#TooCuteToBeChubby

Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped-turned upside down…literally! The beginning of this story actually takes place sitting around a table at a Steak N Shake in Dallas while I was at a conference in March of 2015. 

I was with a group of friends who were about to embark on a journey of training for a 500 mile bike ride across the state of New Mexico that was to take place in September. As we were having dinner they all stated that they were going to be taking part in a “No Soda Challenge” while they train for this event. As they were talking about it, in my mind I began to think “Man, that sucks for you. I love my Dr Pepper!” They began to make their way around the table and accept the challenge and then they got to me…I adamantly told them NO right away for several reasons: 

1. I love my Dr Pepper, 

2. I don’t live in New Mexico anymore, 

3. I wasn’t going to ride 500 miles on a bike because that would hurt my butt and that just doesn’t sound like fun and 

4. I love my Dr Pepper!! 

Well, one by one they began to peer pressure me (at least that’s how it seemed) then I let out the phrase “Well I have been wanting to loose some weight, so I’ll think about it” Needless to say, but before we left that beloved, iconic restaurant, I had agreed to the “No Soda Challenge” but before we left, I throughly enjoyed that DP. I get back to Amarillo and to my surprise I’m actually doing this no soda thing…cutting “The Necture Of Heaven” cold turkey wasn’t easy, but I was doing it. 

Now I have this friend named Stefanie who is the epitome of physical fitness. For about 6 months she had been pestering me to go to this new place she had discovered, that had helped her get through a rough season in her life, called Nick’s Fight Club. She would constantly ask me to come with her and try out this gym…for 6 months she asked and for 6 months I emphatically said NO! Remind you, I was 2 weeks into doing the “No Soda Thing” and it was actually going well. One Sunday after church, she asked me to go to Nick’s again. I finally said yes in hopes that if I go one time, she would never ask me to go again. So on Monday April 13, I went to try this place out.  

I remember that first day vividly…I was scared!! Why? Because I didn’t work out. I mean I was really good at exercising my elbows and arms by lifting a fork to my mouth but that was the extent of “working out” unless I was playing golf, then I would walk up to the ball, swing several times then get back in the cart to chase the ball again. I NEVER had done actual physical working out as an adult, much less step foot into a gym. I also have a bad knee and it pops out of place easily. For example: In 2007 I was running to go on stage at a camp, and on my way, my knee crapped out and I hit the floor…everyone laughed. So I was worried about how my knee would hold up, and on top of that I was also extremely overweight and very self conscious about my body. At my heaviest I was 265…which is severely obese for my little 5’5 frame. 

I walked in, not knowing what the heck I was getting into…and truth be told it was the hardest hour of my life. I never knew a person could sweat that much! I left completely drenched and it looked like I was caught in a deluge of rain. I got home, showered, took some pain meds, laid in bed, and secretly admitted to myself that I actually had fun at this placed called Nick’s Fight Club. 3 days later, on April 16, 2015, once I could walk again, I somehow found myself driving back to Nick’s Fight Club, actually considering getting a membership. 

That was the day that I officially started this weight loss journey. I had finally decided that I was tired of being fat. I was tired of walking and being out of breath while shopping in Walmart. I was tired of being frustrated when it came to shopping for clothes. I was just tired of being uncomfortable. It was a slow, slow, slow start. I started off doing 2-3 times a week for several months…and then all of a sudden, I found myself going 4-5 times a week. As my stamina started increasing I then found myself going 2 times a day, and then just recently I started going to 3 classes in 24 hours, which is pretty extreme because this isn’t your “normal” gym. (If you haven’t seen what NFC is, I will post a link to their promo video) All the while, September came and went and all my friends that were at that table in Steak N Shake (to my knowledge) started drinking soda again, while I couldn’t stand the taste of it any longer. So for the past year my life has basically consisted of church, working out, drinking water, and being more conscious of what I am eating. I literally have become addicted to the gym and never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that would happen! I’ve been looking forward to this day to see what would happen after one year. It hasn’t been easy. There have been several times where I’ve wanted to just quit and give up this gym thing because I wasn’t seeing the results. I wasn’t feeling like I was doing better, and I was still slow in completing some of the exercises. 

I could never have completed 3 months, 6 months, or much less a year, if it wasn’t for the trainers at Nick’s. They haven’t just been my trainers, but some of them have become close friends. They completely live out the NFC motto: Motivate, Encourage, Inspire. They have always encouraged me when I felt I couldn’t push myself anymore. To Steve (the owner of Nick’s) THANK YOU for creating a truly non-judgemental atmosphere where people from all walks of life can come and accomplish their goals. To all the trainers at NFC (Stefanie, Lindsay, Serena, Zarai, Norinda, Dylan, Sabre, Bobbie, Diana, Darrius, Delaney just to name a few) I’m grateful beyond words for each of you! Thank you for never giving up on me, even in the moments when I wanted to give up on myself. 

So let’s get to what everyone is wondering…THE RESULTS! Over that last year I have lost 42.4lbs and 45 inches overall!! (Yes you read that right!!) I started at 265, current weight 222.4 Starting pant size 46/48, current pant size 38/40. Starting shirt size a very, very snug XXL. Current shirt size XL (depending on the style and make of shirt. Some are still a XXL, but for the most part most shirts are now an XL) Truth be told, I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve worn a XL shirt and pants this size. As I’ve read over this and edited it, I keep crying cause I never thought I’d get to this place and be headed to get thin CLo back. I still have about 60-70lbs to lose to get to my goal of 155-160 and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon even after I reach my goal. There have been 2 things that have radically impacted and shifted my life forever: Jesus Christ and Nick’s Fight Club. If you don’t know of either, I will be more than happy to introduce you to them! Here’s to living out the hashtag #TooCuteToBeChubby.

Again, here are some pics to show the transformation and a link to the NFC promo video

Who’s ready to see what happens in year 2?!  

    
 
 What 45 inches looks like!  
Click below to see NFC promo video

http://youtu.be/H1-cB4yyfyg 

Living on a PRE (A Promise, A Reminder and an Encouragement)  

Several years ago, and I do mean several, The Lord gave me 2 dreams and spoke to me the meaning behind them in regards to my life. Unlike most dreams that tend to fade over time, these dreams, as time has gone on, have become more vivid, clear and brighter just about everytime I close my eyes. They have been promises that I’ve held on to for dear life, for so long. 

Today at lunch I was talking with a friend about these dreams and the meaning behind them. In one of the dreams 2 cars were traveling down two separate highways, gaining their own speed and momentum. Eventually, the two highways intersected, but the cars didn’t slow down. It seemed like a crash was inevitable, but at the moment of intersection the two cars become one and the individual speed and momentum they carried, catapulted and propelled, the now single car, forward with such velocity the car seemed to disappear into the distance. 

I’ve carried this dream with me for 12 years and have never had the perspective as what was show to me by my friend. The new perspective: The 2 cars never saw each other coming!! The timing was perfect and then they collided into one, but they didn’t see each other until the moment was right. 

You don’t understand what this new perspective did for my hope and spirit!! I can’t even explain it, but it was what I needed today. You see we serve a God who is not limited to time and space, He holds time and space!! Scripture says that “A thousand years is like a day and a day is like a thousand years” (2 Peter 3:8) When I remembered this today, I became excited again…because even though I was given this dream 12 years ago and the other dream was given 15 years ago, it’s only been like 6 hours on God’s timetable!! 

If you have been given promises and dreams from God, I want to encourage you…don’t give up hope. God keeps his promises!! When you look throughout Scripture, you see God promising a child to Abraham and Sarah, yet they had to wait. You see God promising David he would be King, yet he had to wait. You see God giving dreams to Joseph yet he had to wait in the pit before he got to the palace. I don’t quite understand why God often promises us and shows us the end result, yet makes us wait to see the result; except for the fact that he is preparing us for our destiny. He knows that without effective preparation, we would have utter devastation. Don’t give up hope, Hope (Jesus) is the anchor for the soul (Hebrews 6:19). 

You may seem like your living in captivity and that your promises will never be fulfilled, but I love what Jeremiah 29:11 in the Message version says: “I have it all planned out-plans to take care of you, not to abandon you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” He’s planned out our lives since the foundations of the earth and he won’t abandon us (Jeremiah 31:35-37). So I’ve said all this to say this one thing: (typical preacher right)  DONT GIVE UP, HE WILL BRING THE DREAMS HE’S GIVEN YOU TO PASS!! Delay doesn’t mean denial, it simply means you’re not done cooking in the crockpot. We serve a crockpot God, not a microwave God. His timing is perfect, even when we don’t think it isn’t. 

A quick weekend of new…

So late Thursday afternoon, I set off on a super quick trip to my hometown of Albuquerque to meet my new nephew Joah Thomas Lopez!! JT was born a week ago Friday and he’s perfect! That means I also got to see his older brother Jeremiah, so with seeing both my nephews my Uncle heart was really happy! (If you’re friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Instagram you can see pics) 

Also, continuing with the new theme, my parents got a new dog named Cooper! He’s a light brown miniature poodle. He’s kinda skiddish around new people so he didn’t like me to much, but I think he started getting used to me right as I left. 

Anywho, I just got back home and added to the “new” theme…tonight is the dreaded “Daylight Saving Time” 😩 So with that being said…I’m going to bed! Night! 

Old Man Winter

So I moved to Amarillo July 20th, 2014 and when I got here there were a couple of things I need to get used to: 1. Making an almost daily stop at this place called Texas Tea. It’s literally like a frozen yogurt shop but for tea…there is a ton of variety…so tasty!! 2. The “smell” of money. Now, I’m not talking about taking money out of your pocket and smelling it (if you do that, you’re kinda weird) but I’m talking about poop…cow poop. If you’re not used to this smell, it will smack you upside the face when you least expect it and it seems to be worse when we’ve got any type of moisture.

One of the things I heard constantly when I moved here is that “We can have bad winters” and “If we get the right storm, we can get a lot of snow.” Pshhh! You see growing up in Albuquerque, it literally takes an act of God for us to get some snow, and when we do get snow, it could snow a couple of inches and then be gone by the end of the day. In fact just the other day Albuquerque got 5-8 inches and according to my brother, it was gone by the next day!! So that’s the type of winter I’ve grown accustomed to…cold temps, but not really a lot of snow.

So, fast forward to this winter season. I know for a fact that I have seen more snow this winter than what I have the entire 18 years I grew up in Albuquerque. Just from the months of December-February we’ve seen close to 18-20 inches total in the city of Amarillo. 18-20 inches!!! Now I know I have friends that live across the country and 18-20 inches isn’t much to some people, but for this coconut it’s a big thing! I’ve had some great experience like building an almost 6ft snow man and made an epic sledding video too.

I’ve said all that to say, as much as I love winter and as much as I enjoying being colder than hot, I’m so ready for Old Man Winter to be over. It’s been fun, and I’ve had made some great memories, but you can gracefully make your exit now and not leave any more snow, sleet, freezing rain in your wake.

Here’s a link to my sledding video

Sledding

It’s been a while….

So as you can see I haven’t written anything since 2009. A LOT HAS HAPPENED since then and maybe one day (if I keep this up this time) I’ll give a synopsis of what has taken place over the last 6 years)

But today I need to do this…it just felt good. So here’s what was in my head…

Pastor/ Youth Pastors: Don’t be afraid of numbers. Numbers tell the truth. This afternoon I was feeling kinda low cause I’m not “seeing” the kinda growth I wanted to in our ministry. So I pulled out the numbers from when I first started tracking in Sept. In Sept, we AVERAGED 7 students, October- Averaged 10.75 student, November- Average 13.5 students, December- Averaged 15 students, January – Averaged 14 students.

Now I could get discouraged and beat my head against my desk, because these numbers don’t seem big, big in reality this growth is amazing and a God thing! In just 4 and a half months we’ve doubled the size of our student ministry! Is it where we want to be, no not at all. We have a goal of reaching 2% of students in Amarillo, Bushland and Canyon, and that 2% equals 416 students…that’s our goal. Read More

Crazy…

So yeah…the last couple of days have been kinda crazy. On tuesday was my grandpa’s birthday so I took him out for lunch. We had a good time at lunch, but I know that in the back of our minds we couldn’t help but think of that the next day we as a family would be remembering the 1 year anniversary of my grandma passing away. To be honest, it really doesn’t seem like a year, it seems more like a couple of months. I’m kinda glad that the anniversary of her passing was on a Wednesday this year cause with youth service on Wednesday’s it kept me preoccupied.

The youth ministry is going really well. God has been and is doing some really amazing things. I’ve had some parents really step up and get involved and become youth sponsors, which is great cause seems to be that students are coming out of the woodwork.

For STL (Speed the Light, is a missions program that provided vechiles and sound systems to missionaries) we’re doing a competition called “the extraordinary race 2009” I’ll post another blog explaning how the “game” works at another time.

For now, i’ve gotta go and get ready for band rehearsal which starts in about 20 minutes.

The First One

Hi and welcome! I decided to try and give this a shot, so we’ll see what happens. Keep it here to hear the ruckus in my head. I hope that you like what you see. I will do my best to try and blog at least once a week…so anyway welcome and enjoy the ruckus in my head