Thursday, June 21, 2012

I Came to You First

I've been struggling. Struggling with, so much. And in the midst of all of this, I've been struggling the most, with my faith--or lack thereof. You see, when everything in your life feels like it's falling apart, the one thing that should keep your head above water is your trust that there is something, SOMEONE who is there, holding you up, keeping you afloat. Someone who will not let you be consumed. Throughout my life I've had that confidence, although there have been plenty of times that that confidence has wavered. And there have been several times that I've been low--really low--and that faith brings me back.

This time, oh this time, felt so bleak and empty. I don't know that I've ever felt this low, this depressed, this anxious, this panicked, and all of my tricks, all of my tactics to comfort myself failed me. I turned to God, I turned to my faith, and it felt like he wasn't there. It felt like all these times of wandering away, choosing other things--myself and what I wanted to do namely--resulting in God throwing his hands up and saying "I'm done." That feeling, was the worst thing that I've ever experienced. Thinking that he was no longer listening, that I went to far, that he wanted nothing to do with me--completely terrifying, and lonely.

In my head, I knew this wasn't the case. In my heart, I was broken, desperate, fearful. In Hawaii I felt like I was being told "go back to the basics." But again I was fearful because I didn't want to make the wrong step. My biggest fear in my faith is missing the point--missing what God is actually doing because I'm so focused on being "christian." I didn't want to go through the motions but have it mean nothing. I didn't want to take theses "steps" just to realize that I, as I put so eloquently in my journal, "missed the mark." But I thought, 'What else can I do? I have nothing, I feel nothing but fear and desperation.' Some days were good, but most days I woke up with that pit, that anxiety, that fear of dying and forever being separated from what I know is good and true. And that previous sentence delves into some fear and anxiety that will need it's own post--but that's what I was feeling.

These past two and a half weeks I've been reading, journaling, and praying. Doing the basics, and feeling woefully inadequate and still a bit fearful. This morning, I decided to make myself breakfast--a bagel, sliced apple, tea, water--the whole works. And I sat down and listened to the sermon that we were going to be talking about tonight in community group. And I'm writing furiously because he's talking about showing up, and how important that is, but that we can't think we're finished, that we have to press further. He's talking about how important discipline is--and that we shirk discipline because when we do stuff that we don't want to do, it feels "inauthentic." And aren't we all about the authentic experience, and being true to how we FEEL. (Let me tell you my feelings are COMPLETELY crazy and irrational sometimes.)

And he talked about how our efforts do not equal revelation from God. But he said that we we press in, we are better able to see how God is already revealing himself and present in our everyday lives. He talks about how when we come, God is there blessing or "kneeling" before us. That in his profound self confidence, he kneels down and comes to us again and again. In my mind, it evoked this picture of a father kneeling before his kids. And he said in all of this, God says 'I came to you first.' And when he said that, my whole heart--heavy with despair began to lift. He came to me first. He humbled himself, died for me, loved me more completely and totally that I ever thought I could be loved. All of these fears of not being good enough, him leaving me and giving up on me, were completely unfounded. And the re-realization of this, just relieved all of the fears that have plagued me for the better part of a month. He came to me first--and he will always come for me.

At this point I was weeping, and of course, the perfect song for everything that I was feeling came to my mind and I just had a good cry, feeling really enveloped by his grace, his love, and his goodness. God is good, he is faithful, and he is perfect in his relationship with me. I want to continue to press in, and be conscious (probably never perfect) in my relationship with him as well.

"I thought I had seen the end, everything broken--but you were there. I've wandered at heaven's gates; I've made my bed in hell--You were there, still." Gungor, You Have Me

Monday, February 13, 2012

left brain/right brain?

Took this test twice. First with my original answers. Second with my "second guess" answers. I feel like I'm a combo of the two :) Go figure!

Auditory : 40%
Visual : 60%
Left : 46%
Right : 53%

Tiffany, you possess an interesting balance of hemispheric and sensory characteristics, with a slight right-brain dominance and a slight preference for visual processing.
Since neither of these is completely centered, you lack the indecision and second-guessing associated with other patterns. You have a distinct preference for creativity and intuition with seemingly sufficient verbal skills to be able to translate in any meaningful way to yourself and others.
You tend to see things in "wholes" without surrendering the ability to attend to details. You can give them sufficient notice to be able to utitlize and incorporate them as part of an overall pattern.
In the same way, while you are active and process information simultaneously, you demonstrate a capacity for sequencing as well as reflection which allows for some "inner dialogue."
All in all, you are likely to be quite content with yourself and your style although at times it will not necessarily be appreciated by others. You have sufficient confidence to not second-guess yourself, but rather to use your critical faculties in a way that enhances, rather than limits, your creativity.
You can learn in either mode although far more efficiently within the visual mode. It is likely that in listening to conversations or lecture materials you simultaneously translate into pictures which enhance and elaborate on the meaning.
It is most likely that you will gravitate towards those endeavors which are predominantly visual but include some logic or structuring. You may either work particularly hard at cultivating your auditory skills or risk "missing out" on being able to efficiently process what you learn. Your own intuitive skills will at times interfere with your capacity to listen to others, which is something else you may need to take into account.

Auditory : 40%
Visual : 60%
Left : 58%
Right : 41%

Tiff, you are somewhat left-hemisphere dominant and show a preference for visual learning, although not extreme in either characteristic. You probably tend to do most things in moderation, but not always.
Your left-hemisphere dominance implies that your learning style is organized and structured, detail oriented and logical. Your visual preference, though, has you seeking stimulation and multiple data. Such an outlook can overwhelm structure and logic and create an almost continuous state of uncertainty and agitation. You may well suffer a feeling of continually trying to "catch up" with yourself.
Your tendency to be organized and logical and attend to details is reasonably well-established which should afford you success regardless of your chosen field of endeavor. You can "size up" situations and take in information rapidly. However, you must then subject that data to being classified and organized which causes you to "lose touch" with the immediacy of the problem.
Your logical and methodical nature hamper you in this regard though in the long run it may work to your advantage since you "learn from experience" and can go through the process more rapidly on subsequent occasions.
You remain predominantly functional in your orientation and practical. Abstraction and theory are secondary to application. In keeping with this, you focus on details until they manifest themselves in a unique pattern and only then work with the "larger whole."
With regards to your career choices, you have a mentality that would be good as a scientist, coach, athlete, design consultant, or an engineering technician. You can "see where you want to go" and even be able to "tell yourself," but find that you are "fighting yourself" at the darndest times.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Grown Up

It just hit me as I was walking into my living room and sitting down, that I actually feel like a grown up. I feel like my life is under control, that I'm making positive choices and steps in my life, and that I have a great base of friends and family. I think that it's a realization that's been coming on as I've contemplated moving to Hawaii. I am doing a great job on my own. And it feels good. I feel like I'm more grateful, more aware, more active. I love my life, and I love the people in it. It's a very interesting feeling, but I think I like it :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nothing Feels Better Than Doing It

And not that kind of doing it ;) Haha just kidding. I've been dreading my weigh in, dreading what it would be like to start running again and ultimately dreading starting this process again. I was so ashamed of where I had let myself get...back into the 220s, not running at all, eating terribly. I was really ashamed of the fact that I pretty much gained all of that weight in the last 2.5 months of 2011. I had all of these plans, all of these desires, all of these goals...and somehow they just fell to the wayside and instead of losing 15 lbs, I GAINED 15 lbs. Shame spiral 101.

And then I weighed myself. I did it, and came face to face with a number I NEVER thought I'd see again. Back in 2010, I waved goodbye to the 220s, 210s, and said peace out. Well, 226 hello. But I did it, and something in me said, "this is not me. this is not right. I'm better than this." I don't WANT to be better than this, I AM better than this.

So I planned out my meals. I went grocery shopping. I researched "flexitarianism" (basically a plant based diet with occasional meat) and knew it was for me. I did my yoga last night, and I went to bed so that I could get 7 hours of sleep and wake up early in the run.

I was dreading this run. This was the girl who ran a 5k every month for a year then a 10k this past September. Dreading running. This is not who I am. I ate an apple, drank a bit of water, did my morning reading, and felt like I was going to throw up. I was literally gagging a bit over the toilet (sorry for the TMI), I think it was nerves, but also eating just an apple. Whatevs. Then I got out there.

I went to the track...where it all started in summer of 2010. Where I couldn't even run 1 lap. Where I did pretty much all of my C25k training.  And I started to run. I told myself I would at least do 1 mile, but would do 2 miles if it went well. Well, let me tell you, it was so good. It was like...I don't know the reuniting of peanut butter and jelly. Me and running just GO together. Seriously. It was so perfect. There was a light, off and on drizzle, I had the whole track to myself basically, and I ran. I ran at a good pace, and I KILLED that two miles, and felt like I could have done a whole 5k no problem.

I didn't, because I want to get back into the groove without hurting myself, but I did intervals on the way home and ran the last half mile home. It was amazing. All that anxiety, dread, and complacency all dashed by one thing--taking action and just DOING it.  My running goal this year of doing a 15k this year without stopping? I'm doing it. My goal of eating healthy, whole, CONSCIOUS food? I'm doing it. My goal of losing 60 lbs? I'm doing it. Nothing, nothing, feels better than doing it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Weigh In

Ok, this is one of the hardest things that I've had to do, because it's essentially admitting that I've messed up. And admitting that, to the general public, and whoever reads this blog, is humbling. Really humbling. But I've decided that this year will be a year of honesty, transparency, and really opening myself up to people. So here it goes. I've gained...20 lbs over the last year. And most of it happened in the past 2 months. How did this happen you ask? Overindulgence. Laziness. Not exercising.

Really that's it. I haven't kept up good habits, and I haven't been really watching what I put in my body. And to be honest, I've been watching, but not caring what I put in. And that's what really bothers me. So I'm starting fresh. It's the beginning of the year, and I want to try to be 160 by the end of the year. That's essentially 60 lbs, ok, maybe more like 65. But I'm not going to get there by mourning the weight that I gained, or sitting around pouting about it. I'm going to get there by picking myself up, readopting the habits that I KNOW I can do, and believing in myself.

Weigh In
1/9/2011: 226.2

Eat 3 vegetarian meals this week
Run 3x this week
Yoga 2x this week


I have decided to become a Flexitarian. What is that you say? It's a person who eats a mostly plant based diet but has meat every once in awhile. After having a FANTASTIC tofu-broccoli stir fry, I'm convinced that this whole "trying new things" and "having at least 3 vegetarian meals a week" is a great idea. And after researching some vegetarian meals, I'm more than convinced. I'm so excited to try out my new recipes.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Inspiration & Motivation

"It's all about self-motivation because at the end of the day, you can have all the trainers and all the money in the world, but if you don't have that mindset, it's not possible." Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson has always been gorgeous to me. Curvy, beautiful, and talented. I always said I'd rather look like Jennifer Hudson rather than Jennifer Aniston. Now here she is, with 80 lbs lost and she went from, as Tim Gunn said "stunning to staggering." She is beautiful at any size, and I love how she said she's always been comfortable with her body, but acknowledges the changes and differences that come with her slimmed down look.

Watching her on the Oprah show (I know I'm behind) really inspired me. She's totally right about the self-motivation. Only I can set a goal and stick to it, and really know what I want. It's a mindset thing, and if I want it, really want it, I can get it.

I want, to be a size 8. Seriously. Just once in my life as an adult I want to be a one digit size. I want to be scared and say size 10, but I'm going to go for it. I've accomplished SO MUCH. I can do this. Whatever comes first, 50 lbs or size 8. I'm going for it. 

I want, to run a half marathon. I want to be a runner and my ultimate goal is a half marathon. 

I want, to run 15 miles a week by the end of the year.  That's really only a 5k every day. But I'd ideally like to run only 3-4 days a week.

I want, to hold a plank for 2 minutes by the end of March. Seriously ya'll, I'm getting my upper body TONED. 

I want, to eat healthy, whole, yummy foods, and to be open to appreciating foods I don't normally like. 

I want, to learn how to sew my own clothes. And when I get smaller, I'll need less fabric :)

I want life in every word to the extent that it's absurd. Seriously. I do. 

"It's our choices, Harry, that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities." Albus Dumbledore