Chapter Thirteen: A New life, a True Lifestyle Change
March 7, 2014, is a day marked in my mind and in history as the beginning of a new life for both myself and my hubby. We had received some very godly and wise counsel from a friend on how to make true lifestyle changes. As we began to implement these changes, our new beginning and our new life started to emerge. I had reached the point of disgust with myself. My hubby had just returned from a trip where he recalls sitting on the plane ride home in misery. He’s 6’3″ and with those long legs, flying coach is not comfortable especially since he was carrying about 60 pounds more than his body was made to carry.
A very wise man educated in health and fitness began to feed us information on how to proceed with making a true lifestyle change – one for life! On that date, March 7th (honestly with a little doubt and reluctance) we started our journey with commitment. We then added consistency and perseverance.
One of the reasons I personally had reluctance is because I was a breadaholic. A breadaholic does not just desire breads, but also crackers, chips, cereals, rice and pasta. All of these foods were my daily staples, which turned to glucose and were then stored as fat on my body. All of these foods would need to be replaced with organic fresh vegetables, fruits, lean grass-fed and organic meats, chicken, eggs, healthy fats, etc. He fed us the info in bits and pieces which made the process manageable. The result of following his direction was a noticeable increase in energy levels, body parts shrinking, clothes becoming loose and the biggest miracle of all…cravings disappearing. Over the course of the next seven months, a new lifestyle was created. One that I actually crave now! I have absolutely no desire for the foods that have now been eliminated from my life. The new foods (whole, live foods) are so satiable that they are the ones I desire and want now. The other foods now make me gag to even think about them. I know…it’s a miracle!
My hubby dropped the 60 pounds he had picked up over the last 25 years from March 7th to mid-July. I dropped 80 pounds from March 7th to October 18th, 2014! I finally met my goal in weight and size (you know, the one I never met with the last diet program – or the one before that). But I have to say, it’s SO MUCH MORE than weight loss. What we have both gained goes beyond understanding. Our health is the best it has ever been, our energy levels are off the charts and instead of aging, our youth has been renewed!
Chapter Fourteen: The still, small voice
While creating this new healthy lifestyle of eating, I continued at the gym that I had joined following our Balanced Rock adventure. One of the classes I began taking was a Zumba® class. As the weight dropped, the energy soared, I began contemplating…
Earlier this year, the thought had crossed my mind of possibly getting certified as a Zumba® instructor. After all, I was loving the feel of dancing again, and I love influencing and helping others. The thought would come, and the thought would go. The thought would come again, but I never could get a definite sense of peace about doing it.
Then one day…July 28th to be exact. I awoke very early in the morning hearing that still, small Voice in my head. What did I hear? I heard these words, “Google ‘Dance Fitness Certification.'” Then I heard, “Google ‘Christian Dance Fitness Certification.'” WHAT? Christian Dance Fitness Certification? I’ve never heard of such a thing! But I obeyed.
When I did the latter, three different programs came up in the search. I looked all of them over, but only one stood out to me. It was called REFIT®. I had never heard of it before, never seen anything about it–ever. I spent the next two days dedicated to researching, seeking, putting on my private investigator hat and digging in.
And I did! What I found was amazing. I knew there was something different, something special about the program. I could just feel it! I loved everything I found: the program, the routines and the people. The hearts of the three founders – Angela, Catherine and Emily – are so obviously authentic, so true, so full of love and it was evident in my research.
I got on the refitrev.com website and looked for answers to questions I had. When I couldn’t find them, I decided to use the Contact Us link on the site and send an email. I did. Within two hours I had a response.
Angela Beeler, one of the CEOs and Founders of REFIT® responded asking me to call her so she could answer the questions for me personally. She gave me her personal cell number and I called. We spoke and 20 minutes later I had all the answers I was looking for. This conversation left me touched and impressed! What CEO/Founder gives out their personal cell phone number and asks you to call them then immediately picks up the phone when you call? This one does!
I continued to research and once again I heard that still, small Voice. This time the Voice said, “Get certified.” I discovered they would be holding their very first REFIT® Conference (called RECON) in Dallas in three months. In addition to the conference they were also holding an instructor training at the end. I knew that was for me! And so I registered.
On top of everything else that I saw that fit me to a T, the home studio was located less than two hours from where I live. One week after hearing the Voice tell me to Google Christian Dance Fitness Certification, my husband and I drove to Waco so that I could take a class for myself to see if it was as fun and wonderful as I presumed it would be. And it was.
It’s a combination of Christian, Pop, Oldies, you name it, but all music is value infuse and has a purpose and a point.
I made two additional trips down for classes and each time I was greeted as if I were family and had been a part of the community for years. I was in love!
Chapter Fifteen: Passion Returns Full Circle – I am home!
I received new instructor training last weekend and my experience in the short time of being a certified REFIT® instructor has already gone way beyond my wildest imaginations. I expected it to be great, but I did not expect the feeling of fulfillment. My heart is so full! I have shed many joyful tears the past week seemingly for no apparent reason. I now realize though, that they were from the overflowing joy and thankfulness to my God for leading and guiding me to this community, this family who is the epitome of Love! The love of God.
I’m not talking about just coming from the Founders, but from the entire Instructor Community. I’ve made more friends and people I can already call “true” friends than I could ever have fathomed. We have a private Instructor’s Facebook page that contains over 600 members and the page is very active. When you have that many people in a group setting (made up of mostly women), it doesn’t matter how charitable the organization is, if it’s made up of entirely Christians or how often people talk about “loving one another,” you will typically still have those who whine, complain, look down on or talk down about others, etc. Not this group! And I’m not exaggerating! The only discussions and comments that go on in this group are those of encouragement, prayers, silly fun, lifting up, speaking good things over each other and all the things that radiate the true meaning of Love, Agape Love!
My passion has returned! I am loving being in a fitness ministry/business where I am able to pursue my deepest dreams and desires. The passion I grew up with for dance, my passion for influencing and helping others to be successful in whatever they desire and my passion for the Lord are all rolled into one with this ministry/business!
I know without doubt this is where I am supposed to be! REFIT® is a combination of all things I love. I am home!
Chapter Sixteen: My Glory Story
At the end of the new instructor training, we were each handed a marker and asked to draw an arrow on our arm. At the end of the arrow, we were to write a word that we felt describes where we currently are in life. At the point of the arrow, we were to write a word to describe where we’d like to be. I also added a middle word on my arrow.
My word for where I currently am in life was, Intimidation. My middle word was, Regret and my word at the point to describe where I’d like to be was, Confidence.
We were then asked to each share our story and what those words meant to us. I was not prepared for this, however it just came out:
Intimidation. My passion all those years ago for dance (even as a shy and timid child) had allowed me to open myself up without intimidation. However, I had since allowed the condition of my body to prevent me from continuing with what I loved. I allowed my body to intimidate me.
I had a conversation several years ago with a neighbor and mentioned to her that I was once a dancer. At the time of this conversation, I was at my heaviest, most unhealthy point. She looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Once a dancer, always a dancer.” I knew in my heart of hearts that she was right. But I couldn’t see it in myself. That intimidation to step out kept me from pursuing what I loved and kept me from influencing and helping others. Which brings me to the next word…
Regret. I have regrets that I’m currently working to get past. Regrets of lost years, decades that I could have been LIVING to the fullest extent. And more importantly, helping others to live happier, healthier and more fulfilled lives. Which leads to the final word…
Confidence. As a result of my new vigor for life combined with the gift of REFIT®, I’m excited to step out and build the confidence to do those things I’ve missed. It’s not easy. Deep down I’m still sometimes that shy and timid little girl.
However, with what I’ve experienced with REFIT® so far I’ve been forced to live the word I put down…and quickly.
From being asked to come on stage and do a routine with Angela the first trip to Waco (when I had not yet seen the choreography), to being called up in front of 150 or more instructors (most of them seasoned) to do a choreographed routine with 9 or 10 others after only 45 minutes of learning it, to being summoned by my peers to stand and show how to do a body roll (the ONE movement I am least comfortable with and had just told someone there wasn’t a step I couldn’t do and feel comfortable once I learned it EXCEPT the body roll), to being called on to team teach with ROCK STAR instructors the week after certification. All are things I would never have imagined doing nor would I trade for anything!
The most important thing I want to do with that word, Confidence, is share it with others.
I know firsthand what it’s like to walk into a gym or class at 5’1″ weighing 250 pounds and perceive eyes looking at me. That uncomfortable feeling of not belonging or not being able to do what others can do physically. I understand what that intimidation is like. I want to change that intimidation and that perception in others and help them to develop confidence. I do not want others to experience the regrets I’m dealing with. It’s not as much about what is on the outside of a person, but rather what is on the inside. However, intimidation can cause someone to hold back what they have to offer from the inside because of what they perceive about themselves on the outside. I want to help others see themselves confidently.
It doesn’t matter what size, shape, color hair, etc. you are…every body matters and Jesus loves every body! It’s time we all learn to love ourselves as we are. Yes, I want to help you lose weight. Not because of how you look, but because of how you may feel or the lack of energy you may not even know you are experiencing.
It’s not about weight loss as much as it is about being weight less and receiving a health gain.
I find it interesting how the Lord will use simple phrases to confirm within me that I’m on the right track and following in His footsteps. When I published the weekly devotional book in 2009, the main purpose of the book was to “Rid the weights by renewing the mind.” Although physical weight loss would be the end result and was the main topic discussed, the scripture studies pertain to any weights in life that try to hold us back. In REFIT® one of the values is, “The focus is not on weight loss, but being weight less.” Yes, God does have a way of confirming and making the puzzle pieces fit together perfectly.
The next chapter has been written for me, but I’ve not yet lived it. It is with a very full and passionate heart that I excitedly await to see what it holds. Up until this point my only direction has been to get certified. I’m still awaiting what is next, where I will hold classes and all the other details of creating the next chapter. However, there is one thing I DO know…He has a plan and a purpose and with my willing heart to hear His voice and act in obedience, I have no doubt that the doors will open. I rest in His Peace as I do what I can to prepare for the continuation of this life-story of sharing His love with others. Yes, I excitedly await.
But for now and so far…
This is my Glory Story!
A story of passion that lives!
One thing I realized as I was typing these last few sentences…my dream has come true! I am now a professional (fitness) dancer!