Can you believe it? The second month is in the books! I am closing in on the 3rd and final month of the challenge. Has it flown by for anyone else besides me? First things first … I lost 1.2lbs this week for a total of 17lbs in 8 weeks! I am so thankful for continued weight loss even in the midst of a difficult week. I did not exercise this week like I had wanted. I did a lot of moving around and kept myself going at night but didn’t get to set aside time to work out. So my goal this week is to exercise at least 3 times this week. I’ll be heading to Memphis at the end of the week to celebrate a very special little boy’s 3rd birthday and I can’t wait. My sweet nephew deserves a healthy and whole DeeDee (that’s what he calls me) in his life. He’s one of the reasons that I started this journey. He’s an awesome, active little boy and I don’t want to sit on the sidelines in his life due to health reasons. I missed the majorirty of his first 6-7 months due to fibromyalgia flare ups and illnesses. Even though he lives in Memphis now I want to be as present in his life as is physically possible and if the boy wants to play then I want to play as well! While I believe that making any type of major health decision should be for yourself it doesn’t hurt to have another tangible reason for making that choice and let me tell you a handsome, blue-eyed little boy is a great motivation for me! 🙂

I mentioned earlier that this has been a difficult week for me and it has been. The only conclusion I can come to is that I am emotionally exhausted. While there haven’t been any significantly difficult circumstances in the past week there have been a lot of little things adding up to just wear me out. I was talking with my mom about it and she said, “I know there are days that you just don’t feel like dieting” and I was able to respond back with all honesty that I don’t feel like I’m dieting. I’m so thankful for that realization. I now feel like this is just a way of life for me! Going out to eat and shopping at the grocery store doesn’t take as much thought now. I know what I’m looking for or what the best options are for me at the restuarants. I also know that should I choose to pick something higher in carbs it won’t sabotage what I’ve started but it won’t necessarily leave me feeling very good. It’s a joy to walk away from the dinner table full but not stuffed!

Two months ago a week like this would have left me eating whatever I could find and not even caring about what I put in my mouth. Now, however, I chose to organize some bookshelves, my closet and try a few new recipes out. I’m happy to spend my “eating energy” to better use now. I have had to make a point to rest more this week. The stress is settling in my neck and shoulders. I have felt it happen. I’m having to work on not taking everyone’s burdens for my own because I am not strong enough to carry them anyway nor was I meant to. I have alway easily absorbed the hurts, frustrations and anger of others like a sponge and then the enemy likes to come along in order to wring me out. So I hear I sit empty, slightly wet and on the verge of drying up. But God (don’t you love the hope that immediately springs up when you read those two words?) knew this week would be difficult and placed a Psalm in my life yesterday to share with my coworkers when in reality it was for me.

Psalm 96:1-9 “Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the Lord made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.”

The first sentence in verse 1 is what captured my attention and my heart. “Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!” As a singer I love verses that talk about music and my parents kind of set me up for that by naming me Melody. =) But here we are 3 weeks into a new year. For some, the newness of this year has already worn off and I believe part of that is because they are still dwelling in last year. They are caught up in last years failures – personally and publically. Maybe they had planned to lose weight and gained instead. Maybe it was a year of loss – a family member, a friendship, a job or a dream. Or 2013 may have been the best year of their life so far and they can’t imagine this year being any better. Or this year has already started out roughly and you are regretting not eating your black eyed peas on January 1. 🙂 Whatever it is we can not allow ourselves to be shackled to the past whether it be from failures or successes. It’s a new year. It’s time to sing a new song. God is still God. He does not change from year to year. Your Rock is still a firm foundation to stand upon. He is still your Hiding Place. He still knows the number of hairs on your head and sees every tear that falls. We are the ones who have changed and are changing. It’s time to sing a new song of praise to Him. If that doesn’t fill your heart with joy and your soul with peace then let’s talk. I am confident that we can see how God’s hand of blessing has been present on your life. Don’t allow Satan to continue to dredge up your past before you. It’s a new year. The slate has been wiped clean. You have been given a fresh start! Let’s sing a new song. It’s time to replace that tired, worn out chorus of exhaustion, pity and fear with a song of hope, peace and joy! You’ve got this . You can do it. We (VitalSigns, Trinity Medical Associates and myself) are here to help in any way that we can but it is up to you. Are you ready?

Thank you for walking this road with me!

Blessings …

– Melody