I’ve been blessed with lots of support during this season in my life. My weight loss journey has been full of ups and downs and many people have encouraged me to keep on keeping on and I’m grateful for each one of them. Some of these fellow pilgrims and/or encouragers have been….
- Leslie Raper- My first trainer and running partner. She started me on this path and I will forever be grateful.
- My kids- They have sacrificed many hours with me while I workout, go for walks/runs, shop at the grocery store, take naps etc. These are all important parts of this season. I’ll never forget the look of pride and joy on their faces when I crossed the finish line at my first race. It was 18 degrees and I know they were so cold, but they held signs and cheered for me.
- My Celebrate Recovery group- A small group of ladies that held me accountable and listened to me share openly, honestly, vulnerably and prayed for me and with me. They asked about my weight loss. They offered to help in anyway and really held my feet to the fire.
- Sue Davey- I doubt she will ever read this, but she was my first workout partner. She was an encouragement, an example of strength and a positive peer influence/challenge. Oh and she makes amazing cookies 🙂
- Small group fitness class- These ladies and gentlemen have pushed me beyond the point I thought possible. We lifted together, stretched together, run together, laughed together, and sweated together. I will be eternally grateful for the motivation that this group provided.
- Family- My parents and brothers/sister-in-laws have been a great support also. Even if they haven’t said anything I know they’ve been praying for me.
However, the BIGGEST fan of my life BY FAR is my husband. Nathan has loved me fearlessly, boldly and completely for 19 years. We celebrated an anniversary earlier in the week (Tuesday). He loved me at 210 (when we married), 285.6 (my heaviest) and at whatever weight I am now (I’m avoiding the scales for a bit). Nathan has loved me during a time of depression and addiction. He’s loved me, while praying for me until a point of restoration. Nathan has sacrificed the most. He works diligently to pay for my work out expenses (classes, gear, clothing), all of my run registration fees, gas to and from all of these events, clean/organic foods (as much as possible) and even therapy/doctors appointments and lab work. Through tears, fears, guilt, shame, joy, surprising accomplishment…he has been there. There was even a point in our life where we attended WW together (a very short time). Every obstacle, every challenge, every disappointment he has walked me through and constantly and consistently brings me back to Jesus. Covering me in prayer, reading the Word to me, fostering a safe environment, leading me to a faith family, setting an example of godliness are all things Nathan has done. Many conversations have left me feeling closer to God, and full of a hope to keep on keeping on in life and in weight loss. Marriage has been difficult. It’s been challenging, depleting and overwhelming. It also has been uplifting, fun, an amazing experience and the basis for creating a fabulous, mostly functional family (hehehehehehe).
There really aren’t enough words to describe my love for Nathan. I pray for each one of you that reads these words that you have someone in your life that loves you well, as does my beloved. I’m proud of the marriage we’ve cultivated and am looking forward to many more years together. Everyone deserves a fan. If you don’t have a “biggest fan” hang out here. I’ll root you on, and I can introduce to you people that will encourage you. I also would love to tell you about a friend that sticks closer than a brother. His name is Jesus. As I end this post I’m going to share 19 things about Nathan that I love and I’m going to tell you a home workout that I did on Tuesday to celebrate 19 years (with one to grow on).
- His patience and rock-steady nature- He calms me when I am on the edge of the cliff and talks me down…EVERY time.
- His laugh- When he truly laughs there isn’t anything like it. It’s just so contagious and delightful.
- His work ethic- Nathan absolutely will not allow our family to suffer in any way, if he can prevent it. He has always provided for us to the best of his ability and is willing to take side jobs as needed. Knowing that I am safe financially, physically and emotionally is something I never take for granted.
- His voice- I’m totally biased, but this man can SING!!! When he worships in song, it wrecks me, without fail. I am honored to be his back ground vocalist/accompanist.
- His hunger to know God in a deeper way- Nathan loves to read and study God’s Word. Our discussions and studies that we have completed together are highlights of our marriage.
- His ability to do almost everything- Sheesh, this man cooks better than I do, he irons better than I do, he sews better than I do. He cleans the house for me, he grocery shops as needed, he is a mechanic, a builder, a teacher, a musician….really whatever he puts his mind to, he can accomplish.
- The way he loves our children- He is an amazing father. Patient, kind, and willing to listen are traits that describe his parenting style.
- His honesty/vulnerability- Nathan shares openly with those he trusts. He has shared in our LIFE groups and in Celebrate Recovery. God has used His story through Nathan to change and transform lives. He (Nathan) has overcome abuse, hurt and addiction and doesn’t mind talking about it. This inspires me. Nathan has been through a lot. He has a past that would make most shy away from love, but he through Jesus is overcoming this. He has been COMPLETELY and TOTALLY honest with me about who he is, what he’s done, what has been done to him, how he handled it…etc. I know every hurt, habit and hang-up and love him even more deeply and tenderly because of it.
- His choices- I love that he chose me. He could have done a lot better for a wife, but he chose me and I will be FOREVER grateful.
- His ability to dream- Some day we’ll own a timber frame house that Nathan built. Someday we’ll go on a cruise. Someday Nathan will sing with a Christian group. Someday we’ll be out of debt. Someday Nathan will own a business. Someday he’ll go back to school for a degree in counseling. Someday…He dreams and he shares those dreams. We don’t live in the future, we don’t dwell on it…we just keep each other encouraged by dreaming. I’m glad Nathan does this.
- His physical attributes- What woman doesn’t think her man is the most handsome ever? Yes I know Nathan is overweight. Yes I know he’s not a GQ cover model. It’s ok. I love him just the way he is. Would I like him to change? Yes, but I’m sure he would like me to change too. Nathan has gorgeous eyes, a sweet smile, good hair, strong hands…I could go on and on but I won’t. I think he’s the most handsome man I’ve ever seen and it still makes my heart skip a beat to see him walk in a room.
- His ability to let go of things- As passionate as Nathan can be and obsessive at times he also has the ability to disconnect. This is something I don’t have the ability to do. I hold onto everything (literally and emotionally). I am a pack rat (genetic predisposition). My mother is a hoarder. My Nannie was a hoarder. I am fighting this DAILY. Nathan doesn’t like cards. Don’t get me wrong when I get him a card he reads it, says thank you and then throws it promptly in the trash. This used to PEEVE ME OFF. Now I understand we don’t have the room or need to save these things. Nathan knows I love him. He doesn’t need piles of paper to prove it. Why do I??? Still wondering this!!! Anyway…he also can disconnect emotionally. He forgives people when they hurt him. He doesn’t stew over it or hold onto emotional baggage for YEARS like I do. I LOVE this quality he has, and am praying that I can learn it someday.
- His Obsessive Compulsive Disorder/Depression- WOW! What an odd thing to type. Once again a hard one, but a gift nonetheless. His OCD has drawn us closer. Most people divorce these days. Many of our friends are divorced or going through a divorce. Yet we just celebrated 19 years and are happier now than ever. Why??? Well one of the reasons is because we have been in counseling together for many years. Because Nathan finally sought help for his chemical imbalance and other issues we got some stuff out in the open. Counseling kept us together. Please don’t get me wrong. Sitting there in front of Len Cruz for years wasn’t easy. Hearing things I didn’t want to hear. Saying things I really didn’t want to say. Crying tears I wish weren’t shed. ALL WORTH IT!!! I know Nathan. I love Nathan. I accept Nathan. There are many up-sides to OCD.
- His kiss- once again something that I don’t take for granted these days. Life is hard right now. It’s busy and complicated and difficult some days. Yes there are days that go by that I don’t kiss my husband. This doesn’t make him a bad man. It just is the way it is right now. So, when Nathan is present with me enough and emotionally available enough to kiss me unprompted it makes my world spin. I like all kinds of kisses. Any time that man puckers up I ENJOY IT!!!
- His smile- I appreciate this more and more every day. There was a long time I didn’t see him smile. He struggled with 18 months of life changing depression. That smile I missed is back and I am grateful to God. Granted I don’t see it everyday, but when I do it ROCKS MY WORLD!!!
- His love-Nathan is NOT a romantic, in fact he sucks at it. How can I love that? Well it’s taken MANY years to get through this. I’ll admit that nothing would make me smile more than to be whisked away on a spontaneous, romantic outing or to receive flowers JUST BECAUSE or to have love notes waiting for me on my pillow. BUT…that’s NOT Nathan. He loves me by working EVERY DAY in a job that he struggles with. He loves me by fighting consistent and debilitating depression and remaining with us. He loves me by mowing the grass and cooking breakfast almost every Saturday. He loves me by keeping our cars running smoothly. He loves me by playing with our children. He loves me by bringing me coffee on Sunday mornings. He loves me by not expecting our house to be perfectly clean. Get the idea??? He loves me uniquely and completely…just in different ways than the norm.
- His heart-Nathan LOVES the Lord. He has such a soft heart. His relationship with His Savior is sweet and tender. He loves Jesus more than he loves me and this makes me smile.
- His desire to see others succeed- I have watched Nathan sacrifice his own best interest to empower, encourage and inspire others. He has put others ahead of himself in the work place, the church, his family and life in general. He is blessed by blessing others.
- His desire for the simple- Nathan is not high maintenance in any way. He doesn’t need a HUGE t.v. that he spends hours in front of watching sports. He doesn’t require fancy clothes, lots of shoes. He has tools that he uses for work, and someday he wants to own a classic car, but really he is a simple man. He wants an unpretentious life and wants to live within our means with money left over to share with others and bless them as the Lord leads. I want to make a sanctuary for him and make a home that brings comfort and peace to all who enter.
Here’s my “Anniversary” workout. I didn’t do these consecutively because I didn’t have the time, but it was good to move/lift regardless.
20 reps (19 years with one to “grown on”)
- Dead lifts (with 20 pounds)
- Hammer curls (10 pounds/arm)
- Standard curls (10 pounds/arm)
- Arnold presses (10 pounds/arm- 10 reps alternating arm, 10 simultaneously)
- Standard presses (10 pounds/arm- 10 reps alternating arm, 10 simultaneously)
- Plank for 20 sec. ( 19 times throughout the day)
- Run stairs (20 times throughout the day)
- 20 push-ups (bent knee)
- 20 wall push-ups with hand release
- 20 hand-release push-ups
- 20 tricep push-ups (diamond push-ups)
- 20 full sit-ups
Just a fun way to think about my man throughout the day, sneak in a little movement in between laundry and home schooling and to pray for Nathan and our marriage during each move.