First, I want to THANK YOU, dear reader, for caring to stop by for the finale of this blog series! While I've lost weight throughout this challenge, I have gained a fresh new outlook and a drive to continue pursuing and enjoying a healthy life!! I'm so glad that you've come along with me on this journey. I pray that I was able to encourage you along the way! Okay, without further ado, here are the results of my final challenge weigh in!
I have lost a TOTAL of 30 pounds, friends!!! I'm praising God for enabling me to shed every last ounce of that unwanted, unneeded, and unhealthy THIRTY whopping pounds!!! Now, some of you may be wondering why I'm so ecstatic this morning, I mean I didn't hit my goal of 35 by 35 after all! BUT, seriously how could I not be thrilled?! I just lost 30 pounds! I went into this challenge hoping to lose 2 pounds a week, instead (with a few weeks of plateau) it averaged out to 1.76 pounds/week. Pretty close! YAY!! :D
I think it is so good for us to not always reach our goal so easily. Having to work hard for something is so humbling. So, while it may not be the ending you'd see on tv/in a movie with confetti flying and me shouting "I did it!" I walk away from this with the right perspective that I am not capable on my own of achieving ...anything. It all comes down to what God enables me to do, may He receive all the glory!
On my Birthday, I reflect on these past 35 years of my life. Each and every day of which has been a completely undeserved gift. I think of how fleeting life is and how quickly it passes us by. Especially as my dear Aunt Ann prepares to celebrate the life of her mother today at her funeral. Life is so precious, yet a vapor. I'm so thankful that God has enabled me to lose this extra weight and live a healthier, more energetic, happy life. Yet, when it comes down to it, all of this is for nothing if I die tomorrow and am apart from Christ. "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?" (Mark 8:36) The greatest Birthday gift you could give to me today is to examine yourself and make certain that you are ready for eternity. Nothing is more important!
The Bible instructs us:
"Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves." - 2 Corin. 13:5a
For my sweet friends who know and love the Lord, I'd like to share this quote from Way of the Master. I pray it'll inspire, encourage, motivate and challenge us to use each moment of our lives wisely.:
You Will Leave Everything Behind
The most important day of your life will be the day of your death. Think about that. On that day, nothing else will matter except what you have done for God and where you are going. Your house, your car, your money, your sports will mean nothing on that day. You will be leaving time and entering into eternity. Meditate on that breath-taking moment. In the exhale of one breath, you will leave everything you love. Your wedding ring. Your spouse. Your loved ones. Your vehicle. Your money. Everything. Tonight, God could say to you, "This night your soul is required of you." Let such sobering thoughts consume you. Let them drive you to use your life for what matters, to reach out to the unsaved and make a big dent in this sinful world. There goes another minute. Gone forever. Go share your faith while you still have time.
For those of you taking the time to check out the links above, thank you! As a Christian, I wouldn't feel right concluding this series on wellness without sharing what is of much more value than physical wellness, but pointing you towards resources that can ensure that you take a good look at your spiritual well-being too. May God be glorified! :)
Now, I'll wrap this up in a neat little (birthday) bow. ;) A sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU to each of my lovely readers, treasured friends, and supportive, loving family members who have cheered me on throughout this challenge! Your encouragement and prayer support has greatly impacted this journey! I never would have dreamt that in the process of simply trying to get rid of some fat, see a smaller number on the scale and on the tags in my clothes, that I'd be forever changed ...but I truly feel I am. I have yo-yo'd back and forth over the years. I've lost weight only to gain it back and have to re-lose it. Why am I completely confident that that will not be the case this time? Somewhere along the way there was a shift in my thinking, perspective, and overall outlook. I've learned a lot about myself. I finally understand why I was overeating. I eat (excessive amounts) to comfort myself. I began gaining when I lost my last living grandparent last summer. I gained more when my husband was involved in an accident that risked him losing use of the majority of his fingers on his dominant hand. Why were those struggles a trigger to weight gain and what did that say about my relationship with food? Ultimately it told me that I ran to food as a savior, as a comfort, as my help in times of distress and stress. Why is that significant to me? For the reason, I shared above. I am a Christian. My hope should remain steadfast in my true Savior, Jesus Christ, and Him alone. I have stopped relying on food for my comfort. I do enjoy food, which I think is a very fine and good thing ...but I now choose to view it as much needed fuel to enable my body to function properly. My mind has changed. I'm forever grateful!
While this weight loss challenge blog series has concluded, I do plan to soon begin another series on my newfound passion, healthy living. I hope to share many delicious and good for you recipes, tips for losing and maintaining weight loss, and encouraging health and fitness quotes/printables (because we could all use a few hanging on our fridge! Am I right? ;)) I'm thinking I may do a monthly check in with you and share some health and wellness goodies with you then! So be on the lookout for a new blog series next month! Be sure to follow on Facebook, Bloglovin', Pinterest, Google Friend Connect, or have each new post delivered directly to your inbox so you won't miss it! *To join via GFC or subscribe via email see left sidebar of blog ;)
In loving memory of Joan.
Ken, Ann, Andy, Emily, Barb, Mike, & Jenny,
I'm praying that God will draw you to Himself and comfort you in this time of sorrow.
My sincerest condolences to each of you in this time of loss.