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Monday, 17 August 2015

a Journey of Health

About two years ago 
            I began a journey of intentionally becoming 
                more healthy
                                                                -and physically.

I do not know that I will ever arrive at any standards that the world calls me to strive for, but I am feeling more healthy than I have felt in a very long time.

When I lived in Europe, women knew they were beautiful no matter what size or shape they were. They in general walked with the confidence that they knew they had feminine power (beauty and grace and strength) no matter if they were in a winter coat or a summer bikini. 

Those 8 years instilled in me a greater sense of confidence in my femininity as a God-given gift.

I must admit that I regressed a bit after moving back to America, where we see beauty as being fit. And just over two years ago, I saw a photo of myself that really shook me. I was almost the heaviest I had ever been. And it was affecting my confidence in who God created me to be. 

So I began to exercise, and worked on remembering to eat and counted the ounces of water I drank to make sure I was drinking enough. I engaged a personal trainer who inspired and encouraged me. 

I am grateful for the flexibility my schedule held those two years. I could go to the gym when the trainer was available.  Then I could go to the gym when the classes were running that I enjoyed. 

I am grateful for the encouragement of people who have known me for a long time... saying Melissa you have always been beautiful and it is good to see you getting healthier. I need encouragement. 

In these past two years I have shed about 50 pounds and gone from a XL to a Small and from a 16 to a 6. With those pounds went a lot of emotional and mental healing as well. 

As I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror these days, I am stunned. I don't see myself as skinny. 
When I try on clothes I have to convince myself to try on the smaller size because I don't believe it will fit and then it does and I am shock. 

I am not done yet. I don't care what size I am or how much I weigh, really. I care how healthy I feel.. and I know I need to be stronger... and I know I will get there. One day at a time, one foot in front of the other. 

.....This is a process

God created us.
       He designed our bodies 
                   He also designed what it would take for us to be our healthiest.

I want to be healthy. 
I want there to be no reason 
that I could not go where God calls me to go 
do what what God calls me to do. 

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Glorify the Lord with me...

At Mass on Sunday,
 after having ridden 45 miles 
(most of which was the Portland Bridge Pedal), 
with a worn out body. 

I felt raw and open and vulnerable. 
Too spent physically to engage emotionally or mentally. 
Content and happy
nothing between me and what God would show me during mass. 

The responsorial Psalm was from Psalm 34

Oh, magnify the Lord with me, 
and let us exalt his name together! 
I sought the Lord, and he answered me 
and delivered me from all my fears.

I felt tears well up in my eyes. 

I did seek the Lord over my anxieties preceding this bike ride. 
I did ask others to pray for me as I felt anxieties well up within my soul. 

He did answer. 
He did deliver me from my fears. 

I did have a moment toward the end where my lack of ability to get oxygen going up a hill cause me to hyperventilate... but I was not afraid. 

And the whole ride, 
over all the bridges, 
around all the people, 
with the support of my boyfriend 

I made it. I did something I never dreamed I could do. 

Magnify the Lord with me! Let us exalt His name together!