Running and weightloss update

I couldn’t really think of a more creative title for this. So here it is.

Running has always been a good medium for me with weightloss. I’ve realized that I’m a goal oriented person, so once I trained for and completed the 5k race, I decided it was time to set a new goal. Some friends have been telling me I should train for the half marathon they are doing in Virginia Beach. I just might. I went ahead and started last week with a friend. I’ve gathered most people tend to do 12 week training programs, but obviously I don’t have that much time so I found an 8 week program. It has a program for the beginner, intermediate, and advanced level runner. And I’m starting to enjoy running, but I am NOT a “runner” yet. It hasn’t been too bad. A little nervous about the 5 mile long run ending this week 2 though. We’re gonna see how we feel half way at week 4, and then register if we’re feeling ok about it. They say it’s about fitness, endurance, and just finishing- not necessarily the best time. And that’s how I’m approaching it.

Lately I get emails, facebook messages and wall comments from people who are on their own journey of weightloss and getting fit. It’s been so cool to hear people saying they are inspired by my story and progress, and it keeps them motivated to keep going. And then I’m reminded, and I want to keep going. It’s a great cycle. So keep them coming and leave me some love on this blog!

Here’s a before and after pic of an April 2nd bridal luncheon and today. At this point I’m down 25 30 lbs. In between then and now I had been doing 3 days of running 1-3 miles with the Couch to 5k program, and 3 days of Adventure Boot Camp of Horry County. It’s all been a great experience, and I’m pleased with the progress I’m making. It also helps to see it!

KEEP GOING!

YOU CAN DO IT!

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My first beach wedding

I had the privilege of shooting my first wedding recently, and it was also on the beach. Such a sweet family and I had a lot of fun. It was quite windy, but we made it work and everybody seemed to have a lot of fun. It was a small, simple oceanfront family wedding, both bride and groom are in the army and headed back to their station in Germany soon. I love weddings and the beautiful picture of Christ’s love that the marriage union represents.

Here are just a few favorites that I’ve begun to edit:

Shot with a Nikon D70

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The First 5k

Thanks to the Couch to 5k running program from CoolRunning.com I was able to complete my first 5k race last Saturday, July 3rd. It was the Freedom 5k and Independence Day 8k at Market Common in Myrtle Beach, and it was a beautiful day. Started out pretty cool around 65 degrees. I was a little nervous about the volume of people and it being too hot. I was nervous that my  normal 40-45 minute 5k in my hilly neighborhood wouldn’t improve, but remembered that the Market Common area was supposed to be pretty flat. I hoped that was to my advantage and it was. As I read around the internet, I started in the back right of the group and started a little slower than normal. I felt proud that I could run the whole way, with the exception of slowing at the gatorade station halfway, while others walked on and off. It got a little tougher the last mile as it began to warm up, but I pressed on and tried to run as hard as I could the last quarter of the way around the lake. What’s next you ask? Not sure. I discovered I am a goal oriented person. I will do it if I set the goal. So I’m considering my next race training options and definitely working to increase my mileage and improve time.

Here’s some stats and pics:

The playlist-

The time- 33:08

The Place- 134/167 (not too shabby)

The photos-

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How We Got An Extra $425/Month

“We’re really doin’ it Harr…” I keep hearing this in my head and picturing Harry and Lloyd from “Dumb and Dumber” riding on a scooter into the sunset.

Only we are getting less dumb and we really are doing it. Early on in our marriage we were just that. Very dumb. We never considered saving, loved stuff, eating out, supplying our musical gear and entertainment habits. So when periods of unemployment happened, a hand surgery, job loss, and other life catastrophes, we said “oh crap!” yet we still piled on the credit cards to pay for groceries, basic bills and keep up the lifestyle we enjoyed.

We began realizing the pain of having to pay for things we didn’t even have anymore. (Because we were forced to sell them for rent or our hefty car payment.) We attended a Financial Learning Experience seminar by Joe Sangl and read his book “I Was Broke, Now I’m Not”. Our eyes were opened. But we needed full time income to get the debt payoff going and snowballing. And we struggled to find jobs and discover where God wanted us for a year and a half.

We have since been blessed with great full time income at our new church home at Barefoot and with my job assisting a team of realtors. We cut way down on eating out and crap food in general, which is better for our physical health. We cut out cable (which we’ve done before for a couple years and didn’t miss it too bad). We are looking for other corners to cut and I am getting some additional income and bonuses. We are working on a REAL budget to stick to. When you get angry enough with the mess you’ve made and the inability to enjoy or buy other things or give more to your church or a good cause, you’ll do something about it.

BUT… We still needed to create MARGIN to undo the mess we made with our finances in order to start planning for a future. Hopefully one that involves a house and kids (which requires some saving) and more electric guitars! We needed to free up some money to not only pay off debt, but to also give more and be better stewards of what God has given us.

As of today, July 6, 2010 we have freed up $425 a month by selling our 2006 Honda Element. Thankfully we didn’t owe more on it than it was worth, and thanks to Jud Kuhn Chevrolet for buying it!  It was orange. I will miss that. But I won’t miss the payment. We will enjoy our paid-for 2000 Camry as a one-car family for a while. But we are excited about what God will teach us through it and being on our way to debt freedom. This is a huge step and a huge relief to us. Get ready to see updates, debt payoff coloring sheets, and how we are reaching our financial peace!

“Live now like no one else, so that later you can live like no one else.” ~Dave Ramsey

**If you would like more info on Joe Sangl, reaching debt freedom, financial advice, booking him at your church, or awesome free budgeting tools, go to: http://josephsangl.com

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Lucky 7

The first day of summer. It’s been 7 years and boy do I feel lucky. Happy anniversary babe! From Liberty University to where we are now, it has been a thrill of a ride. I remember when Chad and I were just in “the friends zone” but beneath the surface we knew it was much more. I remember the first movie we ever saw together as friends (and our Sounds of Liberty music director). It was the first Shrek. I remember the first time we kissed outside the Movies 10 in Lynchburg- we had tried to watch Bandits but it was going to run over curfew so we had to leave early.  A bit of drama ensued after that, but we finally got together. I remember the first Christmas with my family, newly engaged, and he must’ve thought how interesting it was that a family would be so musical sitting around playing and singing for hours. Our limo driver didn’t show up to the wedding in a limo, but in an old blue Lumina with a dent in it. Our good friends drove us in their F150 instead. I remember when Chad cut his hand in the kitchen with a steak knife- a big medical expense we weren’t expecting and pretty alarming for a guitar player. Loss of loved ones, family, friends. We’ve hit many bumps in the road, I’m sure there will be more.

But through it all, from the beginning, I fell in love with Chad’s ability to make me laugh. If laughter makes a heart merry, and merry is good like medicine, then I’d say that is one of the key ingredients to a healthy and great marriage- being able to laugh together.

Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones.

A favorite wedding present we got was our kitchen aid mixer, which wasn’t actually given to us, it was what we bought after we exchanged all $250 worth of items received that we did not register for! I haven’t used it much lately, since those usually involve bread or cake, which we aren’t really eating right now… and I think the worst gift we got was a loaf pan with a purple rose on it that we didn’t register for. It just wasn’t our style and didn’t go. Chad says the best was our honeymoon, and I guess I would have to agree- it was at St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, a sweet gift from his parents. His pick for worst was a re-gifted glass bowl wrapped in a Belk box that we found did not even come from Belk, and was therefore un-returnable.

What was your best and worst wedding gift?

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Shedding the body fat

I got inspired once again after reading my friend Daryl Strickland’s weightloss story, it’s legit. It encouraged me to keep going. As I shed pounds and body fat, the better I feel. I’ve always struggled with the way I look, especially on stage. I started training to run 3 miles without stopping in February after a good friend encouraged me.  I hurt my toe and couldn’t do my first 5k race as planned but I hope to hit up another soon. All it takes is a little accountability, a few cheerleaders, improved eating habits, lots of water, and LOTS of discipline. The healthier and lighter I get, the better my fitness level gets and the better I feel. I think you need these elements in just about any area of your life. I’m currently doing 3 days fitness bootcamp, and 3 alternating days of running 2-3 miles each. I still have a long ways to go, but I’m putting up a few pictures as motivation to continue pressing on. They might not seem like a huge difference to you, but they are to me, and I can tell in my waistband and the constant need to throw my jeans in the dryer.

Then                                          Now

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Layer Up

I know, I know, I almost only blogged once in a month. Things have been so busy lately.

So much I’m trying to balance with new place, new job, doing ministry at new church, trying to keep my apartment  mostly clean and my hubby happy. It’s funny how as God blesses you and brings new opportunities, or even gives you the things that you’ve desired, new things come up that you need to work on.

Not that you should think you’ll ever come to a point that you don’t have something to work on. But lately God has been teaching me things about myself, sometimes uncomfortable, but things I should improve. I’ll be real honest here. I’ve always struggled with insecurity about the way I look, especially on stage. (But I’m making progress in the working out department so that’s a great thing!) I have to remind myself who Christ says I am (Eph 3:1-8; Phil 1:6; John 15:16). I am also constantly working through having a spirit of humility. I don’t think this will ever end. But it really is kind of an oxymoron- as confident as I usually am about my singing, the way I feel I look sometimes cancels out that confidence. Even if you can’t tell by watching me, it’s there alot of the time. And then there’s the humility thing- I want to be confident in what I do, yet humble. I want to excel and give excellence and confidence in my strengths but not come across arrogant. And not just acting humble because that’s what you’re supposed to do, but being humble because that’s what Christ wants. I want it to be natural.

As a person, as a follower of Christ, as a leader, as a lead worshipper, my biggest desire is to constantly seek to please God, to have the traits that please him. I’ve been going through a short study “Worship Habit” written by a good friend Daniel Walters, for the worship band he leads at Lifepoint Church. It’s James through 2 Peter, and the focus is putting on a habit of worship. Just like nuns and priests wear what’s called a habit to display their devotion and religious order, we should put on our habit each day, developing a pattern that leads us to have intimacy with Jesus and devotion to him. And I love the play on words of the word habit!

The first layer is HUMILITY and I couldn’t have said it any better so I’m just going to re-post it:

Humility is powerful! It creates space for the Holy Spirit by taking ourselves out of the equation. When we surrender fully everyday, we hand the reigns over to Him and let Him lead. The Holy Spirit is a gentleman, and doesn’t force or coerce. He goes where invited and we NEED to give Him an invitation. We begin our prayers with humility as outlined by the Lord’s Prayer. Humility is important because it: pleases God (Isa 66:2), it invites the spirit to move (2 Chron 7:14), and it brings healing (Mark 10:46).

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