Dugouts and Diapers

Jessica Starr Nichols


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Yoga Love

When I began this journey to health last July, I knew I could discipline myself to eat the right foods, but the part I dreaded was the exercise. I’m not the girl who’s going to join a gym and spend hours there each day. That’s not my gig, nor do I have time for that. I enjoy swimming, hiking, riding a bike, and being active in general. What I don’t enjoy is being yelled at why I exercise, forced to do something I don’t enjoy doing, and do anything I don’t have passion for. At that point, it’s just a chore and another stressor in life. So, I was pleasantly surprised when Dr. Bart at Balance 30A never once told me that’s what I would have to do to lose weight.

Now certainly you can lose weight by merely changing the way you eat or having a weight-loss surgery, but simply weighing less doesn’t make you HEALTHY. My goal was to be HEALTHY. I want to live to be old and not take any medicine, like my great grandmother. She was HEALTHY. So, in order to be HEALTHY, exercise was essential, because muscles are essential for posture and movement. Exercise also benefits your mood, outlook on life, helps relieve stress and anxiety, etc… The benefits of exercise and a HEALTHY body are endless.

For the first eight months of my journey, I merely reacquainted my body with moving. I would do jump squats, run in place during a show, and jumping jacks for literally 10-15 minutes/day. That’s literally all my body could handle, but the more weight I lost and the more endurance I gained, my body and my soul wanted more. On March 1, I began 30 Days of Yoga With Adriene, and I LOVED it! It was hard but began to get easier the more I did it. I was also able to do it in my own home, which helped my self-esteem and my bank account. After my first 30 days were up, I did True Yoga With Adriene for another 30 days. I continued to improve physically, mentally, and spiritually so on May 2, I began Yoga Camp With Adriene. It was very challenging, but I stuck with it and continued to grow. I am currently doing Yoga Revolution With Adriene, which is a 31 day series. Needless to say, I’ve fallen in love with this practice.๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธ

I like that yoga is something you can do no matter what your physical capabilities or age. The first public yoga class I attended, the lady behind me was 76 and killin it! Heck, my mom is nearly 63 and teaches spin and yoga and doesn’t take any medicine (BEAST MODE)! Yoga is not hard on your joints and doesn’t push your body to unrealistic levels. Adriene does an excellent job of showing poses at a beginner, intermediate, and advanced level. Mostly I love the way I feel about myself, my day, and life after I practice. I can’t put into words how refreshed and clear your mind is when you finish. The best way I can think to describe it is PEACE. There’s just a peace that comes over you while practicing yoga, and you can’t help but to carry it with you throughout your day.

As I’ve advanced, the 30-40 minute online sessions are no longer enough. So, last month I began adding 3 sets of push-ups/day, and this month, I’ve added 10-20 minutes of cardio as well. Six days a week I jog around my neighborhood and on Thursday, I go to my mom’s spin class at MH Yoga. This isn’t something anyone has made me do. I just WANT to do these things now. It’s funny how the more time you spend thinking positive and renewing your mind and health, your priorities change. Where I once looked forward to watching trash tv (Real Housewives on Bravo) and eating a bowl of ice cream every night, I now wake up refreshed by 6am, can’t wait to hit my mat and get my day started, rarely watch tv, and am ready for bed by 9pm.

In my walk with Christ is where I see the biggest change from doing yoga. Some church-goers have the perception that yoga=worshipping a false god/voodoo. Nothing could further from the truth! If you are a Christian, God will reveal Himself, speak to you, and change you through yoga. It’s a practice that is focused on mental, spiritual, and physical health. The meditation time has been a real game-changer! Not very often do we sit in silence and just LISTEN. I begin my meditation by taking some deep breaths to clear my mind, and then I follow by expressing gratitude to God for all the blessings He’s given me and my family, and then I just ask Him to speak to me. Many times tears will just run down my face, because He reminds me of how much I’m worth and encouraging thoughts come to my mind and fill my body and lead me throughout my day. It’s just that PEACE that I spoke about earlier.

So, if you’ve never tried yoga, I encourage you to give it a go! What do you have to lose? The answer is nothing, but you have EVERYTHING to gain! Don’t put it off until another day. Today is the International Day of Yoga. So, there’s literally no better day to start than NOW! You don’t have to have a mat or a membership to a yoga studio. I did yoga for the first month on my bare living room floors, and there are a multitude of free yoga sessions on Youtube (that’s where I found Yoga With Adrieneโค๏ธ) and Lululemon has a free 20 minute session on their website. I know if you’re a female, you already have the right clothes. I see ya all over town in yoga gear. So, why not do some yoga in those yoga pants?๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ If you’re local and just don’t want to do it by yourself, hit me up! I would love to join you. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I’m thankful for this practice and how it’s helped change me. I’m thankful for my family and friends that have encouraged me. I’m thankful for Adam, my kids, my mom, and my entire Balance 30A family-you all are my inspiration!๐Ÿ˜˜ Most importantly, I’m thankful that every morning when I show up, my God meets me on the mat.๐Ÿ’•

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10 Months Of Keto and 90 Days of Yoga

If you subscribe to my blog or read regularly, you know all about my Keto journey. May 28, marked 10 consecutive months I’ve been at it. If I’m honest, I had really hoped and prayed that I would have already lost 100 pounds by the 10 month mark. I didn’t make it. Of course, as I mentioned a few posts ago, I didn’t lose one single pound the month of April, and with only three pounds lost the entire month, May wasn’t much better either. As a total weight loss, I am down 87 pounds. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m BEYOND proud of myself, but the overachiever perfectionist in me had really hoped for more.Hitting the 10 month mark wasn’t the only milestone I’ve had lately. Today was my 90th consecutive day of yoga! I have fallen in love with this practice!๐Ÿ’• I completed three 30 day online yoga series. First was 30 Days of Yoga With Adriene . Second was True 30 Days With Adriene, and for the past month, I’ve attended Yoga Camp With Adriene. Tomorrow I begin Revolution With Adriene, which is a 31 day series.

This practice has changed me. It has helped calm me, taught me to love my body even its imperfections, encouraged me, challenged me, made me sweat (a lot), and most of all, it has become a quiet place where I talk to God and He talks to me. I certainly have experienced physical changes as well. I’ve lost multiple inches over the last 90 days. The photos on the left were taken 90 days ago, and the photos on the right were taken today. I’m amazed at the visible muscle tone and how much stronger I am! Poses that I couldn’t do on day one are now easy. For example, on day one, I couldn’t even do a side plank, and today I held one on each side for 5 breaths. ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธ

My sweat made a smiley face on my mat today, and I took that as an, “I’m proud of you. Be proud of yourself,” love, God.๐Ÿ˜ŠToday’s mantra was, “It’s All You.” Well, I changed mine to, “It’s All You, God.” As I sat in meditation this morning, I cried as I thought about the last 90 days and even the last 10 months. While I know that I have certainly put in the work to accomplish all that I have, it’s God who sent the right people into my life at the right time to be my TRIBE, and it’s Him that has endowed me with self-control, strength, and determination. I’m just so humbled and proud.๐Ÿ’—

I also have a really big idea that I’m praying about and would love for you to pray about with me. I’ve already reached out to my prayer warrior friends and family about this. I’m so thankful for people I can go to with big ideas and trust to pray over me. So, here’s the big idea…I want to go to yoga teacher training and teach a Christian faith-based yoga to anyone who wants to come, and I even want to go to different churches and shelters to use this as a women’s ministry. It’s really burning in my heart, and I’m praying for the answers of how(it ain’t cheap), when, where, and can this really be SOMETHING. Basically, I just want the opportunity to share the love I’ve found on the mat through this practice with others that may need to feel loved or be encouraged or told that they are good enough. Because of my love of this practice, I can’t explain the emotions that come with this idea. So, thank you for praying with me. Thank you for reading, and if you follow the Dugouts and Diapers Facebook page, you already know that in order to spend more time with my manclan, this summer I will only be posting every other week. If you don’t follow the Dugouts and Diapers Facebook page, you should! Until next time, here’s to month 11 of Keto, the next 31 days of yoga, and a really big idea! Xoxo ๐Ÿ’•


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The Power of a Tribe

Ready to quit….that’s where I was this week! I was ugly crying and just plain DONE! I’m a results person. I’m not the type of person that finds joy in lying around in pjs all day. I feel as if I’ve wasted the day if I haven’t accomplished something. This weight loss journey is the same way! I feel as if it’s just a big ‘ol waste of time when I don’t see results. As I mentioned in Feast Day Favorites and a Little Progress, I didn’t lose one ounce the entire month of April. Well, two weeks ago I weighed and had lost 5 pounds. It was just the energizing motivation I needed. It was RESULTS! Since then I am back to not losing one ounce. To try and encourage myself, I measured. Maybe it was inches I had lost rather than pounds. NOPE! A measly 3/4 of an inch was all! I was so upset and defeated. I cried, prayed, and contemplated quitting. What’s the point of going on if you aren’t seeing results????The point is my TRIBE! They encouraged me and reminded me of where I started. My mom, a staple of my tribe, and the OG of healthy, amazing 62 year olds, sent me these two pictures. The top picture was made on my dad’s boat July 4,2017. Just 24 days before I walked through the doors of Balance 30a and began this life-changing process. I was MISERABLE! I was 300 lbs, a size 24/26, and that dress and the swimsuit underneath were a 2XL. The bottom picture was taken last Sunday on Mother’s Day. That’s my mom in the pic with me! Isn’t she beautiful????๐Ÿ˜ I’m now wearing a 12/14, size Medium T-shirt, and a two piece swimsuit with abs showing! As much as I would like to burn every old picture of myself, I’m thankful for the reminder of where I was and where I never ever want to return. https://jstarrnichols.files.wordpress.com/2018/05/720p.movThe other chief of my tribe is my husband. He made this video of me doing my own yoga flow to my own music, and favorite song of all time. He told me how great I’m doing and how beautiful he thinks I am. ๐Ÿ˜˜He encouraged me to just keep going, and it will all work out. I watch this video, and I’m proud! I’ve done yoga for 71 consecutive days now, and although I notice that the pillows on the couch aren’t straight, and I still can’t pull my leg from 3 legged dog up to a low lunge YET. Mostly I notice the progress and the strength I’ve gained not only over the past 10 months but just over the last 71 days of doing yoga. I know my shoulders and core are sore from doing 3 sets of push-ups each day. So, I can feel the difference. Sometimes you just really want the scales and measuring tape to reflect the work and effort you’ve put in.So, what’s the plan? The plan is to continue logging each set of perfect-form push-ups I can do three times everyday. The plan is to continue doing yoga without missing a day. The plan is to continue eating organic keto no matter how sick and tired I am of spending $250/week on groceries. The plan is to NEVER give up, no matter how long I go without seeing numerical results. The process is hard and long and frustrating at times, but when I see that old picture of myself, I don’t ever want to be that girl again. I want to be better for myself and for my tribe that loves me so well! If you’re venturing down a life-changing path like I am, you’ve got to have a tribe. You’re not going to make it without one. There’s going to be ugly cry, tough days! Let your tribe carry you on those days! If you don’t have a tribe, get one! Find the people in your life that encourage, uplift, and love you! They’re essential to your success.

To my tribe….I love you all! This week would have been failure without you. You make me better.๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป


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Feast Day Favorites and a Little Progress

This week I’m going to give you all a list of my favorite things to eat on feast day. If you aren’t familiar with what a feast day is, it is one day set aside each week to refuel my body with the nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and carbs that have been depleted during my intermittent fasting. Feast Day doesn’t mean rolling up at Chick-fil-A and ordering a number one with a peach milkshake….that was my old go-to treat๐Ÿ˜ฌ. Feast Day is spent fueling my body with whole foods from God’s creation and aiming to eat 75-100g of carbohydrates. I have to say, it’s not easy to go from eating 30g or fewer carbs/day to tripling that in one day. How do you do that without eating foods that are terrible for you? Here’s a few of my favorites…

These Coconut Date Rolls are AH-MAZING!๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜ I limit myself to only two on feast day. They have 14g carbs and 5g of fiber each ๐Ÿ˜ฒ but no sugars except the natural sugars from the dates and coconut, and two is plenty! It isn’t like eating an entire bag of M&M’s and still wanting something sweet afterward. These satisfy and don’t disappoint! You can find them at your local Publix in the produce section.Another favorite is an Organic Sweet Potato. With 24g of carbohydrates and 4g of fiber, this is another great choice for feast day. With the exception of my current obsession with cabbage, I think sweet potatoes are the most delicious veggie God created! Throw a little grass-fed butter on that bad boy and BAM! You have some fine food! I eat the entire thing, skin and all! Love ’em!๐Ÿ’—My newest feast day favorite is Bubly . It’s a naturally flavored water with no sugars or other sweeteners. Just water, natural lemon and lime flavor. ๐Ÿ‹ After not having sugar for nine months, it tastes exactly like a Sprite to me. It’s a nice change of pace from room temp filtered water all the time. Soooooo good! Try it!As far as progress goes, April was one of those months where you just have to stay focused on the end result. I didn’t lose one ounce the entire month, yet I followed all the rules and did everything right. It’s discouraging when that happens. It’s hard to not give up, but my TRIBE, oh my TRIBE….they encouraged me and loved me and listened to me and told me I was beautiful. They are why I kept going! I’m thankful I did, because when I measured at the end of the month, I had lost nearly 7 inches! The pounds may not have changed, but I am continuing to get lean.

The pictures above are befores (pics on the left) from when I began Yoga With Adriene March 1, and afters (pics on the right) from this morning. I just completed my second 30 day yoga series, and I can’t believe the visible changes when I place these side by side! It may not seem like much in day-to-day life, but I’m so thankful I kept the before pics so the discouragement I was feeling from April shows that progress is still being made. Tomorrow I will begin my third 30 day yoga series, and two days ago I added 3 sets of push-ups each day to my fitness routine. Combining these exercises with my 5 days of 16-18hrs of intermittent fasting, 1 day of 24 hours fasting, and one feast day, I have faith that May will render even better results!๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธ

I encourage anyone seeking to make 2018 the healthiest year of your life, keep going! Don’t give up! We all deal with lackluster days, weeks, or months, but don’t lose sight of the BIG picture. Let your tribe know your struggles and let them love you! Have a feast day and move on! Let me know if you try any of my feast day favorites and share some of your favorites for me to try!


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Spring Break Should Never End

I took last week off to spend some much-needed time with my family. It was wonderful! It did my heart good. We usually go on a big vacation at spring break, but since Adam has only been with his new company for six months and because we purchased Banks a car, that wasn’t an option this year. Thankfully, we live a mere 90 miles from Panama City Beach, and my parents had the entire family at their condo to enjoy some quality time together.

This was the morning and evening view from my bedroom, and it was breathtaking! We had two glorious days on my dad’s boat. He even let Banks drive the boat!

The time spent with my manclan, parents, and siblings was a treasure! My body hated leaving them so badly, it broke out into hives…seriously, I got home and eight hours later I had hives from my neck to my toes. I spent three days taking cold showers, drinking tons of water, and rubbing aloe on my body. It was not something I ever want to experience again, but I learned my lesson…next time I will just stay at the beach!๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ–

Apparently one day this week was National Sibling Day. So, here are a few more pictures of my siblings and me and my children from our trip. I’m thankful for siblings that are funny, kind, and my oldest and truest friends. Now, it is well-known that no one can aggravate you like your sibling, but there’s also no one else that will have your back like them either. I’m extremely grateful that despite our differences, we love one another, and I’m beyond thankful that my Banks loves sweet Weston like he does and that Weston adores and admires Banks.

Both boys got a very special invitation to be a part of their Uncle Jud’s wedding this fall! It took Weston a little time and watching a YouTube video to figure out just exactly what a ring bearer does to get on board. At first, he thought he was going to be getting married, and he was NOT happy about that! He told his Aunt Hope, “No, I’m not marrying you!!!”๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ Once we got the role of ring-bearer understood, he was very interested in his very important job. Banks was so thrilled to be a groomsman that he told me on the way home from the beach that he was trying to keep his excitement low-key and that he really hoped that when he gets married some day his Uncle Jud will want to be his groomsman too!๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜˜โค๏ธ We all love Jud and Hope and are so excited to celebrate their wedding later this year.Our trip wouldn’t have been complete without spending a day or two at Balance 30A! My mom and I went to yoga class with my sweet friend Whitney. It was beautiful! It was perfect! My heart was soaring! The love these people have for others has been life-changing for me. I was so proud of myself for being able to complete the class. It wasn’t easy, and every pose may not have been perfect, but I did it, and I enjoyed it! I wish I lived there so I could go everyday! Banks went with me for my checkup with Dr. Bart, and he got to meet the man, the myth, the legend….THE Dr. Bob! Dr. Bob certainly knows an animal lover when he sees one…..he and Banks cuddled on the floor the entire visit.โค๏ธ๐Ÿถ My appointment went well. I had an InBody Analysis done, and the changes on the inside of my body are extraordinary! Since my first InBody back in November, I’ve lost 30 lbs, 3% body fat, and my BMI has dropped 6 points! Dr. Bart put it best…he said, ” You’re a completely different person than you were when you first walked through that door.” He’s right! I am different, and in every way. I’ve learned so much about my physical, spiritual, and mental health. I just feel great, and when I stop and realize I’m not finished yet, I’m astounded!

As far as my regiment and routine for the next 30 days goes, I will of course continue eating Keto with intermittent fasting. This week and next week I’m fasting 18 hours each day with one feast day, and I will say, there is a big difference between the 16 and 18 hour fasting times! I find myself looking at the clock to be able to eat. It’s hard, BUT on Wednesday nights, I’m so flipping excited for feast day on Thursday, I can already taste those eggs and spinach the next morning! I am also doing The Brain Phase portion of True Cellular Detox again. This is to rid my brain of the remaining toxins that weren’t able to make their way out the first time. This is very common, and I can already tell a difference in my mental clarity and the “Brian fog” has definitely lifted. As far as my exercise goes, I am continuing to do Yoga With Adrienne on YouTube. She has another 30 day program called TRUE. I’m loving it. I can see progress there too. This week, I discovered that I can finally hop from plank and downward dog to forward fold!๐ŸŽ‰ It’s certainly more intense, and she gives you a word or thought to meditate on each day. Day 2 was most impactful with the word “Trust”. My family is definitely entering a time where we can’t do anything but trust God, and I’m so thankful for reassurance of with Whom my trust lies. I’m also trusting that I will reach my goals on this health journey. ๐Ÿ’•

So, while I cherished my time off and wish it hadn’t ended, I am TRUSTING that just as lovely times await me and the ones I love. Thanks for reading, and I hope your Spring Break was as great as mine!


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Faith and Fitness

As this weekend represents the foundation of the Christian faith, I want to explain how my journey over the last eight months wouldn’t have made it past one day without help from God.

This morning I completed Day 30 of 30 Days of Yoga With Adriene! Whoop whoop๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธ! I have seen tremendous results this month. This month I lost 10 pounds and dropped 12 5/8 inches. Now, all of that cannot be attributed to just doing yoga. I finally have the understanding of intermittent fasting, and I truly believe not varying from my Ketogenic Diet and powering through intermittent fasting each day (I’m currently at 16 hours of fasting per day) have definitely contributed to a month of fantastic results. I’m going to celebrate my results by spending some time with my family at the beach and attending my friend Whitney’s Vinyasa Yoga class Saturday morning at Balance 30A followed by an appointment with THE Dr. Bart Precourt on Monday morning. I can’t wait! I’m so excited! If you don’t understand the excitement, you clearly haven’t visited Balance before!๐Ÿ’•

When I began this journey eight months ago, I knew that the changes didn’t need to be solely physical. I wanted to be healthy, and physical health is non-existent without mental and spiritual health. I will confidently say these changes are far more difficult than choosing to eat clean and exercise daily. Spiritual changes require you to reprogram yourself to do the opposite what actually comes natural to us as humans. Huh๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ????

As a Christian, I am set apart. I am held to a different standard through my attitude and actions. In Galatians, we are given a list of “fruits” or characteristics ALL Christians should be known by, meaning when a non-Christian encounters us, they should be able to know we possess something they don’t because of these characteristics. As I was studying these characteristics back in July, I fell to the brutal truth that I didn’t exude very many of these fruits. Eye-opener๐Ÿ˜ณ!!!! I began praying for these attributes daily. I wanted to love everyone from every walk of life without passing judgement or trying to understand why they do what they do. I just wanted to share a smile and show love. I wanted to be joyful again. I wanted to be excited for each and every new day and find joy in the small things. Peace and contentment in the place God has me and my family everyday was important for a positive mindset. Patience, boy did I need a big dose of this one! As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a definite Type A personality, and I like a plan and I like for it to be followed right then! So, I’ve been praying for patience with others as well as with this health journey, because becoming healthy certainly doesn’t happen overnight! Kindness, goodness, and faithfulness are ones that I didn’t necessarily struggle with all that much, because anyone that knows me knows I will go above and beyond for others. I definitely possess the gift of helping, and I love performing acts of goodness and kindness for others. The only problem was, I was so busy doing for others that I had forgotten to be kind and good to myself, which is how I ended up at nearly 300 lbs and miserable. Because of all I lived through as a single mom, I genuinely remain faithful. Heck, faith is all that got me through my twenties. Hahahahaha! Gentleness and self-control were certainly two fruits that anyone that met me prior to July would never have seen. Because of growing up in a very direct and matter of fact family not to mention living a life of learning from the hard knocks rather than being rescued, I was rough around the edges. I therefore said things matter of factly, disregarding how it came across or made those on the receiving end feel. I possessed no self-control. I said, did, and ate whatever I wanted. I still pray every single day multiple times a day for these two fruits in particular. I constantly ask forgiveness for anyone I may have hurt through the years. You know, it’s like the old saying goes, “Hurt people, hurt people.” I was hurt from years of failures, wrongdoings from others, a hard life, etc… and so, in return, I hurt people. I still feel shame for many of my attitudes and actions. But there’s good news…All of that shame and wrongdoings were taken care of on the crossโœ๏ธ. This weekend we celebrate a man, my Lord, dying innocently on a cross for me and all my wrongdoings and shame. Man, what a gift! He didn’t just die though, He rose from the grave displaying the fact that as a Christian, I have the promise of life after death in Heaven with Him. I truly can’t wait! My faith is the most important thing in my life. It’s the foundation of my marriage. It’s where I find my instructions for parenting, and it is what I have leaned upon in order to become the best version of myself. I’m thankful for the cross, and I’m thankful for a God that loves me despite my failures. I can’t wait for a weekend of celebrating my Savior with a family that has loved me as He does, and I can’t wait to see how my faith continues to grow through this journey. I can’t wait to be my best version of me!


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Befores and Afters

Changes….whether we are talking about our health, career, having children, etc…change is exciting but it also requires work, lots of it, on a daily basis. I’ve worked incredibly hard the past 8 months to make both inward and outward changes. Today, I have some before and after photos depicting the changes I’ve made. The photo on the left was taken last June, 6 weeks before I walked through the doors of Balance 30A. That visit changed my life! Here I am 8 months later, 75 pounds lighter and more importantly, so much more healthy. I no longer snore, no longer have edema in my feet, no more angina, no cold extremities, no irregular monthly cycles, no abdominal pain, no more skin breakouts, and so much more. For those that regularly read my blog, you know that I’ve been doing 30 Days of Yoga With Adriene. The photos on the left were taken on Day 1, and the photos on the right were taken this morning, Day 22. Could those possibly be the semblance of ABS forming???? ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป. The answer is yes, yes they are!!!! BOOM!!!! Now, I know Sports Illustrated isn’t about to call me about being in next year’s swimsuit catalog (nor would I ever accept), but for someone who 8 months ago couldn’t see her feet over her stomach, abs peeking through is AWESOME!!!!! More than awesome, it is yet another milestone on this journey. It’s fuel to keep going!How was I able to make these changes. Well, the first thing was I had to be vulnerable and ask for help. Once I had my family and the folks at Balance 30A behind me, I felt better, because I felt like, for the first time, someone wanted to help me. Someone was cheering me on! After I asked for help, I made up my mind I HAD TO CHANGE, not only for my physical health but also for my mental health. I was miserable, sad, depressed, emotional, and irate at times. The decision to change wasn’t a one time thing. I have to make that same decision every single day, or I will end up exactly where I started, and I never want to be there again. It’s the choice to exercise everyday, the choice to eat real food from God’s garden that fuel my body, the choice to absolutely not compromise or slack off when the opportunity presents itself. The photo on the top was my go-to favorite ballpark food! I love ballpark nachos with jalapeรฑos!!!! That’s what I ate every night we were at the baseball field the last few years. This year I have chosen to take my supper with me: two boiled eggs and spinach tossed in the juice of a lemon. It’s all about making choices to create the changes.More importantly and more drastically than the physical changes are the spiritual changes. It’s been a time of me having to fully rely on God. I’ve had to face some not so great behaviors and attributes within myself, anger and hurt I was harboring (some of which I’m still combating), loneliness, conceit, and my lifelong habit of finding comfort in food. I’ve prayed 1 Peter 3:3-4 multiple times over the last 8 months. The outward beauty is futile without inward beauty! Instead of coming off as gruff and rough around the edges, I want to encourage and learn to be compassionate. I want to grow from someone treating me poorly rather than retaliate. I want to constantly be reminded that as a Christian, I’m never alone, even on days when I feel like I have one friend in the entire world. I want to be confident yet humble rather than conceited in my knowledge and abilities. Lastly, I want to allow the RIGHT foods to fuel my body and find comfort in the Cross, the Bible, and my family.

So, change…it certainly isn’t easy, but man is it worth it! You just have to make a choice…