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UNDAUNTED
For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Making the Week...and LIfe...Great

It's Monday! You know what that means? A whole new chance of making a great week!!!
Because if we simply HOPE to have a great week, frankly, we probably won't, but if we MAKE a great week, we are in charge and can put in what recharges the soul, and really, don't we all need some soul recharging from time to time (like everyday)? How do we do that?
Two things that seem radically different in the Bible, but are really the same thing:
It is not good for man to be alone.
Jesus often went off to be alone and pray.
We are not meant to be solitary beings. We are made for relationships. So when I think of recharging my soul, I think two things:
How do I better or deepen or feed my relationship with God?
How do I build relationship with other people?
Jesus got alone with the Father, talked to Him and listened. The Bible tells about God's character, but intimate alone time with Him is when He tells us His heart.
We all need people. Instead of saying, "We should (do this thing)," go do it. Instead of saying, "We need to have coffee/lunch," get it on the calendar and make it happen. Invite folks over for dinner and Mexican Train or cards or whatevr.
No soul-feeding relationship is an accident. Every relationship that fills the heart and feeds the soul is intentional, whether that be God or man.
I hope you live a wonderfully intentional week!
--Jerri L. Kelley--

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Brave

Hey! I'm glad you are here! I'm glad you opted to brave the world today. Some days just getting out of bed takes some serious bravery. I know. I've been crazy brave before too. But you know what? Every time you are brave it makes the next time easier, not easy, but easiER.
A long time ago I read a story by Faulkner called The Bear, and my favorite part of the story was the ending. It told about this little dog, less than 10 pounds in size, that took on a bear to help his human. Of course, the dog could not really do anything against the bear exact yap annoyingly, but the yapping was enough, and that sequence of writing was about the dog's mindset during the ordeal, how he couldn't be humble because he was too short to genuflect, and he couldn't go to heaven because man had decided he had no soul, and he couldn't be fierce because people just called it noise. But, he decided in that minute it didn't matter what others said or saw in him. It was what he saw or chose to be, and as he stood before that grown, rampaging bear, he decided to be brave because, "I can be brave. Even if they just call it noise."
This morning some of you need to know you are brave, even if others just call it...
...just getting out of bed.
...just going to work.
...just taking care of the kids.
...just breathing through grief that could crush you.
You are brave.
And I am so wondrously glad you are here!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

My Fitness Journey--The Big PIcture of It All

Yesterday I posted on FB and then copied it to my blog about deciding to do something different one day and going for a walk, which was a killer one mile that day and is an easier 3.5 miles less than six months later. I have been thinking about blogging about my fitness journey, but honestly, it feels odd for ME to blog about fitness and weight loss. BUT, who knows? Maybe if folks see that an average person like me can do this, they will realize ANYONE can do this.

First, let me say up front, I am not a hardcore workout person. I am not a hardcore fitness person. I am not looking to be a size 4. I do not starve myself. I'm not into any of that. I've tried that. About 4 weeks of insane is my limit. So if you are looking for fast and furious results or a super muscle body, I'm not your girl. However, if you want weight loss in real life, here my story.

Long story short, I have been seriously overweight for about 20 years. In high school, I was always told I needed to lose weight because I didn't fit those evil little tables they had, so even though I was 133 pounds and a size 12 and all muscle, I felt fat. Then I got married, had babies, ate out due to unhappiness and boredom and honestly got fat.

In the last 20 years, I've tire the diets. As I said, they last about 4 weeks, and then I feel horrible. My body aches. I'm starving. And I say something akin "boo this".

So what is different this time? Last summer I built a covered deck, and in the process of carrying boards, climbing ladders, and all the hard work, my strength increased. By the time I was finished, my stamina had increased from tolerating 2 hours of hard work in the morning to 6-8 hours of work a day, and that was in July and August. Plus, the back pain I had endured for years was gone. By the time I finished the cover of the deck in October, I had a new project of renovating a house. Most of the inside work was done by someone else, but I did the outside work. I moved large landscape rocks and built fences and tore down a wooden playset and fort and did a boat load of manual labor...and loved it. Not only that, but all the cardio pulled the pounds off pretty easily, which was great!

But, I knew I wouldn't be renovating a house forever, and I didn't see myself working on a construction crew, so I contacted personal trainer Adam Napper at Lose Inches, LLC, and met with him. My desire was to have a structured work out plan in place by the time I finished my "unstructured workout.

The first thing we discussed were my goals, and I told him I had simple goals:
1. I want to be a size 12 again. Much easier to do a lot of things in life, and much easier to alter my pants, which is a big deal since my waist and hips are not fashion proportional. Plus, I like skirts and want my legs to look good.
2. I want to do 5Ks again.
3. I want to like how I look in the mirror.
4. I want a lifestyle, not a number. I know what the tables say. They say I should be around 140. When I was in college, I worked out and became incredibly tone, not athletic toned but slimmed down tone, and I was a size 4 and weighed 150 pounds. I'm not concerned about the tables. I'm concerned about being happy with how *I* think I look. He understood.
5. Whatever we do has to be sustainable for the res of my life. I refuse to do what I see so many people do where they lose weight, hit a goal, and go right back to the previous lifestyle and gain it all back. Nope. This was not about weight loss. It was my life, and whatever we did had to be sustainable for however long that life lasts.

I explained my limitations with my knee and concerns with my back, and we spent a month figuring out what worked and what didn't. I'll talk more about specifics in other posts, but I have to give huge compliments to Adam. He was GREAT at protecting my knee and back and encouraging me that beginning is a big deal, even when the beginning was as small as mine

By the time I was finished with the house renovation in January, I had my plan in place to step into the gym. At that point, I had lost around 10 pounds and a whole size in pants, and it was time to decide whether to keep going or not.

I chose to go for a walk.

It was shocking to me how hard that mile was after spending weeks working 5+ hours a day carrying heavy things, building fences, and so on, and it hurt. My knees hurt. My thighs hurt. I ached so bad, BUT I did it again because this time I decided I really wanted a particular lifestyle more than I wanted to be comfortable.

Besides walking, I was doing weights. Adam understood that I am not the kind to do eight million reps of easy weights. I want strength. I want muscle definition. I don't want to look like a boy, but I know my body, and heavy weights tone it and shrink it faster than those kazillion rep light weights. Plus, frankly, I do not have the attention span for all those reps. Nope. I wanted change, and I wanted it in a short amount of time, so during our month of planning, we figured out the top of what my body could handle, and that is what I did three times a week.

I was really getting into a rhythm when I got sick in February and spent the next 2 1/2 months fighting bronchitis and pneumonia. Needless to say, there was no toning or walking during that time because breathing took precedence. I finally got back into the gym the second week of May and have been walking Semper everyday and doing weights 3 times a week. This week I am finally once again at my pre-sick levels on weights and distance. Actually, I'm about a mile further on distance.

So in the last six months, I've worked out about 4 of it. I've only lost 25 pounds, but my jeans have shrunk three sizes. I've added pictures. I don't know if they really show the difference, but even without needing new clothes, I can tell a difference in how my body looks in the mirror and how it feels when I do things, like cross my legs or climb stairs. Obviously I still have a long way to go before I am where I want to be, but I am a lot closer than I was in January.

I'll give you more information on what I am doing and why and what works for me and what really doesn't work for me in other posts. For now, I'm tired from my workout, and I am going to go soak in a hot bath.

But before I go, let me assure you, I am not some super person with some super diet or super anything. I'm just a person who wanted a life different than I had and made some decisions to make it happen, and I'm still on the journey.



Different

About six months ago, I was bored, thinking, "If I could have any life I wanted, what would it be?" and "What do I miss doing that I don't do anymore?" And all that came togethe with the idea: I am going to go for a walk. So I did.
I walked "to the corner" and back. Now our corner is half a mile away. The first half if downhill, and the second half is obviously uphill, not K2,but a solid incline. Lands. My legs hurt so bad. WonderBoy walked with me, and bless that young man, he endured a lot of whining that day, but I did it, and the next day, he bravely endured listening to me whine again.
Today I walked 3 1/2 miles. And I have to tell you, even walking faster than I did then, the 3 1/2 miles was easier than that 1 mile. You know why?
Because one day I decided wanted something different, so I got off my bum, and went for a walk. And then I did it again the next day. And again. And again.
It didn't start out planning to do a 5K. It started as wanting something different. That's how change happens. Someone decides they want something different.
If you are looking at your life thinking maybe a change would be good, today is a great day to do something different!
Wishing you a gloriously different day!

Friday, June 16, 2017

At the Ending of a Crazy Week

It's the end of a kind of crazy week around here. I was thinking about it last night, and the truth is, it isn't really "a week". It's a symptom. Some things in life just aren't working, so there is always an undercurrent of frustration, fatigue, some anger, maybe some feelings of aloneness. And it is easy to look for things to just make those symptoms better, but eventually, there is going to be another week or another day, so this morning during my prayer time, I was specifically asking for solutions to the real problems. I don't believe praying to feel better works unless I also pray for the wisdom to change what is causing the problem. Sometimes I can't fix the problem, but I can address how I react to it or how it affects me. Right now, we are dealing with both here, and I am asking for--and listening for--answers. I'm praying for the insurance company to pay for the roof to be replaced, and I'm being someone they can be nice, too, and getting my ducks in a row. I'm praying for organization and bracing myself for getting rid of things or changing things that cause disorgnization and clutter. There are other things, too many to list really, but I'm praying and choosing to be part of the answer because God can do amazing things, but it is amazing how often those things include human hands and cooperation.
I hope you have a great day!
Jerri

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Hard Day?

Hard day? Maybe some tears or screaming or just going to bed in silence? Yeah, I've had those days. Had one recently in fact. You know what is hardest about those days is that I don't usually tell anyone how hard it is because I don't want to look stupid, and I'm afraid people won't understand or they'll tell me how to handle it better or give some unwanted advice. On those days, really, I don't need that. I just would like a presence. Someone who takes the brunt of my vent and listens. Someone who sits with me while I stare at a TV with some pointless movie on. Someone who nods and says, "Yep, that sucks," and realizes it is just a day, except it is a day at the end of a string of days or weeks, and this last thing happened and...insert tears or screaming or numb silence. So, if it that kind of day, good for you for making it through and letting everyone else make it through and not making any decisions that cannot be undone. Sometimes, it is a big enough battle to just get through the day. Tomorrow when things are less intense, you can think through, have conversations, make decisions. You'll be in a much better place for those things. Tonight, be nice to yourself. Give yourself grace. Dump on someone if you need to. Get some sleep.
 
I'm really sorry if you had a bad day, but I'm really glad you made it through it.
 
Hug, hand squeeze, and presence.
 
Jerri

An Idol

An IDOL
 
is anything that causes you to
 
question God's character
 
or
 
be angry at God
 
because you don't get what you want.
 
--Jerri L. Kelley--