June 27, 2018

So, I Lost Some Weight, Part 2: REAL NUTRITION

by healthybydesignblog

2.5 monthsThis set of pictures showed what happened during a period of about 2.5 months from August – November 2011. I was way too busy to go to the gym, but lost 60 lbs. I was introduced to Shaklee’s products and the company in the first picture on the left. I won’t promise you you can have this type of transformation just as quickly, but this is my story. I do believe you can achieve the same results, and I hope the outcome is more important than the time line. Transforming your life, and changing your habits takes time. And honestly, had it not been for my daughter’s diagnosis at age 5 of PCOS, I don’t know that I would have been motivated to make any changes for myself. I was healed and transformed by default, so to speak, in the process of trying to improve things for my only child, Rachel.

tammy-sm-06-18

So the black and white pics were taken in 2011, when I was 44 years old. This one was taken in 2018 when I am 51 years old. (Yes, am in desperate need of a haircut! Have an appointment on Saturday!)

One of the things I hope you notice is how much INFLAMMATION is in my face in the first pic above. My eyes were swollen almost shut! In the second pic above, you can see the weight loss has started, but the biggest change in my face is that there is no longer so much inflammation! Now imagine what I would have looked like at 51 if I hadn’t learned a few things, and changed my diet… if those bad eating habits had continued unchecked. More than likely, not only would I be much heavier, the Rheumatoid Arthritis that I reversed would have ADVANCED instead, perhaps crippling me. Also, more than likely, I would have been diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic by now, which would put me at higher risk for everything from cancer to heart disease.

If you want a quick fix, I’m not your gal. Although I had a very quick transformation myself. If you want a pill or a potion to do all the work for you, I’m not your gal. BUT, if you are ready to make some real, long term changes, and are ready to INVEST some time, energy and even finances into your health, your weight, your appearance and the potential LENGTH OF YOUR LIFE, then hey, I’m your gal! At least I’ll tell you what helped me.

What Helped Me: REAL FOOD & Shaklee

Chicken patties or chicken nuggets are not real food! They have more chemicals in them than chicken parts. Fast food french fries are not even real food, if they were, there wouldn’t be anywhere from 14-17 CHEMICALS in them, just to make them taste so good! You can have french fries, but get some real potatoes and slice them and fry them yourself! Then all you’ve got is potatoes, grease and salt to worry about. I’m sure you already know, however, that if you’re trying to lose weight, you need to avoid or limit a lot of white stuff:

POTATOES
BREAD (includes pizza crust, biscuits, & breading, etc.)
RICE
PASTA
SUGAR (includes soda***, even fruit juices, etc.)

***Everytime you drink a soda with a meal, you’ve just consumed enough carbohydrates for TWO MEALS. You have DOUBLED your carbohydrate intake just by drinking ONE SODA. (Each meal should consist of 35-45 carbs, and each snack should be around 15 carbs.)

Most of the chronic diseases our culture is grappling with today is all about chemicals, sugar and carbohydrates in general. We are not getting enough WATER!!!! Not getting enough real quality protein (free of chemicals such as antibiotics and growth hormones), not enough REAL vegetables, and not enough REAL fruit. Although they get way too much fruit roll ups and sugar loaded fruit juice!

IN FACT, this is a generational problem! Kids in the US today are expected to live 17 years shorter lifespans than their parents, because all they are being fed is JUNK!!! Type 2 Diabetes is a big part of that shorter life span. Do you remember when Type 2 Diabetes was called “Adult Onset Diabetes”? Not anymore. Children are being diagnosed with Type 2 under the age of 12 all the time now. It’s not Type 1, which is something a kid is born with, having too little insulin and therefore needing injections of insulin. It’s Type 2, where they have CONSUMED SO MANY CARBOHYDRATES, their bodies are exhausted from producing too much insulin, and NOW they may need pills or injections. This is CRAZY! This should be a topic of concern for everybody, but I bet you never heard that before reading this article. These statistics come straight from the CDC, the Center for Disease Control.

I know, I know! All you wanna know is how I lost the weight and kept it off, right?

But can you at least understand why I am so passionate about getting this information out? This is just about poor nutrition shortening your life, it’s shortening your kids and your grandkids’ lives as well. It’s affecting the DNA that’s being handing down through the generations!!

• My rule #1 of weight loss is to DRINK WATER!!
And let me be clear  – if you are not motivated enough to learn how to drink water, stop reading, because it’s a lost cause. I used to be the chick that got thoroughly pissed if I was in a restaurant in the SOUTH, and all they had to drink was unsweetened tea, so I feel your pain here. I used to think only poor people drank water and Mt. Dew was what I drank morning, noon and night. I feel ya! But when my daughter got her diagnosis of PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), we were trying to keep her pre-diabetes from turning into full blown Type 2 diabetes. I could not sit in front of a 5 year old, and drink Pepsi while telling her to drink water. AND, although we started out drinking diet drinks initially, I soon learned they were SO BAD for you, that we just drank water. For instance, many drinks today are sweetened with artificial sweeteners like aspartame (sometimes called NutraSweet) or sucralose (Splenda). Did you know Splenda was originally created to be a bug poison? However, the manufacturers realized a lot more money could be made as an artificial sweetener and the good ol’ FDA agreed and let them put it in our food supply. Aspartame / NutraSweet was also never supposed to be allowed into our food supply, but someone in the FDA who had financial gains to make, made it happen. I need to write another article JUST on the dangers of artificial sweeteners, but I’m sure if you google this topic, there is more than enough out there already.

• My rule #2 of weight loss is eat REAL FOOD. If you don’t know how to shop, prepare and eat REAL FOOD, there are no short cuts. Learn! You can google healthy recipes all day long. If you have to eat fast food everyday, and are not willing to invest in this part of your health, again, I’m not your gal. Nothing else I say will help you.

My Rule #3 of weight loss is my “Healthy Fast Food” Go To, Shaklee:
NASA uses Shaklee. And NASA Astronauts use Shaklee personally. NASA used specifically a rehydration drink we created for astronauts re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. We made it for them and GAVE IT TO THEM, after they came to Shaklee and asked us to create it for them. (Makes me proud. Good citizens, you know?) Olympic athletes also use our shakes, and not because we pay them to promote our products! Many other Olympic athletes are paid to promote a company’s products, so how can you trust their testimony about that?

If you need “healthy fast food” you can also get “real nutrition” in our protein shakes. Not all protein shakes are made safe and healthy. In fact, many are full of heavy metals such as lead, and can harm your health! So what good does it do to get skinny, if you’re poisoning yourself in the process??

This makes Rule #2 a lot easier, because you can do a meal bar or a shake for breakfast and lunch, and then all you have to do is worry about preparing supper. You can actually substitute a bar or a shake for any two meals of the day, whatever works best for you. Regardless, you only have to shop for and prepare yourself one healthy meal a day.

AND because our standards for purity are 4X that of the FDA’s standards, it’s the cleanest, purest nutrition you can put in your body. Shaklee scientists can prove that. But my guess is, many of you really don’t care, as I do about the science and the purity, you just wanna lose the weight. But I will provide a few links about it anyway, because it it doesn’t matter to you now, it will one day in your future. Keep in mind that “diet” products, vitamins, and even soda are not regulated by the FDA, so it’s like a manufacturing wild west nightmare. The FDA only steps in when enough people get hurt or even die.

Now scroll up to the top of this article, and take a look at my pics again. Is this something you want to try?

If so, I will be glad to help you. Wanna read more about it first? Here is a link to my website, I started with the Turnaround Kit, and that’s where I would recommend you start as well. You can also do “buffet style” and pick and choose whatever combination of products you’d like. However, this kit was put together incredible attention to detail and with incredible science behind it, so I’d still recommend you start there.

And here is an article dedicated to other people I shared Shaklee 180 with, and their weight loss testimonies too.

 

(If you found this article helpful, I hope you will consider friending me on Facebook, and liking my new YouTube channel as well. Thank you!)

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June 27, 2018

Shaklee 180 Testimonials

by healthybydesignblog

jacqui-180.pngFormer Extreme Make Over – Weight Loss Edition star, Jacqui McCoy (someone I also know personally) also uses these products now to maintain a healthier weight. AND, although she was told she could not conceive a child, she now has TWO!!! She conceived the first one only months after starting the Shaklee 180 program!

I think pictures are worth a thousand words. These are not models or celebrities obviously, but friends and family that I have helped personally.

karen-composite-2016

Karen has since gotten down to a size 2, AND although doctors told her that she would never be able to have children, because of a chemotherapy treatment she had at age 17 for her MS symptoms, she is now PREGNANT and due to have her first child in August of 2018!!! What if she had used something toxic to lose this weight? Her MS symptoms could have been exacerbated and it could have harmed her child. (Even one diet coke can send her into a 3-day migraine.) Karen also did a video with me on YouTube. (I’m heavier in that video because it’s in 2016, during the time my father is dying and my marriage is falling apart.)

Dale-before-after-2017

Dale Baker is a dear friend of mine, she also did a video with me on YouTube,
check it out!

Tim-composite-2014

Tim Hines is 6’4″ tall and was surprised that he was never hungry while on the program.

lynnw-comp-2017

Lynn Woodard was a college friend who had a tremendous transformation!

180 pics Tammy

Tammy Taylor Phelps: And of course, here are my own pics. Note that I look younger in 2015 than I did in 2011. And I still look better in 2018, 7 years older, than I did in 2011. That’s because I healed from the inside out!

To learn more about the Shaklee 180 program, please check out this video on YouTube.com.

If you’d like to order, please check out my website. Thank you!

 

(If this information has been helpful to you, I’d love it if you’d follow me on Facebook and YouTube! Thank you!)

June 14, 2018

What Does My WEIGHT Have To Do With My HEART?

by healthybydesignblog
affection board broken broken hearted
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

So today, I got dressed and my pants are all baggy. Great right? I’ve recently lost 9 lbs in about a week, but don’t celebrate that. It’s because my heart is broken. I recently was cheated on by my husband, who I still happen to love very much. Yeah… so… right… How about I get all real and personal and raw right in the first paragraph? Now most of my life, aspects of stress and a broken heart have led to weight GAIN. This is the first time in my life a broken heart has been so devastating that it has resulted in weight LOSS.

You know, I didn’t sit down today and decide to write about this topic, but I’ve learned to write when inspiration hits and honestly, it seems to help me process my pain. I believe this is stuff the Lord wants me to share, so that while He’s setting me free, others can be set free as well. I am not going to delve into the pit of despair over my husband in THIS article. I’ve done that in another article,  and have a whole other blog devoted to the heart break of my marriage, which I may choose to share at a later date. It’s still too raw to put out there. So understand that I am not being flip about this, but this is a topic – how our heart fits into this diet thing – that I don’t think most of us who have struggled with our weight understand enough about. If we understand it at all.

Now, I do have a healthy weight loss story prior to this, but that’s not the main thing that I want to talk about. Please don’t get too distracted here. I just want you to see that I have struggled myself and might know a little bit about this topic of weight and of how our heart impacts it.

Tammy-ba-2018

So, as you can see from the first picture, I had a significant issue with my weight earlier. This has been something I struggled with most of my adult life, really noticeably starting with the “freshman 15” pounds that most college freshman gain from eating junk at college. I was heavier than I’d have liked in high school as well, but when I look at those pictures now, I think how I wish I had appreciated how thin and healthy I was then. I thought I was a total cow. If I could go back and tell my younger self a few things… well that’s part of why I’m writing this article.

Why Losing Weight Is More Than Counting Calories
& Exercising At The Gym

Jacqui McCoyFor a moment, I am going to depart from my own story, and share a friend’s story. The details of my own pain still need to be kept private for now. My friend’s story however, has already been made public, and I asked her permission to share it here. This friend was rather famous because she was featured on the tv show Extreme Makeover, Weight Loss Edition. Her name is Jacqui McCoy. She lost over 200 lbs on the show. She was a young woman who desperately wanted to have a baby. However, she had been told that due to her PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, my daughter also has this) which was supposedly caused by her obesity, she would not be able to conceive. The HOPE of being able to have a child is what fueled her determination to audition for the show. This was an incredible motivation for her to lose weight, but as she found out, it has to go even deeper than motivation to not only lose the weight. Once you lose the weight, motivation is not enough to KEEP IT OFF.

So back to the topic at hand. What had originally caused Jacqui to gain so much weight to begin with? If you see pictures of Jacqui growing up, she did not start out as an obese child. Her parents are not obese either. But around the age of 14 she began to gain a significant amount of weight. What changed? She had been at a friend’s party and had been raped! She never told anyone. The shame, the guilt, the trauma, the self-blame was more than she could bear. She could have turned to self harm and become a cutter. She could have just as easily become an alcoholic, a drug user, even a workaholic. She did what many people do who have experienced a trauma, she began to self-medicate. Her “drug of choice” was food. (So is mine. Especially chocolate and sugar.)

Thin = Happily Ever After?

Not quite. Losing the weight is one thing. KEEPING IT OFF is entirely another demon to wrestle. Why do we almost always gain the weight back? I have kept off the majority of my own weight loss for a period of about 6 years, except for when my father died and my marriage began to unravel. That was in 2016-2017. You can see my pics here. I was in tremendous pain, was experiencing heart break at so many different levels, was out of my routine, life had been turned upside down, and so… What did I do? I self-medicated with my favorite drug of choice. Food! Chocolate & Carbs. I got back on track and many of us do, but many of us fall off the wagon and simply give up.

So back to Jacqui’s story. Surely after being coached by the best personal trainers in the business and having such incredible support from the show, from family and friends…. surely she never, ever would fall back into unhealthy habits, right? Wrong.

Not long after the show was over, Jacqui gained back (if I’m not mistaken) about 80 of the 200 lbs she had lost, and it came back FAST! She knew how to count calories. She knew how to exercise. She had a tremendous reason to be motivated. But none of that kept the weight from coming back on. How many of us have experienced that absolute same thing? Here is a recent post from Jacqui’s facebook page:

Jacqui's post

Trauma & Heart Break: The Missing Piece

Do not wave this off as insignificant. Jacqui said something at a convention I attended. She was one of the featured speakers due to her recent “stardom” and weight loss story. She said you have to “love yourself thinner.” I attached a clip of her talk here, the first few minutes are a brief repeat of the show itself, and then she starts talking.  I was one of those applauding wildly for her, but the impact of that statement has sunk deeper and deeper in my understanding as life just kept throwing some hard stuff at me.

I work with people a lot on their “self talk” when they come to me wanting help losing weight. Most people, especially women, talk to themselves in such a manner they’d NEVER tolerate someone else doing to their best friend or to their children. But they do it to themselves. This is usually an indicator of much deeper issues.

You don’t have to have been cheated on or raped to have “heart issues” that impact your weight and overall health. Maybe you just felt unwanted as a child, that’s a pretty awful thing to have happened to you. Maybe your parents got divorced. Maybe one of your parents was an alcoholic. Maybe your father abandoned your family. See where I’m going with this? Maybe one of them was a great person, but was a workaholic. Maybe you were raised by a single mom, and there just wasn’t enough of her to go around. Or on a lighter note, maybe you’ve just put everyone you love and their well-being ahead of your own for so long, that you don’t remember how to take care of yourself.

Learning How to Love Yourself
& Healing Your Heart/Trauma Is The Missing Piece!!!

Why do alcoholics keep drinking when their organs are shutting down and they KNOW they are drinking themselves to death? Why do heroine addicts keep putting that needle in their veins? Why does chocolate and sugar call my name – especially Nutella – if it’s in my house? Why can’t I leave it alone? You may think I’m crazy, but it’s the same reason I’ve stayed in a toxic relationship far too long. I not only did not value myself enough, and the TRAUMA in our hearts, whatever caused us to undervalue ourselves originally, is operating in our sub-conscious and DRIVING THE ADDICTION, in my case, and maybe yours, to food.

***** To over-simplify this, imagine that your jugular vein has been cut in your neck, but only a band-aid was placed to hide the cut while no surgery was done to heal the vein underneath.*****

We are all in various stages of understanding where we are now and why, and where we have come from. Most of us feel that we have no control over where we are going, and spend our lives reacting to whatever life throws at us. Many of us will give up trying to lose weight all together with reasons that sound sensible like, “Obesity runs in my family. There must be a ‘fat gene’,” or “It’s just too hard to go to the gym every single day!” or “I don’t drink, gamble or fool around. I’m gonna eat what I want!” or my all-time favorite and I think DUMBEST excuse ever, “It costs too much to eat healthy!” Face it. You’re either gonna pay now or later. I’d rather pay a little more to be healthier now and invest in long term health results, than to pay DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS LATER! I’d rather learn and do some hard things now, than sacrifice time in a waiting room of some doctor or hospital later when I could have been playing with grandbabies or something lots more fun!

Okay to wrap this up, there are many, many ways to go about losing weight. Please do so in a HEALTHY MANNER. If you go to some of the links I’ve shared with you, I will tell you more about my own story and what Jacqui McCoy and I both chose to lose and maintain our weight, and literally heal from the inside out. You don’t HAVE to go to the gym and exercise like crazy, I didn’t. BUT, I will tell you that going to the gym will make you feel better (releases those fabulous endorphins) and is a great stress reliever, which I think is a couple of reasons that I think facilitate weight loss at least as much as the physical activity. That’s my opinion. BUT WHATEVER WAY you choose, remember what Jacqui said, “You have to love yourself thinner.”

For some of us, that will be simply deciding that we will devote 30 minutes a day to go for a walk, maybe spending more time with good friends, maybe even changing jobs, but somehow making ourselves a priority regardless of what else in on our plate. Sometimes it makes a great difference just to watch that self talk. Encouraging ourselves the same way we would for any friend in how we talk to ourselves is HUGE!!!

For others of us, who have been dealt some really gnarly blows in life, some professional counseling or prayer ministry may be in order. But one thing’s for sure, ignoring the ROOT of the overeating does not work. Looking at this as a discipline doesn’t work unless you are already really healthy emotionally. Counting calories won’t work except short term, unless you get a handle on your emotional issues. Potions and pills that “make” you lose weight CAN ALSO HURT OR KILL YOU.

Addressing your trauma and emotional wounds will have ramifications much farther than your pants size my dear. I have really found this to be true recently with my latest heart break. Learn this concept now, and teach it to your children and your grandchildren. These unresolved traumas keep causing us to make poor choices, and not just in boyfriends and husbands, but in our diets.

One of my favorite lines from any movie is from “The Help” where the maid tells the little girl she takes care of, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” She knew the little girl’s mama was telling her she wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, etc and etc. Do what you gotta do to heal your heart, and everything – including weight loss – will be much more attainable and sustainable.

(If this article was helpful to you somehow, I’d love it if you’d friend me on Facebook, or check out my my YouTube channel. I’m just starting to upload videos on YouTube.com, so stay tuned or a lot more.)

June 14, 2018

So, I Lost Some Weight, Part 1

by healthybydesignblog

180 pics TammyFirst of all, there is more to losing weight than exercise and counting calories! There are three major components to healthy and effective weight loss, in my opinion and in my own personal experience:

  1. Learning about REAL nutrition, not just counting calories,
    and putting REAL nutrition IN your diet
  2. Learning about FAKE food, and keeping as much
    FAKE food OUT of your diet as possible
  3. Stress, Emotional Triggers, and Dealing With Trauma

I talk about this a lot. Sometimes I think I’ve told this story too much, only to find out that others are still struggling so much, and still could benefit from it. So I decided doing this post was a good way to try to organize my story here. Please note in the pictures above, that the first row is a transformation that occurred in only 2.5 months! And, this transformation did NOT include regular visits to the gym! It was entirely about changing my diet (keeping junk OUT) and properly supplementing my diet (putting more good, pure nutrition IN).

My Weight Loss Actually Started With My Daughter’s Diagnosis

The pictures above only tell half the story. It all started with my daughter being diagnosed with PCOS. That’s the subject of another blog post, which I’ll write soon… But the short version is that in my efforts to help HER get healthier and lose weight, I ended up getting healthier and losing weight, too! I also reversed Rheumatoid Arthritis and have been pain free since 2011. It’s June of 2018 right now. That’s PAIN FREE FOR SEVEN YEARS so far. Not only that, I got rid of “brain fog” and was sharper than I had been since college. AND, I kept looking younger! Bonus!!! You can see for yourself in the pictures below. I think I actually look younger in 2018 than I did in 2011. I certainly look BETTER and healthier.

I also think it is important to point out, what I wasn’t willing to do for MYSELF, which was changing my eating habits and getting healthier I WAS WILLING TO DO FOR MY CHILD. Isn’t that typical? I was not motivated to take care of myself at all at that time. I had been through some tough stuff. Again, a topic for another blog article at another time. However, at the time that the Aug 2011 pic was taken, I had been through a house fire and a miserable, toxic 11-year marriage that ended in divorce. I was self-employed, working 80+ hrs a week, and was homeschooling my little girl. Simply put, taking care of myself came dead last on my priority list. I was in survival mode, pure and simple. You ever been there?

Love fueled the changes in my diet. Not love for myself, love for my daughter. Then I got to feeling SO MUCH BETTER, and looking so much better, that I decided I had to keep this new lifestyle up, just to be able to keep up with life!

However, as you can see in 2016-2017, I gained a lot of weight back, due to heart break. Although I was newly married in February of 2016 and very happy initially, my father was declining rapidly with Parkinson’s and I lost him in August of 2016. My marriage also started to unravel around that time. Also, my only daughter decided in July of that year, that she’d rather live with her father than with me and my new husband. Ugh!!! I was not just sad, I was DEVASTATED. I was also stressed, exhausted, depressed, broken-hearted, disappointed, grieving, etc and etc. You name it, I was feeling it. I talk about trauma and heart break and what that has to do with weight more here. Perhaps you can relate. I don’t think people understand how important this is to a healthy weight and a healthy mental state. I honestly believe that all the knowledge of healthy eating and other good habits can be undone, in an INSTANT, either by a new trauma, or by an event, or a trigger in your current situation that triggers an old heart break.

So, that being said, I leave it to you to do some investigating about how to heal past trauma. If you google that topic, I suspect you will find tons of information on that. Both in Christian and secular circles, they are all saying the same thing. Heal the trauma, heal your life. Heal the trauma, deal with the rejection, the abandonment, the disappointment or whatever it is from your childhood, and replace that, I believe, with the TRUTH of God’s word, the TRUTH of God’s love for you, with the FORGIVENESS of others and yourself, and the pieces begin to fall into place. Then attaining a healthier LIFE in general, and a happier, more peaceful life starts to emerge from the ashes. You simply have to LOVE YOURSELF HEALTHIER, or thinner, or more successful.

I have only recently begun to learn this myself. I maintained my weight with just the first two items I spoke about at the beginning of this article for a about five years: Putting good stuff IN, and keeping bad stuff OUT. Then a recent heart break hit me out of left field and for the first time in my life, my heart was so broken I began to LOSE weight. That has been a first. The anxiety attacks that rocked me after this recent heart break is what DROVE me to find relief, to find healing, and that’s how I began to learn more about this whole heart issue and how it’s tied to EVERYTHING.

Guess what? If you’re overweight, it has a lot to do with what you’re eating, but even more so, it has to do with the state of your heart. You may just be self-medicating.

If you’re broke, you need to learn a few basic financial principles, but even more so, it has to do with the state of your heart.

Keep making bad choices in boyfriends and husbands? It has a lot to do with the state of your heart and what you believe about yourself and your worth.

I call this a “broken spiritual GPS”. You keep doing what you think is the right things, you’re following the map you’ve got, but there’s something wrong with that map and although you are making all the turns that appear to be correct, you’re still ending up at the painful destination. Overweight, broken hearted, and / or possibly addicted or broke. Remember, you can be addicted to sugar as easily as cocaine or heroine. You can be addicted to the praise of man!

So, I really planned for this article to be more about nutrition. I guess I will start another post about that. It IS a very important subject. So let’s go there next!

June 5, 2018

Unfaithful

by healthybydesignblog

I hadn’t planned to write this today. Didn’t want to write this today. Didn’t want to dive into these feelings.

About three days ago, I found out that my husband had been unfaithful to me.

At first, I was in shock. My brain could not, no it REFUSED to accept the information. I simply did not believe it. At first I thought he was just saying it to hurt me, because he seems to enjoy doing that lately. He could tell I did not believe him. We’ve been separated for some time, but have been working towards reconciling, so I am not currently living there. When he saw that I didn’t believe him, when he saw that I was not crumpled on the ground, he went into the house and got a piece of clothing that had been left by the woman. I had to face the truth, but even then, my brain just would not compute.

Knowing that he could have called me, and simply expressed that he needed me to be a wife to him and I would have RUSHED right over to fill that need, he DELIBERATELY went to a bar, DELIBERATELY got drunk, and DELIBERATELY brought a strange woman into our bed. Then he didn’t just confess it, he threw it in my face (in front of one of his buddies) with absolute relish and fury. And all I could do was say, “Don’t you love me anymore?” I know he does. He did. Thirty days ago, he was confessing his adoration and love for me, apologizing for past hurts, and declaring, giving his WORD that he would allow nothing to come between us again. Just 30-40 days ago. So, as you can imagine, I was not just a little shocked, I was floored.

You know what happened next. I had an hour drive back to my place. I could not drive over 45 mph, so it took even longer. Once home, I began to let the information sink it. The images of the love of my life, naked, with some strange woman, in the bed that I had shared with him – in that bed where he had declared his love for me so often – fractured my mind and heart. Wave after wave of grief. I had emotional vertigo. I felt like I would throw up. I’d go numb for a few minutes, then it would start all over again. Then the anger flared. How could he have done this to me. What about all his promises? What about him giving me HIS WORD. I felt abandoned, rejected, and soooo disappointed.

Has someone YOU loved been unfaithful to you? Stop and revisit those feelings for just a moment…

In the Bible, God refers to our relationship with him, especially with Jesus, as a Bride and a Bridegroom. He uses marriage as an illustration throughout His Word. Beulah Land, the song our grandparents used to sing, is referring to a “Marriage” Land. When the word says that Jesus did not scorn the shame of the cross, for the “joy” set before him, I think it was that he, the groom, knew that when he got through this suffering, he had the JOY of meeting his bride (us) to look forward to. How many movies have we seen where the hero goes through incredible odds for his love, or even sacrifices his very life for her. It was never a question to Him if we were worth it or not!

So when we put anything other than God first in our lives, he is jealous for us. Over and over in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, the Lord equates idol worship with a wife’s unfaithfulness. I thought I knew what he felt. I thought I understood. But until my husband hit me with his statement of his own unfaithfulness, I had a new appreciation for how God feels when we are unfaithful to him. I hope you will pause here, and let that sink in. Especially if you yourself have experienced this in your own life.

God doesn’t just love us as apart of an adoring crowd. He doesn’t see us just as “fans”. He loves us intimately as a groom loves his new bride. Do you remember what it’s like to be in love like that? Have you forgotten? Our love as humans waxes and wanes, but God is not a man. He is faithful and true regardless of how we choose to be.

So, where do we go from here?

Today, and yesterday, I have found myself repenting to the Lord for causing him the kind of pain that I have now feeling with my own husband’s infidelity. Especially when I have tried SO HARD to love him and love him well. Even as I type that, I am reminded of all the times I have read in the Bible with the Lord saying he had been so good to Israel (us) and that had lain naked in open fields and prostituted themselves with other gods. How soon we forget His Faithfulness.

Even when I met my husband, I made him an idol ahead of my God. I had been a single mother for ten years. The last time I had been intimate with a man, had been with my former husband, TEN YEARS PREVIOUS! Then this handsome, charming man fell madly in love with me, and I him. I got so swept up in his adoration (due to my own dysfunction and neediness) that I asked my Lord Jesus to please step down from the throne in my heart, and I replaced Him with my husband. Now I could have kept them both obviously, and still had Jesus on the throne and my husband and I probably be in a much different place right now. Either he would have recognized that Jesus was first and been drawn more to Him himself, or he would have chosen to leave the relationship. Either way, I would have been better off.

Now, I try to admit this pretty often when I write anything and put it out there for public view. I don’t know much at all. I don’t have a bunch of answers for you. I don’t know what tomorrow is gonna look like. I have no plan to wrap this all up and make it all better. ALL I KNOW is WHO I need to turn to. Thankfully, we are under a new covenant, and all the Father’s jealous wrath was exhausted at the cross. If we repent of our own unfaithfulness and ask His forgiveness, it is a done deal, and He doesn’t treat us like a jilted husband would. He welcomes us back with open arms and the relationship is as if the infidelity never occurred. Now that’s restoration.

I could go on, but I think I’ve said enough. I did not want to go here today, but He impressed it upon me that I needed to write this while my own pain was still fresh and raw and pulsating like a fresh wound. If you’ve asked the Lord Jesus to step down from the throne of your heart, won’t you give Him His rightful place again?

May 28, 2016

My God Is Jealous For Me

by healthybydesignblog

… I have heard somewhere that it was this concept – the concept of God being jealous – that caused Oprah Winfrey to turn away from Christianity, but I don’t know this for certain.

… Have you ever held your new born baby and hoped that the child would prefer you to everyone else, even the child’s father? Does this seem odd to you? Is it just me?

I had experienced infertility for a number of years. I was 34, almost 35,  when I had my first and only child, a daughter. I named her Rachel. When I would rock her to sleep and look down into her sweet little face, I knew that no one else in the universe was loved as much as this child was loved by me. I wanted her to love her father, her grandparents, her step-brother and sister, but most of all I wanted her to love me as much as I loved her, and I love her immensely. I wanted her to prefer my company as I preferred hers, above anyone else in the world.

That’s when God spoke to me and reminded me that He was jealous. Not as an insecure and selfish lover is jealous. He was jealous FOR me. He loved me so very much, that it would break His heart for me to prefer another’s company to His. He wanted me to prefer to spend my time with Him. To tell my secrets to Him first. Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t that lovely? I began to better understand Him as a Good Father, and what a Father’s heart was all about.

Recently, I was married for the second time. I had been a single mom for over nine years after my divorce. My first marriage pales in comparison to this one. My first husband was emotionally absent, and I am convinced that he never loved me. I have NO IDEA why someone would get married if they were not in love, but I believe that’s what happened. My second husband literally ADORES me. In fact it blows my mind how much this man loves me. And once again, I am reminded about a jealous God. God could not use my previous husband as a way to parallel His love for me, because all that man did was hurt me. But my current husband shows me in a million different small thoughtful ways how much he loves me – in the way he looks at me, the way he speaks to me, the way he can’t sleep unless his arms are around me, etc. It’s easy to see that his thoughts are always about me. I am continuously thrilled that His love is just as intensely felt now as when he first declared it to me. It has not waned.

Don’t ask me! I have NO IDEA why He loves me so much. But I KNOW he does. It’s very obvious and it’s absolutely wonderful. And again, God says to me that my husband’s love for me is a small fraction of His own love for me. This level of intimacy, and I’m talking about KNOWING someone, is what our God desires with us. Over and over the Bible speaks of a Groom and His bride. Over and over the wedding and consummation of a great love story is used to help illustrate who Jesus wants to be to us. He delights in us. His thoughts are always about us. He is jealous for us!

But what about the parts of the Bible that don’t seem so romantic? Beloved, realize that we are in the time of the NEW Covenant. Our Groom has paid our bride’s price. There is no more debt to be paid, if you have accepted His proposal. He has taken your debt on as His own. He has promised to take care of you for ever and ever, and to never leave your side. He has even promised to love you when your youth fades and your strength is gone. He is Faithful and True.

Our culture has few examples of anything so pure and lovely these days. I have to search back in my mind to childhood thoughts of a handsome prince, or a shining knight on a white horse. Images that seem kinda corny nowadays to us skeptical, hard-hearted, broken and battered folks. But in our heart of hearts, back before the world – or rather, before our enemy shattered our hopes and dreams, the hope of that sort of unselfish, courageous love lives on. We may have forgotten, but it’s still there, buried under lies and hurts.

Have you noticed that I have only bragged on my husband’s love for me? Not my love for him? Does it seem unfair? Is our love one sided? Not at all. Too often as Christians, we brag on our love for Jesus, all the time having other lovers that we prefer, at least for a time, if we’re honest. We brag on how much we do to prove our love to Him, but even our Groom has said our righteousness is as filthy rags. This is nothing more than a religion of works people. It is much more appropriate to brag on His love for us, and all that HE has done to prove His love for us. If we are going to boast, we simply boast about Him.

Grace is an amazing thing. It is the word used for the greatest love there ever was. The greatest love story ever told. He ADORES us, and has done everything necessary to provide for you, to have you and to hold you. He will not remind you of your former lovers, of your past mistakes. He will simply love you and that love makes you as pure as if you had never messed up at all. All your weaknesses, all your mistakes, all your faults, all your less-than-perfectness is forgotten after His proposal is accepted. Your are forever His, and He is yours. And He will always be just as jealous for you as He was in the beginning of time. He is for you friend, and not against you. He is not like your ex-husband.  🙂

Exodus 34:14
–for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God–
2 Corinthians 11:2
For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.
May 8, 2015

Wanna Be Home With Your Kids AND Save The World?

by healthybydesignblog

I’m a single mom. I certainly didn’t expect to be. It’s hard sometimes, a lot of the time really. I’m still figuring things out, but about two years ago I made a huge leap of faith in regards to my career. I shut down my small home-based advertising agency and web-design company to literally save the world, or as many people as I could anyway. As many as who would listen.

I need to provide a little background. My daughter is now 13, but at age 5 she was diagnosed with a hormonal disorder called PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). The most urgent aspect of this was her blood sugar, she was pre-diabetic. Picture this, at that time I was about 250 lbs, addicted to Mt. Dew, stubborn as heck, and my body was racked with both Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I had just gone through a house fire and a traumatic marriage which ended in divorce. I had little hope, few resources, and was just surviving emotionally from one day to the next. I hope you have never been there, or somewhere similar, but perhaps you have.

Shortly thereafter, more bad news. My father was diagnosed with Parkinsons, my mother with a blood disorder, and my younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 41. I’m not one to always follow the rules in the first place, and after seeing my grandfather suffer through traditional cancer treatment, I was actively reading, researching and asking questions about NATURAL ways to help the people I loved. I learned that NUTRITION could not only PREVENT much of what my family was going through, but could possibly stop the progression of some of their symptoms, and even possibly REVERSE some of it. I was so excited!!!!

This is really where the Lord stepped in. As a single mom, I was working terribly long hours with my advertising biz, and was always feeling guilty for not having more time to spend with my daughter, even though we were homeshooling. It was fun when I started, but then the housing market crashed, it really impacted my business, and mommy wasn’t so much fun anymore. She was wiggin’ out! SO, I was considering a part-time job or in-home biz to add to my already crazy schedule. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see myself as a salesperson. I hated even selling Girl Scout cookies as a kid. The idea of running up and down the road begging friends to buy stuff they may not even need in the first place just didn’t appeal to me. However, my cousin Teresa had told me about Shaklee vitamins when I was in my 20’s, and I never paid her any mind. After all, I wasn’t gonna ever get old or sick, right? Fast forward into my 40’s, I’m getting old and I’m definitely sick, and so is everyone I care about. For the first time, I was ready to listen about nutrition and this Shaklee company she told me about.

Turns out, the founder, Dr. Forrest Shaklee, invented the very first multi-vitamin and he was a pretty incredible guy. Turns out, they have a zero tolerance for contamination in their products with higher standards than the FDA, AND they were environmentally proactive before being “green” was cool. I have heard all kinds of testimonies from regular folks just like you and me. One day everything in life was okay, the next day, either they – or someone they loved – got a scary diagnosis and their universe was rocked. Their lives or the lives of someone they loved was spared or improved by this company and their science. This is something I am excited about and can’t help but share with friends and neighbors, and you. This company loves fostering healthy happy homes, where moms can raise their own kids and make a salary replacement income while working part-time from home.

SO, if you are one of those, who like me, want to save the world, even if sometimes it doesn’t want to be saved, AND you’d really like to be home more with your kids, I suggest you consider Shaklee. I am more in love with the MISSION of this company than when I started four years ago. AND, I have lost 60 lbs, no longer need ANY pain meds for my arthritis – in fact, I don’t even consider myself to have it any longer! I am still trying to help my family, and my neighbors, and my friends, and again, anyone who will listen. I have awesome stories to share that are forthcoming. I hope you will be as inspired as I have been!

April 1, 2014

Jesus Sent Me Roses For My Birthday

by healthybydesignblog

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 10.25.56 AMToday is April 1st, and no, this is not an April Fool’s joke! As my birthday falls in this month, I was reminded of a very special gift.

Several years ago, I had just had a house fire, lost my home and it’s contents and was recently divorced. Although I had a new house, twice as nice as the one I lost, I could not enjoy it because I just felt like such a failure. A vague but persistent condemnation was always hanging over my head, and at that time, I thought those feelings were telling me how God felt about me. I was worried that perhaps I did not deserve such a nice house, that somehow I had been selfish, and I just didn’t really deserve anything nice. It FELT so real. It was SO oppressive; it was suffocating my hope and I had little expectation for a better tomorrow. Really and truly, I had little desire to live. I was not suicidal so much as just exhausted from disappointment. I felt unloved, unattractive, unsuccessful, unintelligent, unprepared, unworthy, etc. and etc.

One morning as I was getting ready for the day, I thought about my upcoming birthday. I had recently studied about the story of Gideon in the Bible, and he had asked God for a sign, and not just one, but two. I thought to myself, “If I could just know that I was not out of God’s favor, that He still loved me, and that I had not done anything to sever our relationship, I can handle the rest.” So I thought about asking God for a sign. I thought what kind of sign should I ask for? I decided to ask for something that would be highly unlikely to happen, that way, I would KNOW it was God.

Just so you know, I’ve also received more “holy” type answers to prayer. I wanted a baby in spite of a doctor’s report, and I was blessed with one. I was sick with fibromyalgia and given no hope of a cure, but Jesus healed me. I gave money to a missionary when I really needed it myself, and got a ten times bigger return on that gift within a week’s time. I have all kinds of stories!

So I decided to ask for cut flowers for my birthday. I really don’t care if any religious types think this was silly, that’s what I asked for! 🙂 I knew my mom would most likely get me hanging baskets for my birthday, or something to plant in my yard, but cut flowers are something generally reserved for boyfriends, husbands, etc and I had neither. I also didn’t want to just ask for flowers, and then have the devil steal my blessing, when it could be easily said, “Your mama gets you flowers every birthday.” It was also a somewhat frivolous expense, and I didn’t know anyone who would do such a thing. I thought maybe I’d get one of those roses in plastic that you see at a gas station or something. Maybe my young daughter would ask someone to help her pay for it, so that she could give it to me. That was pretty much my expectation, nothing fabulous, just any cut flower would do.

Well a few days passed and I completely forgot about this request, in fact, within minutes of the request I had forgotten all about it. I have gone into a bit of explanation about all this, but honestly, the thought process probably only took a few seconds at the most, and as I’ve already said, I completely forgot about it almost as soon as I prayed for it.

In fact, my birthday came and went, and my mom brought me some hanging baskets, and I still hadn’t thought about my request for a sign that God and I were on good terms, that He wasn’t mad at me. The day AFTER my birthday, I woke up at 4am with a friend from church on my heart who was struggling with a diagnosis of MS (Multiple Sclerosis). I got up to write her a letter of encouragement. It was still dark outside when I started the letter, but about the crack of dawn, I walked from my home office to my living room for something. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something propped up on my front door, which is mostly panes of glass. Strange, it was a skinny long rectangular cardboard box.  As soon as I open the door, I see the FTD symbol, and recalled my prayer request!

I was shocked! I had forgotten, but the Lord had not. I crumpled on the floor and began to bawl. “OMG, He remembered! He cares, and He’s not mad at me!” My emotions were all over the place– extreme joy, disbelief, and OMG! This was an outrageous, silly, off the wall request, and when I made it, I couldn’t imagine who might send me flowers, but He had remembered my desperate need to know that our relationship was intact.

Then I opened the box…….. oh my! I would have been happy with a wilted, pitiful flower from a gas station, but what I had in front of me, was a bouquet of 40 miniature roses of all kinds of colors! (I turned 40 that year.) Roses are my favorite flower by the way, and not only for how they look, but for how they smell. The friend who sent them to me had no idea, but God did. I took in a deep breath, expecting them to be pretty, but maybe not really have much smell, because sometimes they just don’t. My lungs were full of rose perfume and tears streamed down my face. They even smelled good!

A creative director at a local advertising agency had sent them! I hadn’t known her that long or all that well at the time, but she did it just because she felt like it. Little did she know, that Jesus had set up that whole thing! The flowers HAD arrived on my birthday, I just hadn’t seen them until the next morning!

This answered prayer blessed a deep place in my heart, because it answered a deep need to know that I wasn’t just loved a little bit, that I wasn’t just a faceless girl in the crowd, but that I was ADORED by the creator of the universe and that He delighted in blessing my heart. Our heart aches really matter to Him, and the need to know that we are truly and deeply loved matters to him. I am still trying to grasp that, and need a lot of reminding, so I adore the Word of God and my church who gives me regular doses of the Good News, the “almost too good to be true good news”. He ADORES us! And what’s more, He adores me and knows me personally and intimately. He knows what I like!

My birthday is coming around again, and this year, I am more secure in that love now than I was then. However, I am so hungry for more! As a single mom, it blesses me to read that He is not only my Savior and my Healer, but He is also my Husband and I am His Bride. It also says that He delights in me. Imagine that!

You may need your mortgage paid this month, heck you may need groceries, or a child healed, or you may need hope and strength to just keep going one more day. Know this, that He is FOR YOU! Anything that says otherwise is a lie. When the enemy tries to tell me that I don’t matter to God, remembering that bouquet tells me not only that I matter, but that He’s actually pretty crazy about me. How awesome is that? I hope you know, that because God is “no respecter of persons”, that means if He’s crazy about me, He’s crazy about you, too. Hard to believe, I know, but maybe you need to ask the Lord to show you just how crazy He is about you someday soon. If you do, I would LOVE to hear about it.

January 16, 2014

“It’s All Right.”

by healthybydesignblog

Couldn’t sleep tonight, and just opened my Bible kinda randomly. I began reading and the first words I saw was, “It’s all right.” This was a mother’s response, called the Shunamite, to her son’s death. But that’s not the end! In 2nd Kings Chapter 4, beginning with verse 8, we begin reading this woman’s story, she had been kind to the prophet Elisha, so he wanted to bless her, and his servant suggested that he pray for her to have a son, as she was childless. So that’s exactly what happened. However, one day the boy was in the field with his father and complained that his head hurt, so a servant carried him to his mother. She held him in her lap, and there he died.

What would I have done? Freaked completely out, maybe passed out, stopped breathing myself from grief and shock??? What did she do? She asked her husband to have a servant prepare a donkey for her to go see the man of God. He said why, it’s not Sunday? She said, “It’s alright.” This is not to say that the woman was not in great distress, but she still had hope, and did not agree with the facts, the circumstances, what she could see with her eyes.

As she got closer to where the prophet was, he recognized her from a distance and sent his servant ahead to ask if everything was alright at home. She answered his servant, “Everything is all right.” When she came before Elisha however, she got down on her knees, grabbed his feet, and said, “Did I ask you for a son? Didn’t I tell you not to get my hopes up?” (paraphrased)

The story ends with Elisha going to her home to find her son dead. He prayed, and then laid on top of the boy twice, the boy sneezed and woke up and was restored to his mother. I have learned a lot recently about agreeing with the Lord’s report and not the enemy’s. I am thinking had the woman reacted to what she knew to be fact, and gave into her feelings, perhaps she would not have gotten this miracle, because she would have already have agreed with the world’s report, with the evidence that presented itself.

A preacher I know of, Andrew Womack raised his own son from the dead in very similar circumstances. His younger son called him to tell him his oldest son was dead, and had been dead several hours. They had a long drive to where his son’s body lay in a morgue. But he never gave into his grief, never agreed with his son’s report, and when he got to the morgue, he raised his son from the dead. He’s raised others as well, but my point is how important it is to first shut our mouths when we get a diagnosis, or distressful news of any kind. Yes, you may be presented with FACTS, but hey, facts can change! In the presence of the Almighty God who loves you, who is FOR YOU, miracles can abound. But right now, TODAY, we need to decide whose report we will agree with, the God who loves us, or the enemy whose sole purpose is to kill, steal and destroy.

As is often the case, I am writing this for my own benefit, as well as for anyone else who may stumble along and find it. Your words have power. Agree with the God who is FOR YOU, who loves you, who knitted you together in your mother’s womb. The enemy’s favorite weapon is to convince you that the disaster that just fell in your lap was authored by God. He gets to do the crime and blame the Father, and way too often we buy this crap and AGREE WITH THE ENEMY OF OUR SOULS!!  We are under condemnation for this or that, and we think that’s God as well. If we ever understood, really truly, that God is good, and that he ADORES us, then we’d be like a royal prince, who when abducted by crooks, knows if he could just get word to his powerful, loving Father, that all would be well. That heaven and earth would be moved, all his Father’s resources put behind the effort to save him. He would need only rest and wait for him to come.

Christ bore IT ALL on the cross. Past, present & future. He knew there was nothing you could do, so he did it all. #heisforyou

October 26, 2013

Relay For Life – But Not Pro-Life?

by healthybydesignblog

Relay For Life logoSusan G Komen logo If you’ve ever been to a local Relay For Life event, you know how heart warming it can be. My younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 41, and she is now 45. I think this sort of community support for cancer patients and care givers is enormously beneficial. I am 100% FOR the eradication of cancer and have attended a couple of these events in the past, but after what I’ve learned since my sister’s diagnosis, I am NOT in favor of sending money to Relay For Life, the American Cancer Society or the pharmaceutical industry in general and there are several reasons why, but I am only going to cover one here.

Initially I greatly admired the Susan G. Komen Foundation, because my understanding is that like me, the founder was moved to make a difference by her sister’s battle with breast cancer. However, I found out in the last year or so that both Susan G. Komen AND the American Cancer Society both give money to Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions in the nation, under the guise of it being a women’s health issue. Thus the title of my post.  Had I given money to help save women from breast cancer, only to find out that some of that money went to an abortion provider, I’d want it back. The fact that my money, given with the intention to help preserve a life, could’ve been used to brutally end one would be infuriating and horrifying.

Founder of Freedom and Faith, Ralph Reed wrote “Planned Parenthood is currently under investigation for numerous alleged violations of the law, do not offer mammography services to women, and have failed to comply with Komen’s guidelines and metrics for grantees.” In addition, Lifeway Christian bookstores pulled all their pink Bibles back in 2011 after they discovered that $1 from the sale of each of those Bibles went to the nation’s largest abortion provider.

And don’t you find it ironic, that a group called Relay For Life, would not think an unborn baby’s life just as worthwhile as a woman battling breast cancer? Is life only valuable for some, but not all? To me, this is a sinister thread, woven into a message of hope, that simply cannot be ignored. Why is it valiant for one person to fight for survival, but inconvenient for a child to be granted the same opportunity to life?  

For more information:

http://www.lifenews.com/2011/04/01/pro-lifers-dont-support-american-cancer-society-relay-for-life/

http://www.christianpost.com/news/pro-life-groups-dumbfounded-by-komens-reversal-on-planned-parenthood-funding-68644/

http://www.lifenews.com/2013/07/03/march-of-dimes-american-cancer-society-spina-bifida-association-back-planned-parenthood/

In closing, I repeat, I am 100% FOR the eradication of cancer, and supporting cancer patients in a multitude of capacities. I am especially for more education on this topic about prevention, and a more holistic approach to treatment. There are many other reasons I choose personally NOT to support these institutions, there may possibly be more blog posts to address other reasons in the future. I have written another blog on some resources that explain how our diets either make us stronger in our resistance to cancer, or can make us weaker, and therefore more vulnerable to cancer. Please check out my earlier blog entitled “Holistic Cancer Resources.” And if you or someone you love has had a cancer diagnosis, know that you were DESIGNED TO HEAL, that facts can change and so can doctor reports, and that God is for you and not against you.

I also know that many Christians have supported Relay For Life completely unaware of their alignment, financially and politically for Planned Parenthood. I am not attempting to lay condemnation on anyone, just to inform well-meaning folks that they might want to reconsider where they send their money. I want all of us to try to be more informed.

If you would like to express your opinion on this topic to these institutions directly, here is a link with their contact information:

http://ww5.komen.org/contact.aspx

http://www.cancer.org/aboutus/howwehelpyou/contactus/index