The choir director was calling folks to surrender to Jesus: the Savior born by a virgin, lived a perfect life, was crucified for our sins, and rose in three days and is still alive.
The choir director was calling folks to surrender to Jesus: the Savior born by a virgin, lived a perfect life, was crucified for our sins, and rose in three days and is still alive.
I am scheduled to run the Dallas full marathon in December. I know I’m not ready. My training cycle has been plagued with fatigue.
And dietary changes to rewire my body to burn fat for fuel versus sugar✔️
Needless to say: I am at a crossroads and the real issue is – how bad do I want it?
When I was young… I used to run along country roads lined with wheat stalks and corn. My mother would always asked me, “Why?”
Out of 7 kids I was the only one who ran.
Running was and is my life’s metaphor.
You want to finish?
You wanna succeed?
But what if I fail?
We all do!
Anything worth having requires stamina.
Running makes you wanna quit – so do haters.
Running pushes your limits – so does purpose.
Running makes you tired – so does doing the extra stuff (no one wants to do) to learn your craft .
Running hurts – so does mistakes.
You can find your way back!
Running makes makes me stronger.
Running makes me happy.
Running keeps me mindful I need God.
This 👏🏾Is 👏🏽Why👏🏽 I👏🏽 Run👏🏽
I will get my coveted 3:53:59.
But it won’t come from wishing. It won’t come from being unrealistic. I must train. And train hard. Soooooooo what this training cycle stunk!! Life is a marathon – not a sprint. Adapt. Pick up the pieces. Try again!
Proverbs 16:9 King James Version
“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.”
Delays are not denials. Use this season to find your way back. That alternate route you’re on is teaching you so much more. Just don’t quit.
I am forever tinkering with my diet. I LIKE TO EAT 😁
But I need to streamline.
Not solely calories… but sugar, processed foods, wheat and meal prep time.
To those wanting to pitch me their product: DON’T.
I’ve done and still do it all.
✔ protein shakes
✔ pre-prepared meals
✔ meal replacement bars
They’re all good and remain in my arsenal. But let’s face it – you get bored!
My palate wants something that actually TASTES good and is good for you! For heavens sake, healthy eating is a lifetime journey.
Plus I am notoriously lazy.
I hate to cook. I jam pack my schedule. I demand plant based, organic, gluten and GMO free options… and I’m on a budget. Who’s not? This kind of meal prep service is typically expensive – BUT NOT ANY LONGER!! Wanna know how I know?
Because I found it 👇👇👇
On Instagram of all places!!
It’s called Splendid Spoon. A mail delivery food service that ships breakfast 5 days… lunch 5 days and a 1 day Soup Cleanse with a rotating menu. No cooking required.
My life has changed!
I can’t wait to share my journey. I have returned to training. I supplement much better with vitamins (I’ll share that journey soon). I’m back in school pursuing my MBA. Working as a full time journalist, dutiful mom and wife.
Folks, I am putting it all out there. If this doesn’t work for me, it likely won’t work for you either!!
I need to drop 20 lbs. I need a finishing marathon time of 3:59:59 and I need to ACE my accounting class 😆😆 while maintaining tip top energy and mental focus for everything else.
Who’s in? Join me! Here’s my ambassador code. Use it: ShonSpoon20
And stick around!!
I am gonna WALK you thru my next spoon delivery. Provide taste tests. Include my peeps updates that join me!! And I’m bringing back my behind closed doors ALL-OUT-PRAYER-SESSIONS to help us reach our goals.
Some things you can’t get without prayer. It’s a new year on the Hebrew calendar. Which means it’s a new year for me. (That sermon will come later too 😁)
So let’s fuel up properly to run this race! Click the link. Use my ambassador code and follow the motto 👇👇👇
There are so many blessings in a breaking point.
When the chips are down…. and all seems lost…. I am no different than anyone else: I’ve second-guessed! Is this hopeless??
A CAT scan convinced my allergist I might need surgery. What followed next was an ENT doctor… who assured me, I did not need surgery – but said my inability to breathe without prescriptions might be a lifelong problem during allergy season. Unfortunately, that “so called” allergy season extended to 12 months… and my life was simply becoming miserable.
Like many, I did what others do when a health crisis emerges: I googled.
I decided I wanted to take a holistic approach. Allergy shots every other day broke me out in hives. Prednisone (a steroid tablet) offered much needed relief, but long term use is not encouraged. Cortisone shots offered much needed relief, but again not a long term option. In fact, after 5 trips to the emergency room – the shots stopped working. The nasal steroids stopped working and I developed an upper respiratory infection that made breathing through my mouth and my nose impossible. At that point, I broke down and prayed. I was scared. Not breathing means not living.
That season…. as difficult as it was – became my tipping point. The breakthrough I had been praying for. Funny, once looking back, I realize the pain wasn’t the journey… but the paradigm shift of my daily routine. No more cold cereal. No more cheese. No more milk. (Inflammatory foods for me that I just simply could not kick) New thinking. New capacity. New opportunity. Yes… I was looking for my second act – what am I going to do with my life??? I never knew – it would come in the form of IT WORKS GLOBAL.
But a 28 year old teacher convinced me to take the chance… and shoved packets of greens in my hand. Her words, “don’t knock it till you try it”. My goal was just to increase my water and vegetable consumption by %100. What I got instead was my answered prayer!!! In 2 weeks, I stopped taking allergy shots. By week 4 – I was off all prescriptions. In the 5 months I have been drinking greens – I have not had 1 bout of allergies. I can breathe through both sides of my nose and no ear infections. I haven’t had a round of antibiotics – which had become a monthly ritual.
So the million dollar question: Is greens on the go berry the cure? I am not a doctor. I am just simply a testimony…. and mine is: I AM ALLERGY FREE.
I drink berry greens – 2 times a day – Breakfast and lunch to detox and alkalize. 11 servings of fruits and vegetables (ALL GMO FREE) with 38 superfoods gave me my life back. I no longer take medications… and now I sell them.
My friends and former colleagues all chuckle, “You sell what”??? I laugh back, “Greens. Why not?” 😊
My 28 year old upline – just retired from teaching: selling greens. We are the solution to an emerging health crisis. A trillion dollar industry. Somebody is going to be the solution – why not me?
God is really funny. He knocked out 2 birds with one heckava stoney health crisis.
I now have my health and my purpose… and that my friends, is true wealth.
Gone ya’ll… order some greens!
I love race recaps.
First… they give other runners an idea if they should participate next year.
Second… it’s self reflective and places a microscope on one’s own training plans: are they working? How can it be improved. Are you on target for your goals?
And finally… recaps are a wonderful way to put in print every memory from a special moment. Time has a way of warping truth or making you forget all together. So let’s start with the funny.
Race literature called for a 7:30am start time. I never read it. I took Andrea’s word. But I omitted one little fact. Olatunji time is ALWAYS 5 to 30 minutes AFTER a set time. (Gables time, good God, aint much better). So in true, late people fashion – we arrive at the starting line for the Texas Big Star Half at 7:25am. All the road closures (we failed to read about) stunted our arrival time as well.
But we speed walked to the starting line… kinda shocked no one on the loud speaker was asking anyone to line up (little did we know they had already LEFT). The crowd was sparse (or so we thought), so we made porta potty stops, washed hands, took selfie’s jamming to the music booming from the sound system…. and I even yaked it up with an old military buddy…. chatting with his son at the front of the starting line (waiting for the 5k to start). Silly me… never occurred to me – we were in the 5k starting wave. As time continued to pass… we start wondering… where are the half marathoners? Andrea even joked, “there are so few, we might actually place”. It was funny, until a volunteer asked if we were ready to start the 5k. “No way”, chimed Andrea. “We’re running the half”! Opps… too bad it started 10 mins ago.
I took off violating every rule of preparation! I crossed the starting line, with my Garmin still trying to catch a GPS signal. My iPod set to a blank playlist, my hair blowing in mouth – instead of twisted into a ponytail… and my pace way too fast with no warm up. I could feel my heart rate elevate… as my Garmin was dying. Did I really not charge this thing? I gotta do better! Now I am setting my pace according to heart rate.
The race route: don’t let Frisco fool you. It has a rollercoaster landscape. The first hill was okay. I run hill repeats on Fisher road 3 to 4x’s a month. But Preston Road, where I typically only drive my car… ugggh – now I see why I prefer my car. God it’s clearly a mile-long, slow grinding hill. Thankfully, I finished it… Only to approach the bridge construction crews have been building forever. Guess what? Its a hill. A BIG FAT NEVER ENDING LONG HILL. Oh wait! Here comes a flat stretch… Too bad it’s only 800 yards. A nice landing strip to launch you off on ANOTHER HILL. I was planning to push for a 1:59 finish. Instead, I finished 2:02. Not my worst, but not my best either. Lesson here… train on more hills, quit rescheduling my tempo runs, train consistently and crack down on nutrition. If I plan to PR NYC in November… I need to be on time and train myself as hard as I train others. Lesson learned.
Now here are some lessons I hope the organizers of this race take heed to.
1. Thank God the weather was overcast, windy and cooler than a typical Saturday in April. It is unconscionable to hold a race with water stations 3 to 4 miles apart from each other. If it would have been hot, this would have been a disaster. Not enough water stations. Not necessarily for me – but for the percentage of untrained or unproperly trained runners. Who’s great money saving idea was this???
2. Please use your announcer at starting line to remind people of start time constantly and for which race. We figured it out from a volunteer. We’re lucky we heard him! Yeah, I know I was late… But I was at the starting line when the starting blast went off and had no idea it was the half marathoners. I thought it was the 5k’ers.
3. Not one single porta potty along the race route. NOT ONE!!
(UPDATE: I have been corrected. Folks tell me there were a few. My tardy crew just never saw them)
Thank God I had no GI issues. One of my friends did – and they held it while running 13.1 miles. 🙊🙉🙈 Choices were: quit and hope someone would backpack you to the finish line. Squat in public in front of passing traffic cause I didn’the see a tree or a bush anywhere… or get to the finish line praying nothing seeps out. 😣
4. I didn’t bring a gu.. because I have been so spoiled by every other race. Around mile 8… free one’s are typically passed out like sunshine. Not this one. If you wanna sprint in – caffeine and carbs are your responsibility.
5. Alot of turns to make up the 13.1 miles instead of straight-a-ways. If you like loops, this is the race for you. I prefer not seeing the same street over and over.
6. Most races typically have the finisher photo at the finish line. Not here… it was inside Toyota stadium. I found out AFTER I left. No signage anywhere. But I was late, maybe I missed it. Frisco, I’m glad our city is hosting our own race. Hopefully next year… it will be better. Regardless, I’ll be back and hopefully finishing stronger! It was awesome seeing our city making an effort to keep its citizens fit! And that, my friend, makes up for any shortcoming!
I know… I know…
I have been slow to post. I’m gonna be honest. I am on a mission with my new small business. I have something to prove to myself. 1. That I don’t quit. 2. All the people I have met that are making 35 to 50k a month, isn’t by accident. The same drive I had as a news anchor… is the same drive that will propel my It Works business. I have a big why: I want to create 12 new millionaires. Why not? We have enough broke people on this planet.
So like most Americans… I went to church on Sunday morning not knowing we were having a guest speaker.
Do you know Lisa Bevere?? If not – GET TO KNOW HER. I have seen this woman speak many times; on tv and in person. But the last two times – either she is on fire – or I am ready to receive it.
She has a bible study about the Lioness – that I implore you to encourage your small group or Wednesday night group to study. I can’t even begin to tell you how it set me on fire.
But today she focused on Purpose. Knowing your worth. And Facing your giants. She based it on James Chapter 1:2-3.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
I have read and heard scriptures on this passage more times than I can remember…. but its different when there’s divine revelation.
She spoke how the enemy knows your future better than you. The hiccups and self sabotaging we encounter – has a purpose. In fact – get GLAD when its in YOUR FACE. HUNTING YOU. WHISPERING I AM GOING TO DESTROY YOU. Friends, its a compass. Those that God loves, he will prune. HE is not bringing the pain… but He will let the pain purify you.
All of us have room for improvement. Unfortunately, some of us go through very public, humiliating pruning. (CHECK – Been there done that)
But one of the best things I finally learned after 7 years of pure HELL… is that I faced it. Faced it scared. Faced it losing. Faced it knees red from praying constantly. Faced it tithing wondering – GOD WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO REBUKE THE DEVOURER?
Guess what… in the end I lost a job, my reputation, my family, my friends, my admirers, my money – GOOD GOD NOW I REALLY GOTTA HAVE FAITH.
But facing it… I gained courage. I dropped the need to people please. I became a better wife, mother, and now even employee. I started my own business – learned that success doesn’t come one way…. and the friends I lost. I realized I should have told them to KICK ROCKS a long time ago. I learned to like me – flaws and all… and those critical of it. Well, they have a choice. Tell me to KICK ROCKS or we learn to appreciate each other for where we are.
I am by no means perfect. But What Lisa reminded me of in today’s sermon was that… God places light in dark places. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. I have no time for pity parties. I held one long enough. My dark place is allowing me to see just HOW BIG GOD IS. Its actually an opportunity.
So guess what??? If you are in a dark place. Its a breakthrough. The enemy never comes for where you were – He comes to distract, detour and attempt to get you to quit. Its a rouse. Its a setup. Not designed to destroy you… but to refine you. Face it. Let what has to go – GO. Yes, it hurts. It hurts like HELL.
But what has emerged in me is growth. I have compassion… mercy… forgiveness… and even discernment about myself. The reason I attracted some of the trolls in my life – was because I had troll tendencies. When God puts a mirror in your face – remember this: pride comes before destruction. It took a couple of bad #@%#* to ruin, decimate and kill that giant in me. Yeah, they took alot of material things. But that can be replaced. What they don’t realize – is that they did me a favor.
And for once… the bulldozer that ran hard and fast to accomplish goals… now realizes. I never did it in the first place. God gave me the drive… the skill… the favor. The same way He gave it… He took it away. But not to kill me – nor you – but to show you NOT BY POWER, NOT BY MIGHT, BUT BY MY SPIRIT THUS SAYETH THE LORD.
Ahhh… the sweet success – to have it this time – with the people I love and have merited the right to share it with me. I know get why Oprah only hangs tight with Gayle. We all need a Gayle – that second set of eyes that discerns – who and what needs to KICK ROCKS.
This isn’t about people, but gaining wisdom that your purpose is too valuable. Respect it. Guard it. Nurture it. Don’t just give to anyone… and for God’s sake, if anyone or thing tries to destroy it. REMEMBER, THEY OR IT ARE ONLY PRUNING YOU – so you can mature to handle the next level. Gain a trusted circle – face your giants. It caused alot of pain… but I am oh so grateful.
Now let me go study Job again… because we all know how the story ends. #GetReady #GetReady #GetReady
Pure Awesomeness 💞
It’s not fair that you let Noah get away with this or that! Why is Olivia always in charge? How come EmilyGrace is having another snack when you told me I couldn’t have any more. The comparison is escalating in my household even with the two year old. And so it begins. That green grass on the other side.
I am pretty comfortable in my own skin but human enough to fight the urge to resist the trap-comparison trap. Deny it all you want but it happens to the best of us.😱
There are two sides to the trap. One side is when you are the “worse off” in the comparison. This usually leaves the woe is me attitude! “Why do they have so much time to have fun?” “I wish My kids will do that.” How come she gets to……
And the other side of the trap is when…
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If you’ve ever been fat… (not in your mind)… but outright medically diagnosed obese and think nothing will ever change… keep reading. Kimbrea’s testimony ain’t for everybody, but it’s definitely for you.
For years, Kimbrea hid her shame and diet frustrations behind a wall of shyness. Every effort to ditch the fork lead to more weight gain, more stares, more unwanted advice. The heaviness took its toll emotionally and professionally. Fearing death, Kimbrea opted for surgery, not knowing recovery would include accusations of “cheating”, “taking the easy way out”… and even worse: name calling!
“If only you had worked out harder, you could have lost the weight”…
Did they just call her lazy? What a BIG FAT LIE!
Or what about the whopper of a fib Deshonda told herself after a hysterectomy. In one year, she went from a size 6 to an 18. “I’m not gaining weight. My clothes are just shrinking”. Then her brother gave her this: unphotoshopped pictures don’t lie. It was her wake up call.
And don’t leave Marsheila out! Admittedly, not a huge fan of working out, she decided to battle the bulge through diet. Yet, it quickly spiraled into a dangerous cycle of diet pills, one meal a day, and just about anything to maintain a “skinny” image.
Tray fell into an unhealthy pit too. A 37 year old married mother of 3, who refused to get on a scale after ballooning to 280 pounds… was tired, scared and wanting change.
Thankfully, discipline and new eating habits prevailed! Tray, just like Kimbrea, Deshonda and Marsheila ditched processed, unhealthy junk food, starting eating more meals prepared at home, increased vegetable intake, ate multiple proportionate sized meals, drank more water and dare I say it??… added a challenging level of physical fitness.
And take a look at them now!
Remember Kimbrea? Today she is 200 pounds lighter… and taking the plunge into business bootcamp to launch her health and wellness brand. “I’m no longer afraid”, said Kimbrea. “There are people I can reach, help and empower. This is a lifetime journey”.
Deshonda… takes daily walks around White Rock Lake, lifts weight, has cheat days and is free of high blood pressure and diabetes that run thru her family.
“Shon, you don’t have to be a runner to get fit”. 😨 Ouch, that hurts. I love running, but folks, she’s telling the truth! Now look at her… traveling and helping students in Nigeria. Business bootcamp is her new mission. Her passion is her new side hustle: she’s using her new revenue stream to pay off debt!
Marsheila who now enjoys several small meals throughout the day, is happy, healthy and fit. She says, “I’m not embarrassed to share my story. Everybody can’t workout for health reasons. We have to teach them how to eat right”. She’s now an advocate for greens on the go, protein shakes, vitamin supplements… and a healthy dose of power walking.
I wish I could say Tray, Kimbrea, Deshonda and Marsheila are anomalies. But they aren’t. Their issues are shared among many. Obesity is common, serious and costly according to the centers for disease control and prevention
More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese. [Read abstract Journal of American Medicine (JAMA)
Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death. [Read guidelines]
The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight. [Read summary]
And even more troubling…. who suffers the most.
Non-Hispanic blacks have the highest age-adjusted rates of obesity (47.8%) followed by Hispanics (42.5%), non-Hispanic whites (32.6%), and non-Hispanic Asians (10.8%)
Obesity is higher among middle age adults, 40-59 years old (39.5%) than among younger adults, age 20-39 (30.3%) or adults over 60 or above (35.4%) adults.
Why not help change this growing health crisis? Who within your social network can you influence to lead a healthier lifestyle? It’s super easy. Instead of starting from scratch… we give you the template to build your business and build your brand. Plus what better gift could you get this Christmas? Health and wealth makes amazing stocking stuffers ! 😆
That kind of mileage can tell you a lot about a runner.
Yeah, yeah, we know runners are fit and they can out pace the average Joe… but we’re looking at something much bigger: something colossal like CHARACTER!
And this photo demonstrates a perfect example. 4 hours prior to capturing the finisher image… Andrea – who trained 14 weeks for the Dallas Marathon – almost passed out and QUIT at the 22 mile mark. For trained athletes, quitting is the equivalent to cursing out Mother Theresa. You just don’t do it!
But there are exceptions… And Andrea was dangerously close. Along the 26.2 mile course, Andrea battled GI issues, nausea, dizziness and eventually fatigue. Her trained pace dwindled from 11:30 to 12 then 14. Something was wrong but she was doing everything right. She started walking to bring her heart rate down. Drank water, ingested electrolytes, sodium even carbs. She was headed for a “DNF” aka “Did Not Finish”. In fact, had she been alone – she might have.
BUT SHE WASN’T.
And no matter who you are – and what you do… whether its running competitively or starting a new business in the marketplace… everyone will one day reach this crossroad.
Greatness isn’t discovered when all goes well…
It is always unearthed, under pressure – when all goes wrong.
The game changer is your circle. Your support system. Your core group of friends. Your mentors. Your family. Your own personal “BIG YES”! It will either be your anchor or your sail.
Or in Andrea’s case: her cape! It’s amazing how God placed Superwoman’s husband and her children 100 yards away from her breakdown.
Mr. Superman, who also happens to be a physician knew exactly what she needed – and pushed a liquid recovery drink to her mouth. No kidding, within minutes she was ready to start pacing again. Even the ambulance that had pulled over was shocked and said, “She doesn’t need us”.
So off we went… Andrea, with her first born daughter holding her hand… her rag tag crew of pacers… and even a few strays we picked up along the way; walked and jogged intervals the final 4 miles. Who cared that the course shut down. We have a finish line to cross!
2 hours later, the miracle was not Andrea finished. The miracle is how she finished: surrounded by people who didn’t beat her down for being 2 hours short of her goal pace, but reminded her the race is not given to the swift, nor to the slow… but to the one who endures.
Remember, Oprah, Michael Jordan and Steve Jobs all came precipitously close to failing… And now they are legends. Lesson here: Get immersed in a circle where you are the least successful and least knowledgeable in the group… and rise. Your business or even in your personal life you will accomplish the impossible… just like Andrea!