Bravery Breakthrough

Raise you’re hand if you’re terrified to step out of your comfort zone! Screenshot 2017-09-18 10.31.23

Growth is scary.
Sometimes those new opportunities only reveal themselves through our challenges.
>>> IF we are willing to acknowledge them.<<<

Having coffee with my friend, Jessica McCurdy Zielsdorf this morning, we talked about visions for our future that may never have come about had we not experienced the struggles we are going through.

It’s amazing what becomes clear only once we’re already on the path.

What may seem like the fight of your life can be the beginning of something you never imagined.

Keep your eyes wide open to those things you may think seem crazy at the time. It might all make sense later.
God puts people/circumstances into our lives for a reason. ❤️🙏🏼❤️🙏🏼

#daringgreatly #dreambigger
#riseabove

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Nicole’s Amazing Journey!

Can we just take a minute and throw it back to a few short months ago when this girl was over 50 POUNDS HEAVIER?!

Nicole Aune and I have worked together for years, but something clicked for her this year and she hasn’t looked back.

Here are her words:
#TBT to a place I never wanna be again! With an amazing exercise program and a clean diet you can get there! I still have work to do but I am closer to that goal each day! What I have learned is you can exercise all you want but if you aren’t putting in the effort to eat better then you aren’t getting anywhere! Food is fuel!

Through this journey I have learned that I don’t need to “diet”, but to just change the way I eat. It has become the norm for me. I am realizing what foods make me feel good and what ones don’t. I still enjoy a treat here and there but it’s not every day. I still have my “cheat” meals but they are not often. It is a way of life now. I was that girl that would binge eat every single night after the kids were in bed! Now I am usually in bed shortly after them!

I am down 54.8 pounds since February 20th, 2017 and several inches! Still have more to lose but I’m getting there!

P.S. I’m always down for chips and queso if you ask😋. But just for a once in a while thing haha!

Oh and I forgot to mention that for the first time in 7 years I am officially under 200 lbs! That was my goal to get to by the end of summer and I did it!”

(Cuz I know you’re going to ask😜: Nicole has been doing Beachbody’s INSANITY: Max30 program and drinking Shakeology daily.)

I am doing a happy dance over here for you, Nicole! Seriously blown away by you. 🎉😍🎉

Can’t wait to start our new challenge on Monday!

Please give Nicole a virtual high five!! ✋🏼✋🏼✋🏼

#beforeandafter #Beachbody #InsanityMax30 #weightlossjourney

Screenshot 2017-09-18 09.44.50

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Speak Your Truth…Even if Your Voice Shakes

This morning in church, I couldn’t sing.
My voice literally could not hit the notes.

At a time in my life when I’ve never been more grateful for my relationship with Christ and had more desire to rejoice and praise Him and belt out those worship songs, I could only mouth the words.
I know my singing voice will return to normal sooner or later.

I am regaining my voice, both literally and figuratively, every day.

My personality style is that of a peacemaker, agreeable, accommodating.
For so long I have held back when I should’ve spoken up.
I have kept quiet so as to not ruffle feathers.
I quit standing up for myself and my loved ones.
I wasn’t strong enough.
I was no match.
So I kept quiet.
I quit believing in the power of my voice.
I doubted my influence and position.
I walked away and let the words, and inevitably, the sickness, build up in my throat.

Today, I am healed.
From this day forward will do everything in my power to be heard.
To stand up and speak up for myself and loved ones when it is necessary.
To voice my opinions, thoughts and concerns without fear.
I will not keep quiet to keep anyone else comfortable.

Please bear with me as I come into my ‘new’ voice.
I have a feeling I will flounder for a while with that line between ‘assertive’ and ‘over the top’. 😄

#findyourvoice #speakyourtruth #evenifyourvoiceshakesScreenshot 2017-09-18 09.53.04

You NEVER think it’s going to happen to you.

You may hear the statistics.

According to the American Cancer Society, 38% of people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. (Not me, though…I’m healthy!!)

This is the face of cancer, my friends.

In January, I received a FB message from a girl (that I wasn’t even FB friends with) that went something like this, “Hi Shelly. I know we don’t know each other, but we have a mutual friend. I am a nurse and I was watching one of your FB live videos and noticed a lump in your neck. I was wondering if you’ve ever had your thyroid checked.”

To make a long story short, over the course of the year, I ended up having an exam, ultrasound, then a biopsy. On May 25 (which coincidentally happens to be World Thyroid Day) I received the official diagnosis: papillary thyroid cancer.

Wow, right?
I had a nice little pity party for a good week and couldn’t even look at my babies without crying.
So many thoughts and emotions.
Why me? (I have my theories on that which I’ll talk about soon)
Why now?
Why thyroid and not breast or lung or colon?
What could I have done differently?
How does one get thyroid cancer?
Was I going to die and leave my kids to grow up without their mom?

I dove head first into everything I could get my hands on to learn all I could about it.
Turns out 50% of women will develop a thyroid nodule at some point in their life.
Only 5-10% of those will be cancerous.
Thyroid cancer is considered by many to be the ‘best’ cancer you can get. (Uh…don’t know how that is supposed to make anyone feel better).
There are 4 types of thyroid cancer, with papillary being the least aggressive and slowest growing.
So basically, I got the best of the best. 😍(Silver lining)

I went in for surgery last Friday and had a total thyroidectomy (thyroid completely removed).
I was pretty much in bed through Tuesday before I finally got up to venture downstairs. Yesterday I even showered! 👊🏼
My voice isn’t back to 100%. I can’t yell at the kids like I’d like. 😛 My energy is slowly returning. My neck and throat are sore.

Today was my post op appointment where pathology confirmed margins are clear (meaning it didn’t spread). 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼
Next step is to meet with my endocrinologist to determine whether or not I’ll need a radioactive iodine treatment which will necessitate being quarantined for a week. 😬
I am now considered hypothyroid and will need to be on a daily synthetic thyroid pill for the rest of my life.
My scar will heal eventually.

I’ve never prayed harder or felt closer to God than I have in the past few months. I came to a place of calm, trusting in Him through all of this. Even to potentially accept a worse fate if that was His will.
Allowing my body to be the vessel for His message to come through.
This Bible verse came to me one day during my devotional very early in this journey:
‘Be strong and courageous and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.’ ~ 1 Chronicles 20
I can’t tell you the serenity and courage that comes from giving it all to Him.

The absolute hardest part of all of this has been telling my kids. How in the heck do you do that? Especially with all we’re going through in our lives right now. It’s all just too much and my goal has been to protect them from any pain or heartache as best I could.
I felt very strong in my prognosis and was able to sit down and talk with them from a place of confidence and strength.
Only today did I finally say the ‘C’ word to them; once I knew it was out of my body and could tell them they had nothing to worry about and that I was going to live forever. 😜

I will never be able to thank the angel, Karen who was sent to me in that Facebook message.
Tonight was the first night I finally had the courage to reach out to her to tell her the story.

My tribe, my sisters, my village Jessica McCurdy Zielsdorf for being all up in my bidness from the second I opened my eyes after surgery until the moment she had to go home. Feeding me ice chips, speaking to the docs for me when I literally couldn’t talk, she did it all.
Tamara Kunkle for organizing a meal train that has kept us well fed for the last week.
Alma Hernandez for driving me to my surgery andSheila Baeza for driving me home.
Delicious meals from Natalie Rose TanaseCarlie VenoAngela LorenzoLinda Osuna, Jessica, Tamara, Sheila, Alma and gifts from Michele McKinley Valdez.
My sisters, Nicole Leonard and Stephanie for just being there and loving me through it all.
My sweetLindsey Florczak Thompson and Maria Currie for constantly checking in on me.
My prayer warrior sisters, Alma, Sheila and Jessica who have been my sounding board through all of this.
My TEAM who is so incredibly amazing and supportive from all across the U.S. (And some in Canada)😄
I can’t imagine how differently this may have looked had I not had the strength and community I have today.

Cancer WILL NOT take me down.
Divorce WILL NOT take me down.

My story is not over. It is only just beginning.Screenshot 2017-09-18 10.27.06.png

Getting the Toxins Out

On a quest to get the toxins out of my house. 😷☠️👺

The skin is our largest organ, yet we neglect to consider that we’re absorbing everything we use on it (lotions, shampoos, deodorants).

Trying to pay as much attention to what I put ON my body as what I put IN it.

I’ve heard good things about Schmidt’s deodorant.
Giving it a shot today!
I’d love your suggestions for any natural deodorant you’ve tried that you love! ❤️

#schmidtsdeodorant #allnatural #hopethisworksScreenshot 2017-09-18 09.55.37

Happy 4th of July!

Guess who didn’t have a single piece of candy at the parade? 👍🏼 This girl! 👍🏼
Made it home to prep a delicious ‘breakfast” at 1pm.

#intermittentfasting is my way of life and that doesn’t change just because it’s a holiday.
It’s not a struggle or a deprivation anymore because my body has adapted to it.

That’s not to say I won’t have any goodies today!
The idea with IF is that you get all your food in during a 6-8 hour ‘eating window’.
It’s not a ‘free-for-all’ during that time, though!
I’m still conscious of what I’m eating.

On my way out to the festivities now, so I’ll have my Shakeology on the way (I never miss it. Day 185/365!) and tonight, chicken, salad, probably a few chips and cocktails!

It’s all about that balanced life! Cuz that’s what LIVING is about. Working hard to feel your best and enjoying the special times with family and friends without any guilt.
Cheers to a fabulous day, my friends! 💕🇺🇸💥🍹Screenshot 2017-09-18 09.57.52

Give Meaning to Every Moment

What a blessed weekend filled with friends, family, and sunshine. ☀️👩‍❤️‍👩💕

Abandoned chores in favor of a lazy lunch on the lake with a dear friend and my two littles.
Explored new places on foot with my soul sisters after some deep coffee talk.
Sat with a friend in her backyard and watched her dog lose his mind over a taunting squirrel in the tree. 
Spent an hour alone listening to my breath and audiobook on a run through my neighborhood.
Sat hand in hand with my teenager in church.
Screenshot 2017-09-18 10.01.26Gave my sweet pup his final blow dry and combing after the boys bathed him together.

Give every moment meaning. From the casual lunch with friends to the end-of-life care for a furry companion, every single one of them matters just the same.

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
Psalm 90:12 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼