Where am I?

It has been a few days and I haven’t kept up with the challenge. I’m going to have to start again. I lost momentum when I became overwhelmed this past week. I started school then forgot to actually read the resources daily to help me stay on the challenge. On Thursday while with my group I was able to realize how I was able to make it through the fast. I also announced the gratitude intention and this accountability blog. I then took the time to complete my calendar. Last week I put so much on my calendar. I only completed 25 percent of the intentions I scheduled. I canceled the colonic because of work commitments. I put off schoolwork in order to attend a meetup that unfortunately didn’t do what I’d hope it would do as far as helping me make improvements to this blog. I ended up taking a day off work because I wasn’t feeling like myself. Then I didn’t purchase my ticket in enough time to participate in the Vision Board creation meetup later this evening.

In addition to all of that I had a supervisor meeting for which I had to prepare a scorecard with 13 weeks of information literally overnight. I made it through. I have one more project and 2 more days of class participation. Next week well actually this week I begin working off my calendar and to do list. There are some things I need to make happen at work. There are some things I need to make work at home. I’m still working all those things out.

Before last week a big part of my day was actually blogging about what I was experiencing. I now realize it won’t be a easy to do that now without a concerted effort. I may end up jotting things down in my personal journal then as time permits, once possibly twice a week, I can post a progress post. Not sure. Still working it out. It helps that I’m using the WordPress app on my ipad. It doesn’t do a lot for formatting but it gets the content up.

It’s 1:33 am and I have church in a few hours. I really need to go to bed.

Gratitude Challenge – Day 2

11:11pm – Today was a tough day. Not in terms of the work because Wednesday is usually a challenging day. It was tough because I really wanted to get some things done and immediately after I walked on the site I was pulled in many different directions. Such is the life of a site captain. I guess. I made some decisions today. So, today I’m grateful for the strength to make the hard decisions.

Gratitude Challenge – Day 3

Turns out I haven’t been reading the daily devotionals. It has been a challenging week. Today was good though. I needed and took the time off to repair from the pain I’ve had in my back lately. I have some holistic recipes that will help me through the transition. I will follow them this week.

Tonight we went to bible study with our small group. Today, I am grateful for my small group. Next week is our turn to host and believe it or not we’re looking forward to it.

Gratitude Challenge – Day 1

I started the day grateful that it was the first day of school.  Now some 14 hours later? I’m overwhelmed.  No, I shouldn’t claim overwhelmed.  I simply realized I have a lot to do.  It’s amazing.  Since Sunday when Pastor defined boredom as the resting/waiting place God sends us to rejuvenate and prepare I’ve been wondering whether I’m overbooking myself.  Today.  Just this very moment I realized I probably have.  There are some social functions I intend to attend this week but I just got a real look at what my coursework looks like.  This won’t be a cake walk.  Besides class and work, I committed to exercise, a bible study group, and 2 meetups.  I had to reschedule today’s colonic because my plate at work was full and I didn’t really see myself getting done in time to get there.  Yet, I’m still grateful.

In addition to the course load some of the rules have changed and I’m a bit shaky on the mechanics of writing in the APA style.  So I’ll need to get on top of that.  This is an accelerated course with accelerated learning with little room for error considering I have to get my ducks in a row.  No joke.  Looks like I’m going to be retreating after all.  I’ll need to set an intention and schedule to exercise and study both in school and in the word.  Here is where the discipline comes in.  I know it will take discipline to make this happen.  I’ve got to make the decision and develop the plan.  I’ve got to stop speaking or typing in cliches as well.  Oh well.  Today I am grateful to God for showing me the way back to school.  I know now that part of that fast was to remind me to be still sometimes.  I’ll be still untill  I’m through.

I slept for 2.5 hours because I was anxious to get started.  Tonight I am exhausted.  As soon as I close out this post I’m going to sleep.  If I can get in the bed by 9pm I have a stronger chance of getting up and moving around at 4 am.  It needs to evlove naturally.  Because when I add the other elements of wellness to the mix I will need to be able to stand still.  It’s what I do.  Day 1.

Daniel Fast – Day 21

I really don’t know what to say.  Today is the last day of the fast.  I ate something today I shouldn’t have considering the fast actually ends at 6am tomorrow.  I didn’t even feel convicted for doing it.  I wonder was I led to be finished or if I talked myself into it.  After I ate my husband informed me he was happy I was eating again.  He’s been concerned about the amount of weight I’ve lost.  But he didn’t want to mention his concern because he knew I was doing this fast for spiritual reasons.  If that’s the case, I’m really glad my mother hasn’t seen me in 3 weeks.  She’d be really upset.  I’m down 2 dress sizes and I was only a size 6 to begin with.

I’ve set new intentions to begin tomorrow.  An exercise in gratitude and in an exercise in discipline.  I’m beginning the first of the final 3 courses in my graduate program tomorrow.  And today I purchased a couple of pairs of yoga shorts to begin the hot yoga classes.  My intention once I get a handle on my course work this week is to exercise 3 hours a week.  The hot yoga classes are 90 minutes long.  There is no way I can pretend I’ll be willing and able to do that more than once a week.  The other 90 minutes will be broken up into 3 thirty minute full body workouts during the week immediately after work.  I’ll continue to get my cardio by walking around the site at work.  I can easily get 30 minutes and probably closer to 60 minutes of walking during the day.  The campus is pretty large.

I never really detailed my intentions for 2013.  I have a few.  And most of them will be addressed in spin-off blogs…maybe.  So, for 2013 I intend the the following:

  1. To strengthen my commitment to and walk with God.
  2. To reduce our debt by 20%.
  3. To complete my graduate degree.
  4. To improve my health by increasing my fitness level and living a  more holistic lifestyle.
  5. To establish and grow an online business
  6. To lead a more organized life.

The action plans for those intentions will be developed as part of my discipline exercise.

My plate and calendar is officially full.  Therefore, I won’t add anything else to it until after I finish school in July or August.  Day 21 is done.



21 Days to a New Habit

They say it takes 21 days to develop or to change a habit. This last 20 days helped me understand some changes I intend to continue. I’m in the process of choosing another habit.  I’m going to use the next 21 days to incorporate it into my life. There are a lot of things I’d like to do but I know it is important to simply choose one thing to focus on. I’m torn between the habits of consciousness, discipline,  and gratitude. If I establish the habit of discipline first then it will be easier for me to incorporate all the other habits later. A consciousness cleanse will help me move closer to God’s purpose for my life. That is so important. Discipline will help me establish balance.

In this week’s message at church my Paster put the concept of boredom into context. Specifically, he explained that the calm we consider boredom is the stillness or ‘rest’ period God gives us between the storms. Wow. This concept isn’t really new to me. But it made me rethink what I currently have going on in my own life. If for only a moment. Am I doing the right thing? I prayed on this and asked God to grant me the ability to complete my degree.  A year ago I asked God to move me in the direction he’d have me to move, professionally. And he has increased me. I am grateful for it all. And I praise Him for his faithfulness. He keeps his promise. I’m working on being the one to always keep my promises.

Somehow I left out gratitude. Not sure how I left that one out. Unless I consider that part of consciousness. I ran across a book entitled the 21 Day Gratitude Challenge. The purpose of the book is to alleviate depression and loneliness by taking the time each day to be grateful to God for what we have. The author took it a step further and also wrote a daily thank you note to a different person which she then mailed. I’m curious. It is such a giving thing. At first I thought, well, I don’t know 21 people who I want to thank. Then I realized there are 41 people that report to me daily. And I’m grateful to them for showing up each day and putting their best foot forward to accomplish our mission. I have family members I appreciate. I have friends I haven’t seen or spoken to in a while that I am grateful for. Turns out I have plenty of people to thank along my journey. It doesn’t have to be long and drawn out. It simply has to be sincere. I like that idea.

Daniel Fast – Day 20

I woke up this morning refreshed and ready for church. Before we left though I made a bunch of juice for myself and the family. It was sort of a clean the fridge type of juice fest. Where I went through all the fruit bowls I keep lying around the house and rummaged through the crisper bin looking for stuff that I possibly forgot about. There wasn’t anything. I put on some crazy contemporary gospel music and just started juicing. I took before and after pictures too.


I made a tomato juice with celery, my favorite citrus juice with garlic, and juiced the lemons that will be the base for some master cleanse lemonade I will drink this week. Then I made a quart of apple juice for my husband. I usually drop a slice of lemon in that. I finished up with a very green drink made with kale, cucumber, and celery.



In the end it was a beautiful mix of juices. I drank the citrus juice right away. I actually prefer that one at room temperature. It filled me up so I didn’t need anything to eat before church. The rest of the juices I put in the fridge for later. I gave the apple juice to my husband. He really enjoyed it.

This past 20 days has been amazing. I feel lighter. I don’t have the same challenges with my stomach I had before the fast. Although I know I can’t maintain the same stringent dietary rules all the time I’m definitely considering changing my habits. I probably don’t need to eat meat. I certainly know I want to restrict my dairy intake to certain things. I’m going to reenter everything slowly so I identify my sensitivities. Also, although the Mr. really wants to ‘fatten’ me up I don’t think I want that. I want to be healthy. Now that my clothes are falling off and my belt needs another notch knocked into it I think it is time to get back into scrapping shape.

I still have 4 more colonic sessions and 20 sessions of yoga. I’ll start bodyweight exercises here at home in the morning and as I realized yesterday I will get more cardio exercise walking around the site at work. I’m also considering a modified juice feast. Modified because I don’t want to lose anymore weight. I just want to cleanse at this point. Day 20 is done.

Daniel Fast – Day 18 & 19

5:35 am. I fell asleep at 7:30 pm last night. I can hardly believe it. I’m almost positive I only intended to take a nap. I didn’t wake up until 3 am. Yeesh! If I wasn’t sure then I’m positive now yesterday was a tough day at work. I was literally exhausted when I got home. I still spent time in the Word. But, I didn’t muster the energy to complete the post before I passed out. Oh, well. Such is life.

Anyway, I woke yesterday full of energy. That was good because when I got to work I had to hit the ground running literally from that instant. The day passed quickly only because I was uber busy dealing with each crisis as it appeared. The day did eventually end. I was glad. I came home and wonder of all wonders on the way home there was NO traffic! In Atlanta. Turns out all the people that would have been jamming the roadways on a Friday afternoon only worked half a day. So they left around noon. I ate some organic granola cereal with flax and pumpkin seeds and almond milk. It was divine. I completed my devotional then fell asleep. I guess I have to say. It was a good day. Day 18.

Today is a new day. So far this morning I completed my devotional. I spent time talking to the Mr. and I’m updating this blog. I can say it has been a productive morning and it isn’t even 6 am. I’m considering juicing for most of today. I’m also going to go around to the fitness center and weigh myself. I haven’t done that since I began fasting. I don’t know how much weight I’ve lost but I know it is a lot by how my clothing fits. The slimmer I get the more I realize I want to get back to the tight body builder me. With this fast coming to a close it is time for me to set a new intention.

My immediate intention is of course to complete the next 18 weeks of school. But I need a physical intention as well. I’ve been feeling really good in my body. Not nearly as bloated as I’d been before the fast. This is the perfect time I believe to introduce healthier lifestyle choices in the food I consume. Also, I have 4 more colonic sessions. There are some dietary things I can do to encourage that particular process. Finally, of my treats for Christmas I gave myself a gift of a 20 class card of hot yoga. That 90 minute class once a week might be just what I need to help reduce the stress of the transition at work and my last 3 classes. I’d love to say I’d take 2 classes a week but right now I won’t commit to that. Especially since I’m thinking I might want to got back to the gym. I thought I might stop lifting additional weights and just go with bodyweight exercises. But I’m not sure. I have a specific idea of what I want my body to look like. I’m not sure I can do that solely with body weight exercises. Or supplements. Looks like I’m going to need additional research. In any case the goal is to get the other 90 minutes of exercise per week in 3 day increments of 30 minutes each. That is doable. I’ll circuit train in full body workouts and get my cardio from walking around the site. I usually do that at a brisk pace anyway.

I am forming an intention.  It will be ready in a day or so.  I’ll share it then because after all this IS an accountability blog.  Day 19.

Daniel Fast – Day 17

Wow! I’ve got 4 days left.  Sometimes I can’t believe I’m this close or that I’ve come this far.  I’m happy I remained true to the reason for this fast.  It is a very stressful time for me.  Or at least it could be.  I’ve chosen not to participate in the stress of it all.  I’ve decided simply to do my job.  I mean really.  Just do my job at work.  I’m happy about the way our life is evolving right now.  We had a discipleship group meeting last night.  When it was over the Mr. and I sat around in the living room rejoicing in how God has brought our family in communication with other families like ours.  We’re in different life stages agewise but we have overlapping testimonies.  We each have something to contribute to one another and I’m happy God saw fit to bring us together.  We are SUPER excited!  Super.  My precious niece is in college.  She says ‘super’.  One day we picked her up at the dorm and asked if she’d eaten.  She informed us the dining hall closed before she could get there.  She was SUPER hungry.   The Mr. teases her to this day about that.  Now, I’m saying it, lol.

I’m going to spend some time in devotion.  I’m not sure why but I wanted to get the writing done first today.  I want to express gratitude.  I’ve been developing a habit during this time.  It takes 21 days to develop a habit.  The habit I wanted to develop involved writing daily for publication.  Not long ago I came across a website training program that informed if you commited to publishing 1,000 words per day you could create a successful business.  I wasn’t sure I believed that.  Then I realized it wasn’t that I didn’t believe it could be done.  I questioned whether I could commit to doing it.  Of my posts none have come close to anything like that.  But, I bet some of my work emails exceed that number, lol.  I’m known for lengthy emails.  This fast is teaching me I can finish something I start.  I can and should finish everything I start.  I just have to get focused.

Stephanie Speaks is supposed to be an accountability blog.  Or at least that is what it is today.  Later on it may evolve into something else.  But right now, I’m actively using it to keep on point with the fast.  I have some habits I’d like to acquire.  As well as some I want to shed.  There are many ways I can go with this.  I’ve got the foggy head right now.  I’mg going to move on to my devotion for now.  When I’m done I’ll see where I stand.  As of right now, my energy is up.  And the Holy Spirit is calling me to prayer.  Here I am.  Day 17.


Daniel Fast – Day 16

It’s time to make some juice. I haven’t in a couple of days so I really need to make some tonight. I’m thinking about a straight watermelon juice. A straight pineapple juice. a beets with orange and celery juice, then something green. I haven’t had green in a while. Plus my green apples are REALLY ripe. In a few minutes I’m getting up and pulling that all together. This is day 16.

It was a crazy day at work. A lot of meetings and a lot of other stuff going on. I interviewed for a job this afternoon. It is crazy but we all have to reapply for our jobs. Things are changing rapidly. I’m really excited about that. But on the other hand change is always challenging for me even when I’m expecting it. This afternoon I had a revelation about why I’d arranged things the way they were arranged this past couple of weeks. I needed someone around me I could literally trust. I mean I thought I had it all under control. It turns out I was more stressed than I thought. In the end it was like a revelation. I needed someone near me I could trust. And this is what it is about. Someone who had my back. I’m not in that space right now. Not anymore. Another thing that was sort of a confirmation for me. That I’m going in the right direction….the enemy was attacking me. Covertly. I knew it. I recognized it. And try as I might I actually was able to remove myself from the hate for a moment. I literally let God, be God. And OMG! Literally today I feel like God showed up and showed out. I am overjoyed. I’m praying that my joy is not disrespectful. My Mr. referred me to scripture to assuage my guilt. Praise God!

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring but for tonight I’m excited. My energy level was good today. I’m going to drink some juice and take some digestive enzymes and a couple of cascara segrada capsules. Tomorrow I will drink some beet juice. The plan is to move something. After my fast I’m considering the lemonade cleanse and hot yoga for a few days. Just to see how it all pans out. I’ll see how the end is going to be. For now, Day 16 is done. 5 more days.

10:34 pm. Update! I made some amazing juices tonight. No vegetable because I was too tired to clean the juicer twice. I had enough steam to juice a pineapple (my first) and 1/2 of a good size watermelon. I threw in some other tropical and not so tropical fruit then my son and I had an evening of non alcoholic cocktails. It was amazing. Looking forward to doing that again.