Forget It

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People that start hitting the gym or jump on a diet are often consumed with a number – their weight. Yes, losing weight might be a goal, but it doesn’t define us. Society tells us that based on our sex and height, we need to weigh a certain number. Well, I think that’s crazy!

You’ve probably heard it a million times, muscle weighs more than fat. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s not true. A pound of fat weighs the same as a pound of muscle. A pound is a pound. The good news is that muscle is more dense, meaning it takes up less space than fat. For that reason, it’s possible for someone to weigh the same, or more than, someone with the same height and frame yet appear slimmer because of the difference in your body composition.

Why are you getting technical, Faith? Well, if I was solely focused on my weight, I’d be pretty disappointed in what I’ve achieved. I have recently begun reverse dieting in hopes of gaining muscle. I’m almost back up to my original starting weight. Even though my weight is similar to when I started, I don’t look or feel the same. My body has undergone serious reconstruction, and I’m happy with my results thus far. Now instead of jumping on a scale, I look in the mirror and at how my clothes fit me.

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The photo on the left was my starting photo; I weighed in at 124.

The one on the right was yesterday – a 4 pound difference at 120!

Every girl wants to feel pretty, so don’t let a number determine how you feel about yourself. When we remember that everyone carries their weight differently, we can accept ourselves and be happy with the progress we’re making. So let’s burn fat and sculpt muscle. Put on that old dress and own it! You’ve worked too hard to let the scale hold you back.

 

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5 Reasons Women Struggle With Fitness

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Before October of last year, I knew I needed to take control of my health and fitness, but something came up on a daily basis that prevented me from starting the process. Then, one day it hit me; those things weren’t holding me back from becoming fit, I was holding myself back.

Women tend to struggle with making lifestyle changes for many different reasons, but I feel these five points have crossed all of our minds. I am here to break down these excuses and encourage you to take the next step in rejuvenating your health.

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1. We don’t have time

This was my primary excuse. I have four part time jobs (crazy, I know) and a family on top of that. The weekends are as packed as my weekdays, and I can barely find the time to breathe, let alone workout. Women have a lot of responsibility. As mothers, our job doesn’t end when we come home. It’s easy to feel burnt-out between working and taking care of a family. After reading countless blogs that told me to take time for myself, I decided to listen. Working out has become my “me time”. I get to lock myself in my room for 45 minutes or go for a run around the block. That’s the beauty of creating an at-home gym (Get inspired here). Other perks of an at-home gym include no travel time to and from an actual gym and no hours to abide by. This allows me to save my workouts for the end of the day after my daughter has gone to bed or early in the morning before she gets up. That way, I don’t lose out on any family time, and I don’t have to worry about child care.

2. We don’t see quick results

Everyone would obviously love to see fast results, but the truth is, it doesn’t happen overnight. Real change takes time. Making these changes requires a lifestyle change, not a 21 day program and you’re done. You’re unfortunately not going to lose 20 pounds in a week. Keeping this in mind from the beginning helps ground our expectations and prevents us from becoming disappointed when the weight doesn’t just fall off.

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3. We get bored easily

It’s easy to get bored with the same old gym routine you’ve done a thousand times. Your muscles no longer hurt and you start to lose the drive to workout. Well, this is an easy fix! Mix it up, ladies. YouTube is a great place to get mini workouts or find new moves to add to your current workout. Our bodies like change, so be sure to add new things as you go. You can also increase your weights and reps to get that nice burn in your muscles back. Your workouts should always remain challenging if you want to continue to see results.

4. We compare ourselves

Both men and women are guilty of this. We compare ourselves to others. I think it’s great to have a role model or an image of how you want your body to look, but keep in mind that we are not all built the same. Set realistic goals, and once you reach them, make new ones. Your biggest competition should be yourself, not a three time, gold award winning weightlifter.

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5. We don’t want to get bulky

I am guilty of this. We use the excuse of not wanting to become bulky to skip certain workouts or the workout altogether. For example, when I first began training, I could rationalize skipping arm workouts because I didn’t want manly-looking arms. This isn’t an excuse because in the event you’re gaining too much muscle, you can always make adjustments to your workout. Remember, we workout to tone (assuming this is your goal), not gain large amounts of muscle. Plus, while many of us begin training to lose weight, after the weight is gone, don’t you want something to show for it?

 

As women, we can find a million reasons to not workout, but I challenge you to find at least one reason why you should. Take that and turn it into a reality. Use your reason to fuel your fire and get started today!

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One Nation Under God

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After recent events in the news, I feel compelled to share my opinion. I try to stay out of controversial topics like this because the only people with the full story are the ones who were there. I don’t know who was right or wrong, and at this point, it doesn’t even matter. What matters is the fact that we’re letting Satan win. We are allowing violence to breed more violence. When do we decide as a people to take a stand and end the unjustified bloodshed?

My heart goes out to the families that have lost loved ones, of all races. Until we decide, collectively, that all lives matter, we will never be able to fix the problem.

A life should not have been lost at a routine traffic stop. The Dallas shooting was an act of Satan utilizing someone who is lost and full of hatred. But God has a plan. He will take this tragedy and transform it into something beautiful. It won’t happen overnight, and it’s going to take the unification of all races to see God’s plan unfold.

I continue to pray for this country. We are broken, and we must turn to God to repair the damage. I respect everyone’s opinion, but blaming each other is a not a solution. We have to be the change we want to see in this world. We have to raise our children in love, not fear. We must band together as one nation under God.

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When My Life Became Meaningful by Kristen Wilson

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In November of 2015, I had a strong suspicion that I may be pregnant. So I did what every girl would do; I went to the pharmacy and bought as many pregnancy tests that I could carry to the register. Well, I went 6 for 6 that day; all of the tests were positive. My husband and I could not believe it! We were ecstatic. About 12 weeks later, we found out the gender. I was finally getting the little girl that I’ve always wanted. From then on, I rushed my pregnancy. Her nursery was finished a month later, and her closet was full of pink. We decided to name her Isabella Kate. Bella for short. Friends and family were all thrilled and patiently waiting for her due date: August 11th. I, on the other hand, was having a tough time with all of the not so wonderful pregnancy issues: elevated blood pressure, swelling, and clothes awkwardly fitting to name a few.

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On May 3rd, I decided to go to St. Francis Hospital for a few of the issues mentioned above, not the clothes awkwardly fitting part (although it felt like an emergency at times), but for swelling and high blood pressure. I was there for a few hours while hooked up to a baby monitor and blood pressure machine. After my lab work was returned with no indications of any potential issues, I was released and told to take it easy. On the following Saturday morning, I woke up with severe stomach cramps and blurred vision. I sat up in bed and began rubbing my eyes, trying to figure out why my vision was blurred. Why could I not see? I got up and grabbed my blood pressure machine. It was through the roof. I immediately called my doctor who told me to go straight to the ER. I stirred my husband while crying in pain and told him we needed to go.

We checked in at St. Francis Hospital, again, and waited for answers. The doctors determined that I had developed severe preeclampsia (high blood pressure and swelling). I was immediately hooked up to an IV while I was in nearly unbearable pain. We knew that my vision was blurred due to my high blood pressure, but we were unsure of the reason for my severe stomach pain. After reviewing my blood work results, the doctors informed me that I would need to be transferred to Greenville Memorial Hospital, where they would hopefully be able to postpone the delivery of Bella until 28 weeks. At this point, we knew Bella would ultimately be delivered prematurely.

When I arrived at Greenville Memorial, there were nurses and doctors everywhere. As the doctors were speaking with me about anesthesia, the risks of it, and how we were “going about it”, the emergency tone of my baby’s heart beat monitor pierced the noise in the room: Bella’s heartbeat was no longer detected by the medical equipment. After a few minutes that felt like hours of trying to relocate her heartbeat, the doctors decided to do an ultrasound. The doctor stared in confusion at the computer screen while taking pictures of it with his phone. I asked if everything was okay and was told yes, but he wanted to show the image on the screen to another doctor. He told me to plan on delivering via C-section within an hour or two. At 26 weeks, 14 weeks early, we were going to deliver Bella. Was this really happening? With the suddenness and uncertainty of the situation, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “will we survive this?”.

My husband, mother, in-laws, and husband’s grandpa joined me in the hospital room. My husband’s grandfather came to pray over Bella and I, and I couldn’t have been happier that he did. After he finished, the doctors returned to say I would be delivering within 30-45 minutes. The doctors began preparing my bed, and my husband received his blue scrubs. While looking around at a room full of worried faces, I told my family I loved them. At the time, I was experiencing fear. Not fear of the surgery or spinal tap, but fear for my unborn daughter’s life. After being moved to the prep room, the doctors prepared me for the spinal tap. After being pinched, pricked, and poked, they decided the spinal tap was not working fast enough, and I would have to be put to sleep. I asked for my husband and was told he could no longer be in the room with me. I cried as I felt the oxygen mask touch my face.

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Hours later, I woke up in the recovery room with my husband by my side. Isabella Kate Wilson was born that day at 2:54pm, weighing in at 1lb 14oz and 13.5” long. Although I wasn’t able to see her, I was assured that she was perfect and beautiful. That night was long; I was extremely sick from the medicine and sore from the delivery. It wasn’t until the next day, Mother’s Day, at 4pm that I was able to see and hold my precious, miracle baby.
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I was later updated with more details regarding my C-section. The severe stomach pain that I was feeling was coming from the placenta detaching. The rush to deliver was not only because of the placenta but my kidneys were releasing toxins into my body and starting to fail. Aside from occasional stomach soreness, I have since fully recovered.

Isabella Kate has been in NICU for 2 months and counting. She has been through two blood transfusions, three different oxygen machines, a ton of lab work, four different NICU rooms, two different NICU levels, and a lot of nurses. She has grown from 1lb 14oz to 4lbs 6.5oz and from 13.5” to nearly 16”. She has finally reached the weight requirement for clothes, and as of this week, she was moved to an open crib. Bella has not required surgery, and for that, we thank God. This little girl has been a true rock star since the day she was born!

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With her being in NICU, patience is of the upmost importance since we are unsure of when she will come home. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t regret rushing my pregnancy. Through this difficult time in our lives, we have witnessed a beautiful miracle. Bella is perfect, despite her sassy personality, and I could never thank God enough for blessing me with her.

May 7th was a life changing day for me, and it will forever play in my head like a movie. Something special was formed: a never ending bond between my husband, Bella, myself, and the Lord. On that day, my life became meaningful.

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From Faith: Kristen Wilson is a first time mommy to a beautiful little girl and an amazing wife to her husband, Austin. She is a believer in Christ, and through her story, I hope others in her situation will know they are not along. Premature births affect nearly 380,000 babies in the United States alone. March of Dimes has made one of the worst experiences for a mother more bearable. Not only did they help this family, but they continue to help fund research for other families who will undergo this same experience. Kristen has signed up to walk in the March for Babies in October 2016, and she is raising money for her walk. Here is a link if you feel led to donate for her cause or walk alongside Kristen. More than anything, please keep The Wilson family and sweet Isabella in your prayers as they look forward to bringing their baby girl home.

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