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The winter of 2009 I sat and listened to the teaching of Evg Dawsolene Burrel at the Sisters in Fellowship Women of Excellence Conference. The title of her presentation was “Excellence In Maintaining the Temple”. It pricked me to the core, the insights she shared about maintaining our physical temple. Several of us pledged that a year later we would be different, we would be better, we would apply the teaching of discipline and sacrifice to achieve our desired goals.

Like so many other times, I didn’t fulfill the pledge that time either. I had heard, read and consulted with others time and time again – I knew what to do, but doing it was the challenge. Timing is everything. Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Fast-forward, the winter 2014, MY time!

Today, marks six months since I began my ‘Anew Life’ journey. It started with a 21-day Daniel Fast, January 5, 2014. The fast, for me, was not specifically for spiritual growth although it’s spiritual concepts greatly enforced my personal goal. My ultimate goal was weight loss. Fortunately, the benefits of the fast were not one dimensional but enriched my life in so many ways. The success I achieved in those 21 days has literally changed my life. More than the physical that I sought to achieve, I have gained so much more.

So today, I pause to celebrate and give thanks for the journey thus far, not finished, but a benchmark to reflect and propel forward.

When I needed to buy size 20-22 dresses and didn’t want to see myself from behind, that was the ‘fed up!’ point for me. The structured and supported plan of the Daniel Fast was the intervention I needed as well as support I received from others. To lose those first inches and pounds was so rewarding and motivating … There is no greater motivation than achievement.

Today, six months later, I have lost 34 lbs and I am down 2-3 dress sizes depending on the style and designer.

Additionally, I am committed to the fruitful performance of my goal every day by exercising and healthy eating.

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Since the fast I have continued to eat a plant-based diet and seafood, only special occasion sweets (except for mindless treats from time to time). When I get off track, I just get back on. I still have to discipline myself about my Starbucks indulgences. I’m proud of myself and my husband is proud of me too … Yay! Every time I pass up something unhealthy to eat, I do a fist pump inside for ME! Every time I finish a workout (even if I’m flailing around like I have no clue), I do a fist pump inside for ME! I celebrate every VICTORY!

Goal-driven, I make a decision EVERYDAY to win, to finish, to reach my goal.

A local trainer calls his fitness studio, No Fat Birthdays. Well, being very transparent and honest, I don’t want to be the fat girl. In order for that to happen, I have to work. Work my mind and work my body. It still scares me. I’m 56 years old! Can I do it? Will I make it? Will it last? But everyday I grow stronger and stronger. Everyday is filled with promise of Yes, I can. Yes, I will.

Oh yeah, I have Boot Camp tonight!

“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” ~ Psalm 103:1-5