Archives for January 2011

Jan 26


Hope you are having a DETERMINED week full of…DETERMINATION!

~Determined to spend time with God.

~Determined to do your Made to Crave Bible study reading and reflection questions.

~Determined to stick to your healthy plan, whatever that may be.

~Determined that you are worth it to see this to the end!

I didn’t think too much about our “word of the week” until Sunday morning when I picked my daughter up from E-Kidz, the children’s program at my church. Check this out:

Isn’t that so amazing that we have the same word of the week?  God is such a cool Dude huh?  Love that. Thank You Lord!

So, tell me, how’s your week going so far?  I saw a lot of talk about Chapter 4 (Accountability) on the Online Bible Studies Facebook Page Discussions Board.  Lots about Chapter 3 (Plans) too.  I can’t wait to see what you have to say about Chapter 5, Made for More.  I don’t want to write anything about it just yet, because I bet many of you still have to read it. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about it. It is a life-changing message. If you can grasp what Lysa writes in Chapter 5, even if you go no further in this study, your life will be better for it. And that’s an understatement. I’ll say no more.

Please let me hear from you. Share your comments on the blog today.

Love and Blessings to all you EMPOWERED and DETERMINED Girls :)

Jan 24

Before and After and Before…

If you are visiting here via Lysa TerKeurst’s or LeAnn Rice’s blogs, welcome to my site! You have landed here right in the middle of our Made To Crave Online Bible Study, which we have just begun Week 2. (To view what we’ve done so far, Week 1 Week 2 )

Today we are just having a little “Before” and “After” fun.  Well fun for some maybe.  Not so fun for me, but I’m playing along.  Do you know what I mean by before and after?  This would be how I looked before and after I lost weight.

The truth is, I’ve had so many “Before” and “After” looks, it’s hard to choose which phase I should show you. Before I show any, first a funny story.

I remember when I first walked into LA Weightloss (over 4 years ago).  I had a few friends that had big success there, so I decided to give it a try. After learning the program, which I loved (it was healthy and nutritionally sound and also encouraged exercise), I joined. At the beginning of the program they took a “Before” picture.  I weighed 154 pounds.  Four months later they took my “After” picture.  I weighed 133 pounds and a lot different! I was amazed at what losing just a little over 20 pounds could do for my overall health, energy, and appearance. I loved wearing smaller sizes and I loved that there was no longer a muffin top hanging over my jeans!  I promised myself that I would NEVER look like that “Before” picture again.

Shortly after that, life got real hard. I seemed to forget the healthy choices I had been making and over the course of the next 3 years I put the weight back on, eventually topping out at 184. At this point I would have done anything to look like my previous “Before” picture! I’m not a tall girl, so this weight settled thick around my waist and thighs. In January, 2010, I re-joined Weight Watchers, knowing I needed a little community support as well as a plan. I stuck with it for a few months, losing 15 pounds. My mother passed away that March and I just wasn’t in right frame of mind to really focus on anything. I went to WW inconsistently and eventually stopped all together.

The plans weren’t the problem.  The eating plans were great, the problem was they had One very important thing missing. Jesus.

And so this time around I am daring to believe that this time will be different.  I am not traveling alone. I have what was missing previously. This time it’s not about a start date and end date.  It’s not even about a goal weight or size. It’s not about looking good for my husband or looking as good as a super model.  This time I am growing closer to God and making healthy choices to eat good and exercise, whether I feel like it or not. Whether life is hard or not.  Made to Crave is teaching me how to do this, and the Lord is walking with me as I take each step. I have accountability and encouragement worked into my plan through my bloggy friends (who I adore and love!) and a few close friends in my life (who I also adore and love!).  And although it doesn’t matter, it’s just an indication that I’m choosing wisely, I have lost 9 more pounds since beginning this. And that’s where I am today.

Since you probably did not stop by to read all this, I’ll get to the pictures.  Here they are. Only I don’t only have a “Before” and “After”.  I have a “Before” “After” “Before” “After” “Before”… get the idea. Here is just a hodge podge of Melissa over the years. Enjoy!

High School Graduation, 1985.  I was on a diet all the time it seemed, but I don’t know why.  I was extremely active in high school. I didn’t really have major issues with my weight until I went to college the following year.

College, 1986.  I am the larger one. Brown hair. Pictured here with my friend~Donna. This was at the end of my freshman year. In college I had a pattern: Gain 15 at school, lose it in the summer, gain again in school, lose it in the summer….)

1999 ish. Pretty good weight here. (I’m in red pictured with my sweet Dylan and friend Amy H.) At a party in front of a big bowl of chips. Ha!

2006 (thought I was SO OVERWEIGHT here at 154…I’m the light brown sweater pictured with my friend Amy W. just before the Duran Duran concert…Hungry Like the Wolf we were…haha)

Disney – A little larger. As if you can’t tell, I’m in the pink top. (Me, Dylan, Hayden, Donald Duck,Blake, Jeff, Hayley Grace hugging Donald)

Right at the End my LA Weightloss Venture, 133 pounds.

This is the Nov 2008 P31 Woman, but the picture was taken over a year before.

December 2009. This was in uptown Charlotte with Jeff~my husband, right after our church’s Christmas service.

May, 2010. Me (2nd) with some of my Proverbs friends at the National Day of Prayer service in Matthews, NC. (Barb Spencer, Me, Teri Bucholtz, Lynn Cowell)

December, 2010- Me (2nd in line) with my sweet family at Disney World just a little over a month ago. Gotta love Pirate Goofy. (Mother~in~law Lacey Kate, Me, Hayden~15, Blake~17, Goofy, Dylan~13, Jeff, Hayley Grace in front~9) Ain’t we festive?

And now here is me right now with the most beautiful girl in all the world, my daughter~Hayley Grace.

The pictures show only one thing. My outward appearance. I could write a book on the condition of my heart in each photo.  I’m not sure you’d like what you read.  In this last photo, however, the condition of my heart is the best it’s been ever in my whole life. I am in love with the Lord and I’m choosing to live like it.  I’m thankful to have so many of you join me on this journey.

If you haven’t been there already, hop on over to LeAnn Rice’s site at She Cooks where she has also posted her before and after pictures!  She was one of my guests on the 1st conference call and you can see her outward transformation after losing 50 pounds in the pictures she posted today.

Jan 23

Made to Crave~ Week 2

With Week 1 of the study behind us, do you still believe that this time will be different?

Hopefully you believe it now more than ever!!  Or even if you aren’t there yet, you at least think that maybe just maybe this time will be different! Wherever you are or however you are feeling, stay committed and let’s get ready to dig into Week 2 of our Made to Crave Online Bible Study!

Quick explanation: I’m not sure what you envisioned the Online Bible Study to be like, but you will not be spoon-fed here. You will do the work on your own, at any time of day, and at your own intensity. I will be your guide and serve as a resource, encourager, and sometimes teacher, but the workload is all yours. (and mine too, because I’ll be doing the study with you!)  I’M SO EXCITED!!!!

Visit the Made to Crave website to download and print the Fridge sign for week 2. This week’s word is:


Now is not the time to quit. Be determined to make it!  We are going for life long changes, not a quick fix.  There is no end date or goal weight that we are striving for.  Healthy eating and activity will get us where we want to be. But it will take determination. This week’s reading assignments, Chapters 3,4, and 5 will help you stay determined.  Romans 8:37 reminds us that we are more than conquerers. “Marinate” on that and be determined! Determined to do whatever it takes to satisfy our deepest desires with God and NOT food!

You May Want to Copy and Print the Rest of This Post

Reading and Homework Assignments for Week 2:

(If you are using the Participant’s guide, that’s great, you will love it. This schedule follows the same as the PG, only you will have a little more work to do. I will not be reviewing or going over the PG on my blog. That is for your own personal study.  Same with the DVD.)

Sunday-Spend some time in prayer for yourself and your study sisters about Week 2.  Share in the comment section of this blog or on the new Online Bible Studies Facebook Page where discussions and prayer requests about Made to Crave are ongoing 24/7.

Monday-Read Chapter 4.  Highlight and take notes as you read. When you get to a Bible verse that Lysa mentions, take our your Bible.  Look up the verse for yourself. Underline it and write “MTC” beside it. Think on the verse or passage a moment. Journal or make a few index cards with Scripture or quotes that will keep you grounded and give you the determination to stay strong. Begin sending Melissa questions for the Friday (or Saturday) Vlog. Email them to

Tuesday-Complete Chapter 4 Reflection Questions.  Read the questions and record your answers in a journal or notebook. Be honest. These are just for your eyes or whoever you choose to share them with. Share as much or as little as you like in the comments section of my blog or on the Online Bible Studies Facebook page.

Tuesday “Re-Do” Conference Call-The infamous call that didn’t record will be repeated. The 1st Call, which took place last Thursday night did not record due to a glitch in the call set up. The glitch has been fixed and we are moving forward. So that everyone in the Conference Call series will have the opportunity to hear the message “Dare To Believe That This Time Will Be Different”, we are going to do the call again. The outline and call in information will be sent to you on Monday. If you missed the first time, this is your chance to be a part of the live call. Same guests, same message, probably different Q and A at the end. If you miss it, it WILL RECORD this time and available for playback or download. (praying praying praying)

Wednesday-Read Chapter 5. This is my VERY FAVORITE chapter in the whole book! Follow the same directions as on Monday.  Check Melissa’s blog for an encouraging mid-week message!  Post a comment to encourage others.

Thursday-Complete Chapter 5 Reflection Questions. Follow the same directions as on Tuesday. Share as much or as little as you like in the comments section of my blog or on the Online Bible Studies Facebook page.  Happy Birthday to me! Feel free to send me a happy birthday message :)   (haha just kidding you don’t have to, but it really is my birthday. I’m 44!)

Friday-Read Chapter 6.  Follow the same instructions as Monday and Wednesday.

Friday Vlog!!! Log on to this blog,  Watch a short video of me answering some of your questions from the week. (Sometimes this post may be on Saturday)

Friday Option: If you want to have all your work done before the weekend, go ahead and complete the Chapter 6 Reflection Questions.  Follow the same instructions as Monday and Wednesday.

Saturday Option-If you didn’t do the Chapter 6 Reflection Questions on Friday, do them today.

Okay, that’s it!  Print or “favorite” this page so you can keep up with this week’s study. I won’t be posting the schedule daily, so hold on to this!

Determine now that Week 2 is going to be a great week for us!  I think you will absolutely fall in love with God all over again after the material you cover in this week’s assignments!  We were made for more!  Rock on Sistas!