Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Cousin Al!

There are people that we are related to by blood.  Sometimes you get pretty lucky and they become our friend too!   I was named after Al's mother, my great aunt, Mary Elizabeth Casey Galbraith 46 years ago.  Because of this, Al and I have always had a special bond, but when I became the mother of twins, he being the father of twins, we became more than famiy!  We were now in the special club~ parent of twins! 
Al and I~ June 2, 2010

Uncle Gallie and Aunt Mary with Baby Al born May 22, 1944

Al and Laurel (twin to Allison) Sporting his favorite baseball team The Tampa Bay Rays

Al and his wonderful wife, Connie!

Christmas 2008 before Al became a grandfather to Quentin, then came
Hazel, Emmet, and November 2010 Elliot
Poppi of 4 in less than 2 years! 

Allison, Laurel, Megan, Colin~ 4 of the loves of Al's life!

Milton Al Galbraith, Jr
 May 22, 1944 ~ May 31, 2011
You were an amazingly wonderful son, husband, father, and Poppi! 
I am grateful that you were more than just my cousin!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Are little friend~Tinsley

Katherine, Tinsley, Beth, and Mary Lane!

This is our little friend, Tinsley.  She is a very special little girl!  She is a tough little girl!  We know God has a glorious plan for her life!  We are so grateful that God placed her and her sweet family in our path.  We got to share a very special family thing with her a about a week ago~ F.R.O.G. ~Fully Rely On God. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 11

WooHoo~ We are on Day 11 of our 24 Day Challenge.  The cleanse part of the challenge is the such an important part.  When I did this challenge in February, I did not really understand the importance of it.  Now I truly realize that part of my past struggles were because my body was full of toxins.  When you try to start eating healthy after eating not very healthy your body will still have cravings.  And it is the cravings that cause most people to "fail" and go back to old habits.  But putting your body thru a healthy cleanse removes that huddle.  Removing the huddles so that your body can except the good stuff so that the good stuff can do what it needs to do!!!

I had someone tell me yesterday, well if I walked as much as you are walking, I could lose weight too.  Well, my mother and father in love and Clay are not walking and they are losing weight!  The walking, for me, has been more of trying to have my words match my actions with my daughters.  I take them 6 days a week to swim practice, they get in the water and swim for 2 to 3 hours.  So by me just sitting there, I was sending a mixed message to my children.  So yes, because of the habits I have changed, I would still be losing weight, but not being a very good example to my daughters.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  How many times have I lost weight and got on a roll only to go back to the insanity.  I was telling some friends one night, I LOVE roller coasters and my family enjoys trying new ones.  But this weight lose roller coaster is one that I would LOVE to get off of once and for all and never get back on again!  I truly believe that AdvoCare is that means to the end of that insanity roller coaster that I have been on. 

If I have said it once, I have said it a million times since January, I am so grateful that Jennifer Boyd loved me enough to be honest with me and share her heart!  I will never be able to repay Jennifer for what she has done for me and for my family!  But I sure can try!  One way I can try is staying on my healthy track!  Another way is sharing my story and passing that spark that Jennifer passed to me! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Lesson

Had a great conversation with my sweet daughter tonight on the way home from church.  We were talking about this and that and she said something about why she had done something.  I told her something that has helped me so much over the last 4 months~ Sweetheart, you have to do the right thing for yourself and because of yourself not so because you would like to "prove" something to someone else.  When we set out to "prove" someone else wrong or out do them, we just end up defeating ourselves and/or hurting ourselves. 

I got to thinking about that while listening to my friend Jason tonight.  I do a lot of things in my life with my family in the fore front of my mind.  But when I set out on this healthy weight lose journey, I had to do it for me.  I can't do it to prove someone else wrong or show someone else up.  I am not in competition with anyone but myself.   It had to be my decision and my desire.

While listening to Jason, something was said that hit home on a lot of different levels.....  It does not matter where you were or how you started.  It only matters how you finish!  What matters now is where I am a year from now and beyond, not where I was last year. 

Ask yourself some honest and tough questions~Am I doing (fill in the blank) to prove someone else wrong?  Am I doing (fill in the blank) to show (fill in the blank) up cause I am going to prove that I can do it better or I am better?  Then I truly challenge to rethink your relationship with yourself cause the only person you are going to hurt is the person looking back at you in the mirror! 

Thanks Mary Lane and Jason for today's lesson!!!  Blessed beyond measure!

Monday, May 16, 2011

A different kind of Sunday Morning Frustration

Yesterday, while getting ready for church, I had a different kind of frustration.  Five months ago, standing in the closet looking at clothes, nothing seemed to fit or I had worn it the week before and it was well, what else can I put with my black skirt or black pants.  Well, yesterday, it was TOTALLY different, in a GOOD way.  What I had picked out to wear, well it was too big!  Then decided to try on a pant/jacket set just to see, and it fit.  It had been at least 6 years since I had had it on.  At church, my sister in love, Ann, asked me if it was new and I laughed and said no, recycled.  Then she asked me about this really cool jacket/shirt that I had wore to my 20th high school reunion.  I laughed and said I had forgotten about it.  She said if you are not in it, she wanted to borrow it till I got in it.  I came home and found it.  Tried it on and much to my surprise, it FIT!  So I tried on a dress that I was holding off on, and much to my surprise IT FIT TOO! Mary Lane said, Mom, you have not wore that in years.  When I told Ann about it, she said you wore that the day Jim and I got married in 2004.  I truly don't know if I wore it summer of 2005 or not. 

This has been the biggest surprise to me.  I have always been a "scale" girl, meaning that the number on the scales meant what size I was.  My good friend, Trenda, told me the other day on our walk, that she does not weigh, it is all about how her clothes fit. Well, if you know Trenda, she if very fit and slim.  I laughed and said something like but the number.  She said, you need to focus on the fit because you are creating muscle mass and muscle weighes more.  Yes, I know that, but when you are a person that struggles with weight most of your life, the number on the scales are the end all and be all!  But thanks to Trenda, she has me looking at it a very different way. 

I will take this type of frustration any day!  Looks like this week will be a CLEAN out my closest kinda week!  Funny thing is....I just put a lot of these clothes in my closest in March~ and they fit or close to it.  Now even the close to it clothes..are fitting better or too BIG!  WOOHOO! 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Meet My Friend Alison!

Today's post is highlighting my good friend, Alison, and her story!  This story was written by Alison back in September.  Now 7 1/2 months later, Alison has lost 82 pounds and 5 sizes!!!  I hope her story inspires you as much as it has inspried me!

The one thing I have never spoken about in public is my weight – to go even further, my morbid obesity.  I was 367 pounds at the beginning of this story, two weeks ago today.  I believe that God is challenging me through the book “Radical” to deal with this issue.  I am scared to death and excited about my future all at the same time.  I know He has not given us a spirit of fear, so I am left with joy and excitement as I journey towards the woman that God created me to be. 
Over the past month I have been forced to examine places in my soul that I had long ago buried under pounds of self-indulgence.  A few weeks back I watched a counter tick off the number of children in the world dying of starvation during one hour of church, I was faced with the uncomfortable reality that I am the size of THREE average women.  Though our family tithes and even gives to and participates in missions, sponsors a child and participates in adoption/orphan care projects, the percentage of our income that has been spent on FOOD – unhealthy food at that – is shameful.  If you asked my friends what I am passionate about, Sonic diet coke would hit the top of the list before many things of true importance.  
If I was created for God’s glory, then it is time for a RADICAL change in my life. 
At just the right time, and I strongly believe it was divine intervention, our friends TJ and Casey shared with us their success on the “24 Day Challenge” through a company called Advocare.  TJ lost 16 pounds during his challenge and has gone on to lose over 40 pounds in 4 months.  Casey has lost almost 20 pounds!  They chose to sell the products and are using the extra income to fund their adoption – bringing in an average of $1500 a month. 
TJ and Casey’s story spoke to my heart.  I need to lose 200 pounds.  I need to feel great and have more energy to be the best mom I can to my two growing girls.  I need to be healthy for them so that I am can be an active participant in their lives.  I don’t want to have to ask for a seatbelt extension or worry if I will fit in the airplane seat when I fly to West Africa again to serve for a week.  I am excited to begin the process to adopt another child but have been praying about additional income to save for it without so much fundraising. 
So, I took a leap of faith.   As a team, Brad and I started the 24 Day Challenge on September 9, 2010.  I didn’t even own a scale that would weigh me, so I had to order one to weigh in!  I was amazed that on the first day of the Challenge I was not even hungry at meal times.  Two weeks later we are proud to say that Brad has lost 15 pounds and I have lost 10 pounds.  And there is more…
The energy we have is amazing.  Without even realizing it, we look back over our first 2 weeks on Advocare products and see that we have completely cleaned, purged and reorganized our home.  Instead of coming home and crashing on the couch at night we have been motivated to DO something.  We are having fun cooking dinner together, playing with the kids and accomplishing little projects at home that have been on our “list” forever!  We have simply have not been LAZY.
There’s much more to share but I don’t want to ramble on.
This I know:  All the times I have been challenged to care for widows, orphans, the poor, and broken, I have left out the reality that if my body is unhealthy I will not be able to answer that call.  If I continue to throw away money on an unhealthy lifestyle, how will I be able to give to those in need?  It’s time to do something. 
I invite you to join me in a quest to get Radical about your health so you can be the person that God created you to be, for His glory.  If God is for us, what can stand against us?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Breaking the Chains of Lies

Did you know that 90% of our behaviour is habitual?
That means that your habits, and not you, are in charge of your life.
The things you do every day are pretty much what you did yesterday and what you will do tomorrow.
If you aren’t happy with where you are in your life today, then change your habits.
One habit you should break is to stop lying to yourself and to only deal with reality.
Stop lying to yourself that you want to get in shape, but you haven’t gotten to the gym in months.
Stop lying to yourself that you want financial freedom but you haven’t bothered to do anything about it.
Stop lying to yourself that you want to change, but are still doing the exact same thing that you did yesterday and the day before and the day before that.
Stop lying to yourself that tomorrow will be different. It will be the same as today, unless you do something different.
It’s time to stop lying to yourself and change your habits. Start today. Do something different today so that your tomorrow will be different. Do something different tomorrow so the next day will be different.
Start taking control back.
Back in December of 2010, I read something very similar to this.  I decided right then that Christmas 2011 was going to be VERY different.  I tried very hard to do it on my own. But on February 3, 2011, I made a huge decision that has changed my life and now I can see that it is starting to change the lives around me and with the lives of the wonderful people God has placed on my path!  I am so grateful for the journey God has allowed me to take.  I guess what I was not expecting was how much me breaking my bad habits and trying to do the right thing for myself and my family, that this was going to make the devil mad.  I forgot that he loved it when I was lying to myself~whatever the lie might have been. I am grateful that when the devil rears his ugly head that, I am able to stop, drop, and pray! 
One thing that I had to remind myself today, Yeah, Christmas 2011 is going to be different.  But because I have made up my mind and working really hard~ TURTLE, slow and steady wins the race~ Christmas 2013 and all there after will be different.  I am so grateful for the support system that I have loving me, praying for me, and cheering me on!
Today, Clay and I started our 24 Day Challenge together! This is my second challenge and Clay's first. I have learned TONS since my last challenge.   I am not in the least ashamed to share my journey with world!  I have walked 160 miles to date and lost 31 pounds!   I am very proud of everything I have accomplished thus far, but will have to say the thing that I am most proud of....... I HAVE STOPPED LYING TO MYSELF!!!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Friend's Amazing Story!

Casey Overstreet and all her boys!
It’s hard for me to not be reflective on Mother’s Day. For so many years, it was a bittersweet day as I longed to be a mom yet wasn’t. I still ache for those women who continue to experience the same heartache on this day.
Last year, Mother’s Day 2010 became a day of what would lead to tremendous change for our family. We were living with many frustrations and hoped for a solution. We had been trying to have another baby and were unsuccessful. We had been trying to lose weight and were unsuccessful. We had been trying to pay off debt for good and were unsuccessful. We were trying to build our savings and were unsuccessful. I was trying to balance my time at home and at my gym and was unsuccessful. I try to be a person of progression not regression and this was a challenging time for me.
On Mother’s Day, I decided to take a step toward change. I started my AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge. I believed that these products could help me finally lose the excess pounds I wanted gone and I also believed they could help us get ahead financially. But first, I had to get TJ to believe what I did.
He did the 24 Day Challenge with me, only to prove to me that the products didn’t work. I am so glad he was unsuccessful in proving his point! Even with trying to sabotage his challenge he still saw amazing results! Before our 24 days was up, we knew we had been given the solution to our physical and financial obstacles. What we didn’t realize is that AdvoCare would also help us to grow our family (through funding an adoption) and allow me more time with our children.
One year later, we have so much to be thankful for! Our sweet Oli has been home for a little over a week and we are a happy family of four! I not only lost the 15 pounds I was trying to lose, but 9 more and have kept the weight off for almost one year. TJ is down over 60 pounds and still losing. We are the healthiest we have ever been and setting that positive example for our boys.
By helping others get healthy physically and financially, we have achieved the Ruby leadership level which produces an average annual income of almost $81,000. But the most recent gift this company has provided for us is for me to be a full-time stay at home mom again.
As of Friday, I was able to walk away from a business that was placing me in “time debt” as a mom and bless another woman with a business opportunity that would have otherwise been unattainable.
Tonight, I will be sharing how different my life is this Mother’s Day versus last Mother’s Day along with three other moms who have been abundantly blessed by God through this vehicle of AdvoCare.
I tagged you in this note because I hope that at 8:30 CST tonight, you will listen to these fellow moms share their stories and think about what could be possible for you and your family. If it’s not the additional income for your family, that’s okay! Maybe it’s taking charge of your health and getting in the best physical

Happy Mother's Day

This weekend has been a full and joyous one!  I am blessed beyond measure!  Tomorrow, Clay and I will start our 24 day challenge!!!  And how funny, it will end on our 20th anniversary!  I can't help but think of our 21st~ and how different our lives will be thanks to my sweet friend Jennifer and her love for me to show me what she saw!  I am also so glad that Clay is doing this with me!!!  (along with Jeff, Casey, Honey, Big Daddy, soon~Laura!) 
Happy Mother's Day!!!! 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Can't & Won't

"There is no difference between "I can't" & "I won't". One is defeat by the fear of failure, the other, fear of trying"  I borrowed this yesterday from my friend Jason Pannell and used this as my facebook status.  I have really thought about this over the last 24 hours.  I think back to watching my children grow up.  They amaze me everyday!  I am amazed that God blessed us with two incredible daughters. 

Over the last 24 hours, my mind has wandered back to the 2 and 1/2 years that we tried to get pregnant.  There were doctors that said you CAN'T and you WON'T get pregnant.  But Clay and I prayed and put it in God's hands. Surrounded by lots of love and prayers, we took can't and won't out of it!  Then I did get pregnant!  And I felt GREAT.  At 28 weeks, Dr. LaRoche put me on bed rest.  Her goal was to get me to 34 weeks.  Well, I made it to 37 thanks to modern medicine. But there was one day that sitting in her exam room, I completely broke down.  I sobbed and said~ I can't be pregnant one more day.  She let me get it out then looked at me and said. OH YES YOU WILL!  She hugged me and told me how strong I was, how hard we all had work to get to this point.  And with love, support, and lots of prayers, I made it 3 more weeks to deliver two beautiful little girls! 

Trying to raise them without can't and won't in their vocabulary was as important to us as not having the words hate, shut up, dang, etc, in their vocabulary.  For the past 5 years, the girls have been swimming with Excel Aquatics.   They have done things and made achievements that blow our minds.  Thinking of Jason's statement~ I don't ever hear them say I can't or I won't.  Katherine swims the mile for time along with the 200 butterfly and she does it because she loves it.  Mary Lane is starting to branch out into some of the distance events and still I don't hear her say those words....but instead she says want to try it.  Fear of trying or fear of failure have no place in their lives!  And our prayer is that it never will!

The Bible says "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." ~Philippans 4:6   Some synonyms for anxious are afraid, fearful, nervous, scared....So God reminds us that we should not fear even failure or trying something new!  Fear is the devils way of trying to trip us up and taking our self-confidence.   Self-confidence is not the same thing as arrogance as some would like to believe and think.  Self-confidence is a realistic confidence in one's own judgment, ability, power, etc. and arrogance is offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.  And having self-confidence is having the ability to avoid the words Can't or Won't. 
Yesterday, I signed up for my first 1/2 marathon.  When the girls got in the car after school and I told them, their first response was mom we are so proud of you, that is really cool.  I know that I have a lot of work to do before that but I CAN do it and I WILL do it.  But I am mindful that if I had continued on the path of my past, I would not have tried something new this past February and I sure would not be signing up for anything like a 1/2 marathon. I have decided be a better example to my daughters and step out of my comfort zone and try new things.  I don't want to look back on my life with them as just a spectator but as an active participant.

I am so grateful for lessons my daughters teach me.  They are truly amazing young ladies that overwhelms me daily.  I am so thankful that we have such a wonderful relationship that there is nothing they feel they can't or won't talk to us about as well. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Psalm 91:2

Today is the 60th Annual National Day of Prayer.  I love the key scripture for today
 ~ Psalm 91:2 ~ I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortess, my God, in whom I trust."

Dear Heavenly Father,
I trust completely in you.  Thank for the many blessings in my life, for I know those flow from you and your love for me.  Thank you Lord for never losing faith in me, even when I had lost faith in myself.  As I continue to grow in your word and love, even when that growth is uncomfortable, help me to remember that it is your love for me that makes this incredible transformation possible. I pray for those who don't fully understand and trust in you, that they may in some small way today, feel your love and grace.  Amen

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

153 miles

Yesterday, driving to swim practice the girls were looking at their ipads, I hear~ YOU HAVE A BLOG!  WOW! was not sure what to think. Mary Lane thought it was pretty cool that there was a counter and there was already about 70+ who had read my blog. Later, when we got home, Mary Lane had sent me an email stating that she thought it was pretty cool and she was looking forward to reading it each day~so make sure I keep it interesting.  OK Mary Lane, I hope you think this is considered interesting. And know that Mary Lane is watching my counter! ~HA!
Today, on my walk of 10 miles, I had time to think and pray.  I was very grateful for the incredible weather and the sunshine.  My mind and prays went to those, that a week ago, lost so much! 
This weekend, Excel Aquatics hosted a swim meet.  I had the opportunity to talk to some really incredible swimmers from Crisom Tide Aquatics(Tuscaloosa, AL).  Hearing their stories and how lucky they felt, my mind wandered to them today.  About the time of my walk, everything was pretty normal in Tuscaloosa a week ago, stormy yes, but it was still there.  What a difference a few hours make! A week later, there is so much in their lives that is not normal.  Some are going to schools but not theirs, no electricity, water~ but listening to their mayor yesterday, it was great that UBL was dead and that is great, but Tuscaloosa is more important~  those that lost their lives are the people that are foremost in Mayor Maddox's mind.  Those that lost everything are what is on Mayor Maddox's mind.  Rebuilding Tuscaloosa is what is on Mayor Maddox's mind.  And he is right, we can't lose focus on the fact that there is ton of rebuilding to be done in our wonderful southern states. 
On my personal thougths, I celebrate the small steps I keep making towards my goal.  I am grateful for how far I have already come.  But I will not lose focus on the fact that I still have a long way to go.  Today's walk, pushed me over halfway to my next goal of 200 miles.  Christmas of 2010, if someone had told me, I would have more energy, walking, loosing weight, etc and making money doing...I would have laughed in their face.  I am so grateful to Jennifer for showing me an incredible path that has already lead me to more than I could have imagine!  I am so grateful for those that she has introduced me to~Alison and Casey~ all your stories continue to imspire me to keep going!  I am so grateful to my wonderful friends Beth, Rhedonna, and Jill for their continued ata girl~ you go girl~ you can do it~ support.  You guys are amazing and I am so lucky to call you all friends!  And of course, my incredible family! 
~Mary Lane, I hope that was interesting enough for you!  Love both my sweet girls!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Getting Started with my Dream and AdvoCare!

Christmas of 2010, I decided I was not going to spend another Christmas fat and tired.  I knew what needed to be done, after all I had taught this stuff for two years.  I had gotten back into the same bad habits so quickly!  I was back to drinking my Dr. Pepper a day (20 oz).  I could not believe how easy it had sneaked back on.  Clay was about at the same point.  We both were at the heaviest we had ever been, except for the day I delivered the girls.  I guess you could say I was still struggling with my baby fat....HA!~after nearly 14 years.  I decided it was time to stop lying to myself and face this demon head on!  I knew I would need some help and luckily Clay was willing to change with me!
Clay and I set out to challenge each other.  My sweet friend, Jennifer, read something that I had posted on facebook (?) and called me.  This call would change our lives!  She introduced me to AdvoCare.  After looking at the company, their mission, and the products, I decided that I was ready.  Clay needed a little more time.  Almost instantly, I felt great.  After I did my 24 day challenge, stayed on product but was trying some different stuff.  I realized that I was not ready to venture on "my own".  So I went back to AdvoCare basic and I got Clay on product.  He said that he did notice a difference.  I started walking and within about 5 weeks had walked 100 miles.  To mark my milestone, I got a turtle for my Pandora bracelet, to remind me that this needs to be a slow and steady race. 
On April 23rd, Clay and I had a dinner date.  He asked me if he could do the 24 day challenge.  The emotion that welled up in me was almost more than I could bare.  He said that he saw how much better I felt and that my body was changing.  He and I will be doing this challenge together starting this week.
My mother and father in love started their challenge, Thursday, April 28th, and they are already noticing a difference.  Our very close friend, Jeff, will be starting his challenge this week too.  And I just got a text from a dear friend that she is ready!  I know this will be more fun and easier to do this with people we love and respect! 
I normally weigh on Mondays.  With all the news excitement I forgot!  So I weighed today~ and I finally hit the 31 pound mark.  I had struggled just hovering close to 30 pounds but today I finally busted thru that door and can'g wait to bust the 40 pound door too!!! 
This is the easiest thing I have ever done, and trust me when I say I have done a lot!!!!  You name it, I have more than likely done it!  My plan for this blog is to journal my journey.  I don't want to call it a weight loss journey but a journey.  And to make this a no return to my starting point journey. 
I feel so blessed to have such an amazing support team!  Our children are really supporting us in our venture to get healthy!  But it is so great to have family and friends supporting us and us also supporting them!
If this blog moves you to want join our journey, don't hesitate!  What do you have to loss?