Categories
Thoughts and Ideas

I need to work out

I’m putting this right here to remind myself why I love to work out. I haven’t done it in so long that I need the reminder. Yes, I’m down over 30 pounds and from a 22 to a 16, but I’m still jiggly everywhere and I’ve got some pressure cysts in my hip that probably have to do with that jiggly-ness. Time for a change. Let’s get to it.

My Exercise Devotional from 2017:

Why did I do this? I’ve said it quite a few different ways, but the most important reason that I
pursued better health is because I knew that children were in my future, and I wanted to be a
fun grandma. I wanted to be healthy, playful, and energetic. I’m already an interesting lady with
a heart for kids. But I won’t be able to fully fulfil the image I carry in my heart of an awesome
grandmother without making sure that my health is optimal.
My grandmother was a lady who inspired fierce loyalty. We all have amazing memories of her
cooking, her laughter, and her wisdom. Her children and grandchildren learned to love her in a
way that is impressive, and I can only hope to be such a figure in my family’s heart. However,
she sat on the couch for most of my childhood or stood in the kitchen cooking. Her sedentary
ways were normal for a lady of that time period, and she fulfilled her role admirably.
However, the new 60 and 70 is not that kind of person. Our modern day seniors are young,
strong, and active, and that’s what I want for myself. I wasted a lot of my youth being
sedentary, and my kids regret the fact that I didn’t play enough active things with them. The
past is behind me, and it’s too late to change what I did, but I can make a transformation that
will impact my future.
I changed the way I eat, added Shakeology which boosted my nutrition to a whole new level,
and I began exercising regularly. It’s going to give me the results I want, some of which I’ve
already begun to see in my body even now. The most important thing is that I’d like to keep this
lifestyle going forever. I don’t want to lose my stride here for even a second. So while I may
miss a few days for emergencies or because I have a bad day or two, I won’t ever give it up
entirely. It’s too important to help me achieve my ultimate goal.
I’m so happy that I got into Beachbody. Why? For me, it’s about the amount of energy that I
was able to unleash within myself. I had an urge to stand up and move around in the middle of
an exciting scene from a movie or TV show. In the past, I would have used that energy to make
a snack. Now, I use it to stretch or even just dance around the house. I’m so mobile, and I love
it! The Little Guy, my handsome 19 month old nephew, got away from us at the mall two weeks
in a row. It cost me nothing to chase him down.
The thought of running through the mall in the past was terrifying. First, I didn’t know who’d be
watching it all jiggle around as I ran, and I was very self-conscious about my jiggly meat. I knew
that I didn’t need to be, but I simply was. Secondly, I would probably run out of energy and lose
the kid before I caught him. I simply wasn’t ready for an all-out run at the speed that the Little
Guy traveled. Finally, I’d be embarrassed at being seen wheezing when I finally stopped
running. I didn’t have the ability to run for any distance without getting completely out of
breath. It was tough, and I didn’t feel up to the experience.
What do I want to do as a coach? I’ll tell you. I want to help you figure out this system, use it,
and find success in this healthy journey. It works if you work it, and it’s really possible. I spent
more than two decades making excuses, saying that I didn’t want to become an obsessive
health nut, or in other ways trying to decide that my choice to do less than go “all in” was okay.
It wasn’t. I see that now. Please don’t make that mistake. Join me now. I can help, and I will.

Categories
Thoughts and Ideas

My Workout Why

Everyone talks about having a “why” for a new venture. We’re supposed to know why we’re embarking on a new journey, and our reason for this life change needs to be bigger than the reasons that we used to give during the times we quit before now. Well, I actually had a very good “why” when I embarked on this journey back in 2015-ish. It was my grandchildren, yet to be born. But I still fell off the wagon, hard. For years, I looked really ugly when I looked in the mirror, and nothing seemed to go right. Then, I decided to start over.

Once again, I would look in the mirror and determine to believe the best about my reflection. I wanted to see the beauty that God sees when he looks at me. He’s promised in his word to love me, and I know that everyone I love looks beautiful to me. So I decided to see my worth instead of what I’d been seeing. And it worked. Slowly, over time, I began to see myself in a new light. I glowed. I was beautiful. And I wasn’t any thinner.

Then, I began to consider what was the best path for this lovely lady whose body was slowly breaking down because of morbid obesity, a disease that would eventually debilitate and then kill me. And I settled on keto. I’ve been at it since the beginning of the COVID lockdown for my household, and I’m down from just getting comfortable in a size 22 to a comfortable size 16. I can wear size 14 jeans sometimes. This is new to me, to say the least. And I’m thrilled.

Well, I found my old Beachbody “Why” statement from when I was first starting. I thought I’d put it here to remind me why that “Why” wasn’t sufficient. It wasn’t starting with loving myself, the daughter of God who is worth the effort of making the change. And that’s where I’m living now. Before you begin, learn to love the Lord your God with all your heart. It’s vital. Then, there’s one more step before you even start thinking about diet. For this step, please, please begin at “Love thy neighbor as thyself” and realize that you’ve got to love yourself or it won’t work.

Without any more fanfare, here’s my old statement:

Why did I do this? I’ve said it quite a few different ways, but the most important reason that I
pursued better health is because I knew that children were in my future, and I wanted to be a
fun grandma. I wanted to be healthy, playful, and energetic. I’m already an interesting lady with
a heart for kids. But I won’t be able to fully fulfil the image I carry in my heart of an awesome
grandmother without making sure that my health is optimal.
My grandmother was a lady who inspired fierce loyalty. We all have amazing memories of her
cooking, her laughter, and her wisdom. Her children and grandchildren learned to love her in a
way that is impressive, and I can only hope to be such a figure in my family’s heart. However,
she sat on the couch for most of my childhood or stood in the kitchen cooking. Her sedentary
ways were normal for a lady of that time period, and she fulfilled her role admirably.
However, the new 60 and 70 is not that kind of person. Our modern day seniors are young,
strong, and active, and that’s what I want for myself. I wasted a lot of my youth being
sedentary, and my kids regret the fact that I didn’t play enough active things with them. The
past is behind me, and it’s too late to change what I did, but I can make a transformation that
will impact my future.
I changed the way I eat, added Shakeology which boosted my nutrition to a whole new level,
and I began exercising regularly. It’s going to give me the results I want, some of which I’ve
already begun to see in my body even now. The most important thing is that I’d like to keep this
lifestyle going forever. I don’t want to lose my stride here for even a second. So while I may
miss a few days for emergencies or because I have a bad day or two, I won’t ever give it up
entirely. It’s too important to help me achieve my ultimate goal.
I’m so happy that I got into Beachbody. Why? For me, it’s about the amount of energy that I
was able to unleash within myself. I had an urge to stand up and move around in the middle of
an exciting scene from a movie or TV show. In the past, I would have used that energy to make
a snack. Now, I use it to stretch or even just dance around the house. I’m so mobile, and I love
it! The Little Guy, my handsome 19 month old nephew, got away from us at the mall two weeks
in a row. It cost me nothing to chase him down.
The thought of running through the mall in the past was terrifying. First, I didn’t know who’d be
watching it all jiggle around as I ran, and I was very self-conscious about my jiggly meat. I knew
that I didn’t need to be, but I simply was. Secondly, I would probably run out of energy and lose
the kid before I caught him. I simply wasn’t ready for an all-out run at the speed that the Little
Guy traveled. Finally, I’d be embarrassed at being seen wheezing when I finally stopped
running. I didn’t have the ability to run for any distance without getting completely out of
breath. It was tough, and I didn’t feel up to the experience.
What do I want to do as a coach? I’ll tell you. I want to help you figure out this system, use it,
and find success in this healthy journey. It works if you work it, and it’s really possible. I spent
more than two decades making excuses, saying that I didn’t want to become an obsessive
health nut, or in other ways trying to decide that my choice to do less than go “all in” was okay.
It wasn’t. I see that now. Please don’t make that mistake. Join me now. I can help, and I will.

Categories
Thoughts and Ideas

COVID & Masks for Christians

We are dealing with a world that’s really different right now, in the beginning of 2021 than it’s been in our entire lifetime. Seeing everyone fully dressed for a bank robbery every hour of the day in public gives me a chuckle. I mean, imagine telling someone in 1989 that one day they’d get in trouble if they forgot to wear a mask into a bank. It’s funny. Yet, it’s so very serious. It’s incredibly serious.

I need my family of fellow Christians to fully understand this message. I have hope that there’s still enough of God in the American Christian mind to receive a message that I fully believe is vital for our current world crisis. COVID-19 is scaring people all over the world. People are terrified of catching it. And so many Christians are walking around maskless.

My fellow Christians are saying that the death rate from COVID is lower than the death rate from drugs. They’re telling us that it’s less than 1% of the patients who die. Overall, it’s really not a dangerous illness. That is factual information, I’m sure. It’s perfectly fine to discuss these academic matters, but would you do me a favor? Talk about it with your mask on.

Why? Why would I need to use a mask? My friends tell me that a mask will lower your resistance to other illnesses, and over time, you’ll have a less powerful immune system because of the mask and the hand sanitizer that keep you from being exposed to regular contaminants that you usually interact with. Yes, I get that. It’s a very valid argument, and it’s one that bothers me a lot. It’s a dangerous time to be in this world, and we should discuss these issues, with our masks on.

Why? I mean, my friends also saay that the mask doesn’t even protect the person wearing it. Everyone is obsessively wearing masks to keep safe from COVID when you can’t avoid COVID by wearing a mask. Okay. I get that argument. I even fully believe it. Yes, that mask is not going to keep me from catching COVID from a person who sneezes on me. Got it. Thanks for the information. You’re right. Now, back away to a 6 foot distance and put your mask on.

Why? Well, every single Christian probably knows about Cain and Abel, two brothers who had a rough relationship. Cain killed Abel and hid the body. That’s how bad the relationship was. So, when Cain killed Abel and God came by to talk to Cain, God did that thing that so many fathers do. God gave him just enough rope to hang himself. He asked a question that he already knew the answer to. He said, “Where is your brother?” Cain’s answer is iconic, and evil. His response was, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9, Bible) In ancient language, that means, “I’m not responsible for my brother. Go ask him where he is. I am not supposed to look after him. What? Am I his babysitter?”

Well, God knew the answer to that question. He knew exactly where Abel was. Abel had bled out in a field nearby. His blood clearly marked the ground and God’s eye spotted it. Cain’s actions had caused the death of his brother. Cain was a murderer, and he didn’t want to be bothered with questions about his victim. He had moved on.

Are you your brother’s keeper? Are you responsible for caring for the Christians around you? Are all the Christians around you clearly marked with a certain tattoo, symbol, icon, or even an ethereal glow? Or do you assume that the maskless people around you are the only Christians?

Some of the people around you are wearing prosthetic body parts, wigs, and make-up along with their masks, and you have no idea that they are battling cancer. Maybe the cancer has them so weak that they could die from a simple cold bug. Maybe they have literally no one to go to the store for them. They are at risk every day from any illness. And then along comes COVID. It could knock them out in one quick punch. They wear their mask, but we remember that the mask doesn’t protect the person who is wearing it. They’re still in danger.

My very well-meaning Christian friends tell me that their own healthy immune systems are doing so well at protecting them. They really don’t get sick often. None of their Christian friends are getting tested for COVID, because why get tested and raise the positivity rates? That harms the political cause, so they won’t find out if they’re potentially dangerous to that person with cancer. If they knew that they were dangerous, maybe they’d mask up, at least I hope they would, but they just don’t know. On top of that, they have the right to go maskless and keep their own immune system in great shape, they say. So they walk around maskless and untested. Yay, they win.

My Christian friends are exercising their rights, they tell me. They say that they have the right to protest this ridiculous rule put out by people who want to scare the general public into giving up these God-given rights. They are confident, built up by a concensus of so many people who agree with them. And so they walk past that quiet, dignified cancer patient in Publix. They boldly proclaim that they have the right to do their shopping maskless, and so they continue on their way. Maybe they never know that they left traces of COVID behind for that lady to pick up.

I hope I don’t have to draw a picture of what a dying cancer patient endures. I hope we don’t need me to play on our collective emotions to help others see that this is a very ungodly scenario. Godly people are their brother’s keeper. They deserve nothing, but have been given everything by God’s grace. They have the right to remain masked, to care for that person who they may never meet in conversation, but whose life depends on their use of that mask and that sanitizer.

Stop being so silly. Stop spouting your philosophical stuff while there are people around you who could die by your negligence. Stop. Just stop. Put on the dang mask. Squirt your hand with hand sanitizer. Behave in a socially responsible way, not because it’s conservative or liberal, but because human lives depend on your actions. Tell God to protect you from the fallout from masking up. If you can believe that your maskless body can be protected from COVID, then can’t you believe that God can keep you from the non-COVID cooties?

As believers, it’s time to stop speaking out of both sides of our mouths, claiming faith and super strength through Christ but refusing to put ourselves at risk for our fellow man. Right now, COVID is a threat to our friends and neighbors. Do the right thing. Mask up.

BIBLE REFERENCES

  1. I don’t think going maskless is wrong. “13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died.” (Romans 14:13-15)
  2. God is our protector. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”(Romans 8:31)
Categories
Thoughts and Ideas

The Issue

For the past year, I’ve been the “woman with the issue of blood,” to put it mildly. To put it less mildly, I’ve got a period that stops for a few days a month, and that’s all I get. I get a couple of days of freedom from the constant mess and all the glorious sensory experiences that accompany it. It’s gross, it’s embarrassing, and it’s my life right now.

Why is it embarrassing? Am I choosing to be yucky? Was it based upon my preference? Did I make the wrong move and now this is what happened to me? Not exactly, right? It’s just something I’m going through. For the most part, there’s very little choice involved in this. Which products will I buy to try to cover up the evidence of this “issue”? That’s pretty much it.

But I’ve recently discovered that if I’m in ketosis, my “issue” stops. So I’m cured, right? Not exactly, because even when I have all the items I need to live a keto lifestyle, I keep failing in this eating pattern. I tell myself that this mouthful of plantain can’t really hurt, or this corner of a piece of bread. And here it goes again. Why don’t I put into practice what I know? I’m so frustrated with myself.

I’m up at 4am because I’m practically bleeding out. My body is just having a party with this horrible process, and it’s forcing me along for the journey. I’ve been worried that if I fall asleep, I’m going to end up fainting in my sleep and scaring my family. I’m not afraid of dying, but if I don’t wake up in the morning right away, they’d probably call 911 and it would probably be terrifying for the little ones. So here I am, wide awake, and I can feel my body gearing up for another big spurt. And I don’t want it.

Apple peel. It was apple peels today. I was doing pretty good until I decided that I could eat some apple peels with peanut butter. Now, before this whole thing got connected in my mind, and before I knew that my keto diet could help with the “issue,” I used to eat that all the time during keto. It didn’t keep me from steadily losing a clothing size every few months. In fact, I’m down from a size 22 to a size 14-16 jean. That’s amazing to me, considering that I’d pretty much given up on ever being under 200 pounds again. It’s exciting to have found a way to unlock weight loss. However, it’s no longer just about losing weight.

Now, it’s about stopping this “issue of blood,” from raining down yuckiness into my life. It’s about starting over. So, I’ve got to face something that is very hard for me. I’m going to have to discpline myself more than I have been doing lately. It’s time to get myself back on track. Ketosis, here I come!

Is there an area of your life where you’re slacking? You know what to do to fix that situation, but you simply don’t make the moves necessary to do it. That’s been my modus operandi my whole life. It’s how I roll. I research, find the answer, and then shelve the entire thing because implementation is my weak spot. But today, I’m recommitting myself to making a change for the better. Because God gave me a path out of this darkness, and I’m going to take it. In this time of COVID-19, take my hand and let’s make positive changes that will mark our lives for good. Will you join me?

Categories
Thoughts and Ideas

Free Book Promotion

From October 26-30, 2020, I’ll be running a free book promotion for my Hoarding book. It’s a subject that has brought me decades of shame, but I’m bringing it into the light because if we keep hiding our weaknesses, we aren’t fulfilling the scriptural mandate to “boast about” our weaknesses, “that the power of Christ may dwell in [us].” I want to live out this scripture. I’m boasting about my weakness!

I’m a recovering hoarder. I fall off the wagon occasionally, and it hurts — a lot. I hate being less than excellent at what I do, so when I begin to fixate on how poor my domestic skills are, I simply quit trying. That’s a bad idea, isn’t it? So check out my little mini-book of quick and easy instructions to begin to turn it all around. It’s a very limited, practical message. I think it will bless anyone who struggles with giving up hoarding, collecting, or stockpiling stuff that is keeping them from fully living their lives.

The Hoarder’s Guide to Getting through Today

Remember, it’s Monday through Friday, from October 26 – 30 that it will be free. Once you purchase it on any of those days, it’s free for you forever. (If you don’t have a Kindle device, buy it anyway. I will explain how to use the app without a Kindle device in an upcoming blog/YouTube video tutorial.)

Categories
Thoughts and Ideas

Blog is such an ugly word

I don’t know who created it, but it sounds so very blah. I would have called it digijournal or something equally multi-syllabic, considering all that it can be. A blog isn’t just a place to write. It opens up the reader’s personality to you, and it makes a friend, albeit an unknown one. I like blogs, and they’re how I’ve gotten to know and love some very precious people.

Anyway, that’s it for now. Nope. No theme. No, not a single moral of the story. Just a quit paragraph or two. Not much of a blog post, really. lol. I’ll get better at it. I promise.

Just kidding. You want to know a random fact about me? My grandparents had a dog named Linda. That’s my first name, but when I moved in with them at a year and a half, they decided that I was going to have to be the one who got a new name. They began calling me Stephanie right then and there, and it’s why I’m known as Stephanie Orsini to this day. When I asked, somewhat indignantly, why they would switch my name and not the dog’s, I was told that they assumed I was the one with the higher IQ. Oh, boy, they got me there!

See? You learn all about people on these bloggy things.

Categories
Thoughts and Ideas

Chosen and Loved

Check out this bible verse.

“Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes, and He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.” (John 15:2‭, ‬16 HCSB)

This means something special to me. Of course, I’m excited that God promises to answer our prayers. Hooray! This is good news. But there’s a different view we can take of this Bible verse. Let’s take the focus off of what it tells us that we can do through Christ, and instead, let’s take a moment to think about who he says we are.

According to this verse, God isn’t just working with volunteers. When you have volunteer efforts, you Vann offer expect low grade results. “Beggars can’t be choosers,” we often say. But he didn’t wait around for someone to reluctantly raise their hands and volunteer to join him. Instead, he deliberately searched for the people he wanted. He chose us. He chose you.

As the chose chosen few, we can trust that we’re designed to do quality work. Because he selected is with great care, even with all our flaws, God knows we’re going to really give a great outcome. But here’s the catch. It’s not because of what we are capable of, and he didn’t consider our past as proof of what we can do. he’s not impressed by what we’ve done. No, our success is guaranteed because of who he is.

God has all power, all knowledge, all ability. He’s the greatest and the best. He’s good. And he chose us! Isn’t that amazing?

He’s also kind, compassionate, and loving. Unlike other leaders, he’s more interested in giving us his love than in measuring the outcome of our efforts. I feel this deeply and personally. That world around us judges us by our successes, but he judges us by his grace. Like a baby receives love long before it shows any potential, God loved us before we did any good works.

I just love him. If you love him, just tell him that.

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Categories
Thoughts and Ideas

Here am I. Send someone else.

I’ve literally prayed that prayer.

Yes, I know that’s awful. I remember the verse that states that he who puts his hand to the plow and turns back isn’t worthy of God. I get it. I understand so much. But my estimation of how effective I can be as a vessel of honor to God… Well, let’s just say that I believed for a long time that I was God’s only mistake.

I am tired today. I took on more than I could handle and I’m way behind. I feel like a failure. And I’m constantly being reminded that any success I’ve had lately isn’t mine. It’s been all a series of dumb luck events combined with people taking up the slack for me. I’m ineffective. I’m poor. I’m weak. I’m a blowhard who can’t back up her words. In short, all my righteousness is like filthy rags. I am nothing.

The good news for me is that your righteousness is also filthy rags. Not because you’re bad. It’s because everyone’s righteousness looks unacceptable to God. None of us has what it takes. That kinda levels the playing field, doesn’t it? It does! And I’m so glad about that.

I’ve got a mission waiting for me tomorrow. I’m going to have a lot of new things to do. And when I do them, I’m going to be joyful because I’m going to findmy success in Christ’s gracious love for me. Join me. Believe, like I do, that it’s by his grace by faith that we’re saved, and we never could earn it. Rest in that beautiful reality. God loves you. He can carry you through.

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