always been with myself. Being nice, patient, forgiving, accepting and loving to ourselves should be so important. However, I don’t know about you, but for me, I’m horrible with myself! They say “we’re our own worst critic” and, it is so true. How can someone love me, if I don’t love me? How can I love someone else fully if I dont love myself fully? Sometimes, our outward reactions to people are mere reflections as to how we feel about ourselves. Why though? Why is it that other people have to take the brunt of it, when it’s really an inner thing that we’re unhappy with? Outward change won’t be successful without first beginning on what’s on the inside. Deal with the heart issues. Dare to question yourself. Learn yourself, and grow to love who you are in the time being, love your body while it’s changing. Treat yourself with utmost respect and love. Let me tell you, it’s not an easy road but it’s what you need to do. However and whatever that means for you. For me, my biggest thing is getting healthier. I used my weight over the last 7 years to hide behind, I didn’t want the gawks by all those dirty men, I wanted to be hidden because I was hurt and used by all the wrong people in my past. It sickened me and I stereotyped certain nationalities because of it. Just being honest!  However, through all that hiding, I was doing more than building a fatty wall, I was putting myself through more and more pain, slowly killing myself and choosing to be satisfied with it. I allowed everything in life to just move on a treadmil. Going, going, going, going, but no destination. Countless times putting a smile on and lying so well that I was “happy” that I actually believed it myself. So, when I turned 28(just a few months ago) there was a switch, an alert that went off and my limit had been reached. God told me it was time to come out of hiding, even at that time, I didn’t grasp the exact meaning of it, I knew somehow, it was time for some serious change. It was time I started to love myself how He loves me, flaws and all, as I am and to wake my faith back up and remind myself it was time to dream again, time to have some goals. I had to tell myself it was ok to do so, ok to dream, to release that fear, to reach out again, believe again. This Journey is NOT easy, BUT I am loving every moment. God has placed people in my life to help me, and some of these people don’t even realize that God is using them. It’s not alot of people, but I am ever greatful for each and every one, whether they’ve been in my life for years, or if they just barely came in my life within the last few months. Here’s to loving ME, and letting the real Amanda, who God truly created to shine, to blossom.

You Are My Lesson Learned

It’s still not easy, but, if what happened hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have been awakened to things of which I was once asleep to. So, in an odd and weird way, thank you.

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Some things I’ve learned:
-When you have people in your corner (that love you deeply and root for you) that point out red flags in people or situations, DON’T brush it off. They obviously have wisdom and discern something that you don’t! Unfortunately, I brushed it off and had to see it for myself, which also came along with some hurt.
-What’s from God will never come in a rushed manner because if it’s a forever thing, why rush anything?
-What may seem like it’s everything you ever wanted, may just be a DISTRACTION.
-Don’t be so quick to think you’re ready, if the rest of your life isn’t put together.
-“Loose lips sink ships”, so goes the same as smooth words to the ear. Actions speak louder than words!
-God truly DOES know the desires of our heart, if the package is in the wrong wrapping paper, than it’s probably not yours!