True Grace

I have a big announcement coming next week and I can’t let you in on all the details yet…but as part of this big announcement I had to write out my testimony of faith.  Surprisingly I’d never done this before, and I felt a bit uncomfortable doing so for this surprise project…but once I got started yesterday I couldn’t stop.  And then last night after a long weekend I thought why  not share with the world.  I know in my heart that this blog is part of my faith journey so I feel you all should see a bit into my heart…see a bit more about why I’m so passionate about my faith and fitness.  

True Grace

I was baptized as a young girl in our family’s home church.  I knew I believed in God and I knew that I wanted God in my life.  But it wasn’t until much later that I realized the true impact of accepting Christ into my life.

I did my best to lead a Godly life but was not intentional with much in my faith throughout high school.  I was a good girl but by no means was I seeking out the Lord or asking Him to come into my life.

I went away to college and began to forget more about God.  For the first time in my life I felt free…no parents, no rules, no church to go to on Sunday if I didn’t want to…I started to veer off course.  Funny how when you feel free you also begin to feel like nothing is in your control.

As my own control over my life began to slip away I sunk into a severe eating disorder.  I do not know the root cause of my eating disorder but deep down inside I think it has to do with needing some type of acceptance that I didn’t have at college. Don’t get me wrong my family is amazing, my friends pretty awesome too, but I shut out God, I shut out so many of those friends and family as I tried desperately to gain some type of control of the chaos that was in my life.

Throughout my freshmen and sophomore year of college, I sunk deeper and deeper into my eating disorder and into severe depression and anxiety.  I prayed I remember many times that God would just end it all, not necessarily through death but that somehow He’d end it.  Thankfully my friends, family, and college support confronted me about my struggles and got me into treatment for recovery from my eating disorder.

I was terrified and ashamed that I needed help, that yet again I was out of control as I so badly wanted perfection in every aspect of my life.  I went my first day to treatment at a place called the Charis Center in Indianapolis.  I remember picking up my folder the first day of treatment and a piece of paper had the definition of the word Charis…it simply said grace.  At that moment I knew God was with me in that room.  I’ll never forget that day sitting in a room surrounded by other young women in my class, I cried, I prayed, and remember saying to God…thank you Lord, I truly knew that the Lord I had accepted as a young child was in that room and I’d never leave Him again.  God was in that treatment center with his hand extending me grace and all the love I’d ever need.

True Grace Image 1

Stronger because of the journey

I went through intensive outpatient therapy at the Charis Center.  The journey was extremely long, rough, and at times I wanted to veer away from God.  But each day as I’d enter for my session I’d see the word Charis…grace…and I’d remember God is here, God…God will help me through this.  I’ve never prayed harder than in those days.  And I didn’t pray just for recovery – I prayed that my struggles weren’t for nothing…I prayed that God would have me somehow find out why I was going through this challenging time.

I completed therapy and graduated college.  I then began working as a CPA and though I still struggled with disordered eating I was a much stronger woman and I looked forward to church, to small group, to fellowship.  I was thirsty for more of Him!

I am now almost ten years out from graduation, I’m married to an amazingly Godly man with twin boys.  I can’t imagine a day without Him in my life, without prayer, without CHARIS.

I now thrive on sharing my love for health, fitness, and proper nutrition with others.  I wake up each morning wanting to share the power of faith, fitness, and food.  I began a wellness blog entitled Creating Better Tomorrow – where I share all things faith, family, fitness, and food.  I began work as a Beachbody coach sharing with others the power of faith combined with fitness.  I have found I am stronger in faith and fitness because of my long journey through an eating disorder and though a terrible time in my life I am forever grateful for it because it brought me back to Him.

 

Linking up with Katie because His grace and my journey to where I am today are truly Marvelous on this Monday!

 

Friday Facts April 24, 2015

Fact – MY BROTHER GETS MARRIED TOMORROW!!!

High Heels Wedding Image1

I am NOT used to wearing heels these days..so I got my heels practice in while doing some cleaning!

Fact – I couldn’t be happier for him, his soon to be wife is an amazing gal and I am so happy to call her sister.  The boys are in the wedding and so am I!

just married

Praying for nice weather!!

Fact – I treated myself to a massage (used a Christmas gift certificate) this week…OMG Stop everything…let me just tell you, I needed that massage!  Teaching INsanity and working out hard and then on top of that lugging around two heavy boys in car seats, I was in desperate need of a massage.  I opted for the deep tissue massage, hurts so good!  I will be asking Santa for another certificate next year.

Fact – I also treated myself to a spray tan yesterday.  The dress I get to wear is a gorgeous light yellow but when I tried it on (even Dan admitted) I knew I needed some color and ASAP!  I wish every week could be wedding week, I’m feeling all dolled up and can’t wait to get my hair and makeup done tomorrow!

Fact – I will be SUPER busy this weekend but will do my best to touch base with you all on Monday.

 

Have you ever had a massage?  How about a spray tan?  What’s one thing you did that made you feel extra pretty this week?

How to Stay On Budget When Grocery Shopping

Back with a weekly guest blog again (do you want to guest blog, I’d love it if you did!!!  I need more guest bloggers :) ).  And I know we’ve had a lot of food talk this week..so I thought why not keep with that and share this guest blog with you.  ENJOY!

Conquer the Grocery Store & Stay on Budget in 10 Easy Steps

Author: Whitney Hollingshead

Get ready to don your cape because the time has come to conquer the grocery store. Need to feed your family? Need to stay on budget? Need to get in and out in a flash? Follow the 10 steps below and turn grocery shopping into a weekly triumph.

1. Set your budget. According to the results from a Gallup survey completed in 2012, the average American spends roughly $150 per week on groceries, or $600 per month. The USDA reports that the monthly cost of a moderate meal plan for a family of four is just over $770, while a more liberal menu plan is nearly $1,000 per month. While you should never focus on keeping up with the Joneses, these numbers do provide a solid starting point for planning your budget if you aren’t already tracking your expenses. (Of course, you should consider adjusting your monthly total based upon the size of your family.)

2. Create a list. Consider the items you eat everyday. If you do not have these items on hand, add them to the list. Next consider meals you would like to eat over the course of the next week. Add any needed ingredients to your list. Repeat this process each week, taking into account any ingredients left from the previous weeks that can be used in the coming week. Consider putting the list into a spreadsheet online that you can access from your smartphone.

Keep your list with you on your phone!

Keep your list with you on your phone!

3. Organize your list by the store’s layout. If possible, move the items on your list around so they are grouped by each section of the store. For example, make sure all fresh produce items are listed together. Preparing your list this way will make your trip much easier and faster. This is where an online spreadsheet comes in especially handy.

4. Head to the bank. Once you have decided on a monthly number, go to the bank and withdraw that exact amount from your checking account. Place the money in four envelopes, one for each weekly trip to the store. If you need to divide this up into two trips to the bank each month, adjust the envelopes accordingly.

Money in an envelope. On a white background.

5. Go shopping after eating. Everything in the grocery store will be much more enticing when you are hungry. So finish your meal and then head to the store to work in some extra post meal exercise. Shopping after meals should also help you avoid the busiest shopping hours.

 

STICK TO THAT PLAN!!!

STICK TO THAT PLAN!!!

6. Time yourself. Think of grocery shopping as a race against yourself. Before you enter the store, program your phone for a set amount of time and race against the clock. With each subsequent trip, try to beat your last time. If you save some time, you can spend the time on something fun for yourself. If shopping with children, you can get them to play the racing game too. Tell them that if you finish shopping before the timer goes off, everyone will get a reward. (Choose the reward that seems most fitting for you and your children.)

7. Stick to your list. If you realize you have forgotten something important, add the item to your cart and add it to your list. Think of your list as your roadmap. Stick to your planned stops and resist the urge to sightsee along the way. If you still find something you would like that is not on the list, add it to the next week’s list. That way you can consider the item for future planning and figure out how to work it into your budget.

8. Pay in cash. Use your cash envelope to pay. Never swipe your card. As this helpful article states, paying in cash will make you much more aware of how much you are spending and keep you from spending more than your budgeted amount.

9. Make note of the outcome. Keep your original list and write down the total cost of the trip. Cross off any items you decided not to purchase and make sure all added items got added to the final list.

10. Make necessary adjustments. Were you able to purchase all of the items on your list with the cash in your envelope? If not, change the list accordingly to reuse in the future. If you had money left over, you can either add it to the envelope for the next week’s shopping trip, spend it on something fun, or put it in a jar to save toward a fun family goal. Over time you should have four weekly lists that you can reuse each month with very few changes.

While these 10 steps may require some planning and effort on your part in the beginning, a well executed shopping program will provide long lasting results that will exceed your expectations.

Curious – what is one tip you find helpful to stay on budget when grocery shopping?