Aj’s Health watch- day 21-23 Welcome to phase 2 :)

This is my Advocare 24 day challenge- days 11-24 kit

This is my Advocare 24 day challenge- days 11-24 kit

I know it has been a few days since I last posted. Sorry. The weekend truly got away from me.

So, today is day 12 of my Advocare 24 day challenge. I have completed the 10 day cleanse and honestly- I can’t believe I made it through. (Remember me saying how hard it is for me to complete things?) So now I am on to the final phase of the challenge. (day 11-24)

The picture above shows exactly what I am doing. Basically – the 10 day cleanse detoxed my body. Got rid of all the toxins and bad bacteria. This second phase is where I am adding in the nutrition and vitamins that my body TRULY needs in order to function properly.

In the morning I drink my spark. Still love that stuff. Then I drink my chocolate meal replacement shake. Surprisingly, it’s actually really yummy- AND FILLING!

I take A LOT of vitamins, but it’s better than injections from a hospital bed, right? Right!

As far as my eating goes, I am still staying strong with my staple of spinach and grilled chicken. However, this Saturday- my final day of the cleanse I decided I was GOING to have pizza. I didn’t call Papa Johns- I made a mess in my kitchen and made EVERYTHING from scratch! I googled how to make a buckwheat flour pizza crust and home made pizza sauce (using ONLY FRESH, not canned, ingredients)  and here is the final product:


It’s a buckwheat and tapioca flour crispy crust with fresh garlic, basil mozzarella, fresh tomatoes and spinach on it. SOOO GOOD! We had friends over to watch The Help (which I HIGHLY recommend seeing) They ordered Papa Johns. I faithfully ate mine. My hubby tried my pizza too and said it tasted soo much better, and fresher than Papa Johns. (made me feel good! lol!)

So, I keep pressing on. I am still working out three days a week with our amazing, SUPER SUPPORTIVE trainers, walking every day and eating healthy. (food wise and portion wise.) I can feel a difference in the fit of my clothes and my energy levels. Looking forward to seeing how I feel at the end of this thing. (day 25)- Another cool thing: I find myself NOT craving sweets, breads, fried foods or soda anymore. That is so weird, but seriously true.

Also, another cool thing?? I have only had ONE fibromyalgia flare up since I started. Before- it was acting up almost everyday. Also, I have noticed a lift in my depression. These are all pluses in my book.

Makes me wonder why I fought getting healthy for so long?

Until next time,

See ya on the Random Side,

Aj Luck


Aj’s healthwatch 13.0 day 4 :)

Good morning.

I suppose it’s no surprise that I am once again sipping coffee as I sit down to write this post. (Coffee I will eventually have to give up- but for now, I sip. )


Am I sore? OH YEAH. Is it gonna be worth it. YEP.

Tate and I arrived, met up with our trainer and started getting used to the set up, warm up and routine.

We survived. SOME of the exercises were easy for me. SOME were not. Afterwards I felt pretty good. We went in for the weigh in and measurements. I nervously downed a large glass of water. Now, the last time I got weighed I was at the doctors office. I was a whopping 238 pounds. :(

Last night my official FIRST weigh in is 231.9 I’ll take it! This means I have 32 pounds to drop by April 23rd. Can I do it? I think so. I hope so.

We all decided last night that I will not be weighing again for another 30 days. Here is why: I know me all too well. The training that we have begun consist of cardio work as well as weight training. I know that muscle weighs more than fat. I also realize that during the next 30 days I will be burning fat, but also building muscle.

IF I keep stepping on the scale, the numbers are more than likely to go up.


SO, because of that NO SCALE. NO WEIGH IN for the next 29 days.

I have to mention too that it was pretty cool to have my hubby beside me throughout the entire process last night, enduring the same things. I think this is going to go a long way with us on a lot of levels.

Yesterday, I did end up walking back up to the school to get our son, then back home. – total miles walked for the day= 2.o plus the workout last night.

Plus we, as a family walked up to school again this morning. = 1.0 mile clocked in for today.

I have been drinking LOTS of water. I have given up diet coke and all sodas. I still relish in the comfort of my one cup of coffee per day. (for now.)

For dinner last night I made broiled tilapia with Mrs. Dash fiesta lime seasoning and lemon pepper. I also made some chicken flavored rice. I warmed up the black beans and olives from the night before and wa- la … a very yummy dinner. :)

We haven’t really grocery shopped yet. We are making due with what we have in the freezer and pantry for now. THEN we will restock in a smart, healthy way.

Thanks for joining me on my journey. It really helps. I appreciate you!

Until next time,

See ya on the “lighter” Random Side,

Aj Luck

George Mc Fly Syndrome

This is a repost from one of my favorite posts! Enjoy!!
“ What if I send it in and they don’t like it? I mean, what if they say I’m no good? What if they say “Get outta here, kid. You got no future.”? I mean, I just don’t think I can take that kind of rejection.”
George Mc Fly- Back to the Future I

Yep, this pretty much sums it up for me right now.

I have said many times over the years that I have what’s called the George Mc Fly syndrome. I have ideas and dreams but I keep them to myself. I am afraid to put myself out there. I fear what people might think…what if they say I am no good. What if I really don’t have a future? What if my dreams and ideas really are stupid? Be a writer. Silly. The world already has enough of those…just walk through the library and look around. You can’t possibly have anything to say that millions of others haven’t already said. Lose weight? Why? You have tried repeatedly and all you’ve done is set yourself up to fail. Succeed in Marriage? How? You’ve already failed marriages in your past. It will never work. It never has. Get out of debt? Ha! Be an excellent parent……….hahahahaha
The list of questions and accusations goes on and on and some days the message is put on repeat and plays all day long with no reprieve. It’s exhausting. It’s heartbreaking and it’s honest.

I heard a sermon a few months back from a friend named John Acuff.(stuffschristianslike.net) He is actually an amazing writer and a great speaker. He made a comment about Adam and Eve in the garden. When they were naked God called out to them and they hid, because they were naked. God asked them – “Who told you you were naked?” He went a little further and started asking the questions……
Who told you – you were no good and you would never fit in
Who told you – you would never be able to achieve your hearts desire
Who told you- you have to live under the expectations of others.
(Ok…so I am filling in my own who told you blanks, but the point is still valid.)

I realize that although Back to the Future is a great movie and Crispin Glover is a great actor who played George Mc Fly….The Mc Fly syndrome is a lie. It’s a lie that I have repeatedly bought over the years. It has defined much of my thinking. It has enabled a lot of my reactions or lack of responses. It has paralyzed me.

The fear of failure and the fear of rejection are two very powerful tools that are used in my life to keep me from believing the best and trying. I don’t want to simply exist anymore. I want to get up and move forward. Literally…I want to keep walking in my weight loss efforts until I find my self esteem, until I find my self confidence, until I find my ability to get healthy. I want to keep writing, even if no one ever reads. I want to keep working on my marriage until death do us part. I want to keep being the best parent I know how until I learn otherwise. I want to move into my future.

Sorry Crispin…I have to press stop on the dvd player now. I don’t want to go…BACK anymore. I want to run TOWARD my future but thanks for life lessons.

What about you? Do you suffer from GMCF syndrome too?? Wanna move forward together?
Until next time,

p.s….today marks mile 69 in the past 19 days. The scale shows no loss but my clothes sure do!!! : )

Reality Bytes…

So…tonight at writers group one of the goals I set for myself was to get this bubble popped that seems to be in my way about my book.(in other words…write until this stupid writers block….breaks!)

Another thing that I didn’t mention was I want to set myself a word count goal to do every day… word count goal…I want to shoot for 1000 words a day. I think in addition to my blog and then working on my book…surely I can accomplish this goal. I have to. I need to do this. Here is why…tonight at my writers group we all went around the table and did a get to know kind of conversation. When it came to my turn I mentioned my book that I was working on and gave the typical thirty second spiel that went like this….
“I am currently working on fiction novel based on experience. It’s a spiritual thriller. I was previously in a marriage to a person in ministry and I thought by marrying him I would be closer to God. It ended up – He would praise God in the pulpits and beat me to a pulp behind closed doors. This is a book about abuse and restoration with a thriller style twist.- Kind of like Stephen King meets Jesus.”

Little did I know that one of the other women who were sitting at the table was listening intently…for unknown very good reason. Through conversation throughout the night I made a further comment that I felt like I really needed to get this book out because deep in my heart I know that we never go through anything just for us…that it’s for someone else that we will eventually meet on our journey… and I know that there are other women out there who are in the same situation and need to hear this and that they are loved and valued by their Creator and that He is with them through it all.

Later on I found out that the woman that was listening intently (and don’t get me wrong everyone was listening…) but that she was actually in the same situation years ago…

This is when it became REAL to me. I have been saying this spiel for the past several years…but tonight…tonight this arrested me in my heart and became real.

The woman is precious and has an AMAZING writing gift, skill, talent etc…and such JOY! I made a comment that I was sorry she had been through that horrible time in her life. She smiled and said it was no longer her and she has been given the love of a wonderful husband twice since….God had been wonderful to her in the restorations.

I knew when I looked at her….it was God absolutely apprehending my heart at that moment…she leaned over and said very direct… “Write it!”

And that I shall….it’s no longer about me…honestly, it never has been.
It’s for God…and for the broken women who need to believe once again that they have purpose and they have value…They are the daughters of God..

Tonight I met my reality of destiny and I just can’t say no any longer.

Thanks for listening in,
Until next time,

Peer transparency….

I have a blackberry tour.
I really like it.
It’s not an iphone but it’s still cool…to me.

I have a calendar function – and it’s actually starting to get more and more entries (aside from birthday reminders.)

One…is that I got a call yesterday. I missed the call because I was diligently napping after a hard core domestic cleaning routine in the a.m.
The call was from the company I interviewed with last week. They were calling to set up a second interview.
I returned the call today.
I made a new entry in my calendar for tomorrow at 2. I have a second interview! I kind of like this not worrying thing…don’t worry…take a nap…return a call. GOOD Strategy.

Tonight I have my first writers group. Well, not me personally. I am not putting one on, I am ATTENDING one. I do have a small advantage…I am friends with the girl who is sponsoring it. : ) She is amazing and I can’t wait to hide out under her wing a bit and learn from her.

Speaking of writing…one of the things I know that will eventually come is…critique…
So…to “break the proverbial ice” I am attaching a piece of my current novel up for review from my peers.

Honest feedback is welcome, but remember I am a fragile flower….and I am offended easily…

Here goes…Enjoy. Chat soon

The train was taking too long.
She was trapped with nowhere to go.
Panic was turning to hysteria.
He was going to come after her. He was going to find her. He was going to kill her.

It was only moments before when Trevor grabbed her by the back of the neck trying to stop her from leaving. Moments ago when he pulled a gun on her, chased her into the outdoors, pushed her down onto the sidewalk, slammed her head onto the pavement, pushed her face against the grain of the sidewalk, grinding her skin into the gravel design.

It was only moments ago that she was able to stagger to her feet and run on legs that felt like rubber. It was only moments ago that she blinked the mixture of blood and tears away just enough so she could see to her escape.

And now she knew she was just moments away from being found and escorted to a brutal death.

The train kept moving…every car that passed by was another moment he had to find her.

Screaming like a wild woman with no inhibitions, Tracy grabbed the steering wheel with brute force and screamed.

Headlights appeared in her rearview mirror. Her blood ran cold. She waited. She muffled her screams to whimpers of cries. She hated him. She hated herself for believing him.

She waited. No movement from the car behind her. The train kept moving in front of her. Trapped at the tracks she had to react.

With hands trembling and tears still streaming down her blood stained cheeks she reached down and opened the driver’s side door.

With unknown courage she began walking almost running towards the white jeep that sat patiently behind her waiting for the train to pass.

The jeeps top was down, revealing a single occupant behind the wheel. She walked up to the driver. Crying intense sobs of desperation she reached up and grabbed the side of the jeep door and said with cracked words uttered “Please, pl ea se help me get out of here!”

The man sat behind the steering wheel looking at her, silent he spoke softly and said “Follow me.”

Chapter One

Until next time,

Hard at work

SCORE!So…It’s Wednesday and I still haven’t heard back from my job interview last week. Part of me wants to worry and fret and the other part figures it’s simply too exhausting to do that. I either got it or I didn’t. Worrying will not change anyone’s mind…and it will just give me a tension headache.

So…since I am still “in the search of” employment one of the request that Tate had made was to give it a good effort to try and save the family money by clipping coupons and shop smarter…

last night we all bundled up and headed to Kroger for the dreaded weekly grocery trip. At first I really didn’t want to go…. I knew we didn’t have a lot of money and I was doubtful that I would really save all that much. I did my homework. I clipped coupons, checked my website…


downloaded my coupons, printed them, organzied them and loaded them all up into my purse…
Kroger had some really good deals…including candy corn for .48 a bag…yep! I got four bags. Tate said it would hold me over until my next root canal…funny guy.
So…we shopped…checked out and here was the outcome….86.00 was the total…then I handed him all of my coupons…..and I watched that screen like a hawk, praying under my breath for a SERIOUS discount…cause 86.00 was just not a number that was going to work well within this weeks budget…
Happy to say…after all the coupons and discounts….we walked away spending $18.63
I was floored ane elated and estatic and very proud.
I thought we as a family had done very well. We shopped smart and saved big…we thanked God for his blessings and wisdom…….and after dinner…and when all was quiet and Marshall was safe and sound…sleeping.. I celebrated with a handful of my .48 candy corn…. (ok..maybe TWO handfuls!)

Question of the day….are you a coupon junkie?
Until next time,

Silver lining in Candy Land

So way back when….early in the 80’s I had to venture to the dentist because I had a cavity. I don’t remember the year or my age but I know I was still in the single digits. I remember sitting in that stupid brown leather chair and I remember seeing that horrifying syringe and needle – numbing device that this monster dentist was going to cram into my cheek and inject……

I survived it. I remember the filling was silver.

Not a second thought was given about my silver filling that happened over 20 plus years ago until last week. I was feeling pretty nauseated during a job interview so I decided to professionally chew some peppermint gum… keeping it in the back of my mouth so I didn’t appear like a cow chewing cud while trying to impress this person interviewing me enough to offer me a job….

I felt it…a strange, unfamiliar texture added to my gum. It was then I realized my silver filling had just fallen out and landed in my gum that I was trying to professionally chew to keep from throwing up on the interviewer. I inconspicuously swallowed my gum and my filling. Now I really did want to throw up.

The interview went great with a promise of a call back for a second interview sometime this week. It’s only Monday ….but I still haven’t heard back yet… but I’m not impatient or anything.

So…I was sitting on the couch this past week….Wednesday to be exact which would be the day after my interview. I was enjoying a delicious Butterfinger mini candy bar. I was being careful and only chewing on my left side. (My previous filling had been on the upper right hand side of my mouth.)

I finished the candy bar. About 30 minutes later I felt a crunch….a shatter then a great sense of air- near the previous cavity residence.

I did what every person would do…I stuck my finger in my mouth to “feel” around…and bam….there it was..a jagged…shattered piece of tooth…and three little fragments fell out…..

I said some very colorful language cause I KNEW I HAD TO GO TO A DENTIST!
I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE the dentist. I asked for prayer. I cried. I prayed. I panicked. I made the call the following morning. A friend told me- “You got this…you have been through labor..” Yes…this is true but I was on every legal drug known to man during labor and had no idea I had a healthy baby boy until he was 2 hours old.

I went to the dentist. My hands kept sliding off the arm rest cause I was coating it with sweat. All they did is an x ray and I was sweating.

The verdict was in…I broke my tooth.
I KNEW THIS! What I didn’t know what that it had broken up under the gum line…so my prize was an “emergency root canal and gum removal” then after that bag of goodness was opened up and devoured then I get to go back two more times for a molding then a placement of a crown….and not a sign of royalty….. basically a fake tooth. COOL!
The question I had at this point was… “can I still eat candy with fake teeth?” I mean this was something to consider…and of course did “I hafta have a root canal?” and do they offer drugs?

I did have to have it done…they ignored the candy question and they wrote me a prescription of an oral sedative….called Valium….it was lovely. I took one at bedtime to rest the night before and one before the procedure. I was still aware of everything…but…I didn’t care.

They used that scary syringe thingy again but the valium told me it was ok..so I didn’t panic.

The root canal was a success. I am pretty sure I saw my dentist hand shake a time or two…or maybe that was me…then I saw SMOKE coming out of my mouth….. I thought I was just having “valium visions” but I was later told they were cauterizing the broken blood vessels…so I guess that was a good thing.

It has been three days since the procedure…I have a bruise on the side of my face that makes me look like a bar fight survivor but it’s all good. Besides, they sent MORE drugs home with me if and when I feel pain…it’s called LOR TAB and we have become friends. It makes me sleepy and takes the pain away.

(just incase your wondering though…DO NOT TAKE LOR TAB with a tall glass of sweet tea….it has a reverse effect….and causes insomnia….) I do not recommend this in any case.

I have to go back in two weeks…..I am thinking about asking for the valium thing again…
It really does make the dentist thing….nice.

: )
Do you have any dental dramas you wanna share????
Until next time,

Unstable diving boards….

I went to my Women’s small group this morning at church. It was good. Insightful and heartwarming.
I met another person who is passionate about writing. She is working on a junior adult novel.
I met another person who has dreams and aspirations to be a singer/ songwriter.
Another girl has a dream of one day owning her own photography studio.

As I sat back and listened to them, I felt encouraged individually for all of them. I wanted to cheer them on and tell them they could do it. I wanted to, and tried to edify them and show them that their passions and talents were God given. It came easy to me to find the silver lining within their doubts of their dreams and ambitions.

When it comes to me….it is a little more difficult.

One of the comments that came out of today’s discussion was on the lines of “ I have great ideas and have thought about doing.. X Y Z (insert topic/ talent etc. here) but then I look around and think – it’s already been done a million times over so I will just let them take care of it.”

My first thought….was “NO! God is a creator and there is a unique part of Him in each of us that the other doesn’t have. It takes all of us together to make up the amazingness of God….”
It was a good thought, a strong thought….I meant that thought….but I didn’t say it.
I didn’t want to sound cliché. Besides….I wouldn’t want to be responsible for having to take my own advice……

We are currently talking about a series at church about Faith, Hope and Love. Yesterday they talked about Moses. I think Moses and I would have come to be good friends. I really do. I can relate with him. He talked to God and God told him to go and lead God’s people out of Egypt. Moses spent a lot of conversational time telling God why he couldn’t do it – including listing all of his short comings and faults, his failures and fears and had a very strong argument. I have had the same arguments with God myself.

The problem with arguing with God…is eventually…He always wins….

I have been struggling with my writing….so..thus begins the arguments…
Dear God- I don’t have the ability. I can’t handle the rejections. I don’t know where to begin. I don’t know who to talk to. I don’t know how to do this. I am afraid I will fail. What if this isn’t what you want……yada yada yada.

He smiles and listens… I argue. He hugs me. I argue. He smiles again and nods a gigantic YES… I argue. I tremble in fear and then He hits me with this…

“Apart from Me you can do nothing.- If you are rejected, they are not rejecting you, they are simply rejecting me…and I am big enough to handle it. TRUST ME to work in and through you to accomplish my plans and purposes for your life”
I know that God gives talents. He doesn’t give us talents to dangle around and play with like yo- yo’s. He doesn’t give us gifts and talents for pure entertainment value, yet there is some enjoyment and sense of fulfillment when one is doing what they love. (kind of like a bonus feature.)

It’s always for Him. It’s always about Him getting the credit and the glory and being honored out of it….ALWAYS. (but then there is always the issue of if we will actually YIELD our talents to HIM….. another blog..another day…)

One of the phrases that I seem to have been hearing over and over again in this current series is “God will bring you to a ledge and say….GO AHEAD JUMP!”
NO…not a literal ledge…that would be suicide and that is never a good option.

It’s the proverbial leap of faith…..go ahead and take that giant step of faith forward into the unknown….TRUST and JUMP.

I feel like a see saw.

When I was a little girl I remember taking swimming lessons at the local recreational center. I remember the day when we were to face “the deep water…” where we had to stand on the diving board. (the small one- not even the really tall high up one.) I stood there and shook like a leaf. I looked at the deep- 7 ft water. I tried not to shake too hard because then the board would wobble and unstable diving board movement was NOT what I needed at that moment.
One second I would say “ok..okay. I got this. I can do this. I know how to swim. Just jump.”
Then next I would turn around and look at that never ending walk back down the diving board, back to those glorious metal steps to my concrete safety….
Then next I heard all the kids… “COME ON! JUMP ALREADY!”

Jump. Run. Jump. Curl up on board and die. Close my eyes, click my heels three times and say there is no place like home, there is no place like home…..

Eventually I jumped.
But I jumped.

I am on that diving board right now. I am vacillating between jumping off my proverbial ledge or diving board into the deep things of God…..or running back to comfort…..the problem is the comfort is starting to stir up a bit and making me ….well, uncomfortable.

I can get all super spiritual and use church lingo and explain all of this away…but it’s much easier to use my brain…my GOD GIVEN common sense and realize that life moves in forward motions. I know that things change. I know opportunities present themselves….but I also know that God is bigger than mere chance and opportunities.
I know that things will eventually get more and more uncomfortable until I stop fighting change and just allowing it to happen…trusting God really IS in control and stop using it as a mere catch phrase or band aid to cover up the obvious.

Know what I mean….

Thanks for listening in.
Until next time,

(tune in tomorrow and read all about the joys of my recent field trip to the dentist for what they called an “emergency root canal” It had NOTHING TO DO WITH TREES!

: D