Friday, February 29, 2008

Am I Beautiful?

Well, while I only intended to take a break for a few days from this blog, it turned out to be more like 2 weeks! I had bunion surgery last week and I just never expected it to be so painful and have such an impact on the way I live my everyday life. But it did!

So, here I am, 2 weeks after my last real post, and feeling more "not beautiful" than ever. Now hear me on this....I know who I am in Christ....I know who I am in the eyes of my Creator....I know the Truth.......not feeling it though! And it's really a result of my poor choices and circumstances.

I couldn't exercise and won't be able to do strenuous physical cardio activity for quite some time. But I haven't eaten in a way that has helped too much either. While I've had some tasty meals made by some great cooks and well meaning friends, I definitely did not do what it takes to love my body and drop the excess fat that is keeping me from being my best.

I don't ever want to confuse weight loss with beauty. But I feel so much better when I am about 15-20 pounds lighter than I am today. Today I feel fat. I feel frumpy. My pants are tight. It is the lack of discipline during hard times that got me this way. As I've stated in previous posts, I'm committed. I believe I'm beautiful and aim to live that way. Not treating my beautiful God made self poorly. I never intend to mess up. This is my life struggle.

Thank the Lord, He does not condemn me for my mistakes. He knows my heart and knows how hard I try. So, I'm thankful for today. For a brief time, during these 1st 2 weeks of recovery, I lost my vision and focus. I'm back. (again)

How about you? I need partners here. I need encouragement. I need accountability. And I want all of these things. I don't care if you are on Weight Watchers, LA Weight Loss, Slimfast, the Hollywood Hoodia Grapefruit Diet, or Dexatrim....if you want/need encouragement and accountability for your journey in weight loss (or gain...bless your heart), self image, feeling beautiful and good about yourself....then I ask you please to post here. Share your struggles. Share your goals. Two are stronger than one. Three even better..."because a triple braided cord is not easily broken." (Ecclesiastes)

On Monday, I'll begin posting scripture, goals, goal date, and any inspirational thought that comes to mind. I'd love to hear yours too. If you are a Christian (not required) please also include a verse, prayer, or book that has helped you. And if there is a story you'd like to share, I'd love to have you as a guest poster sometime.

Right now, I'm claiming the verse that is at the top of this page..."I am fearfully and wonderfully made." I fear God because I don't want to disappoint Him. I'm wonderful because He made me...and that was no mistake.

Have a great, good, healthy, beautiful weekend. Pray about joining me and setting some realistic, God driven, healthy living goals. If you are interested, let me know.

Oh yea, to answer the question asked in the post title..."Am I Beautiful?" Well, the answer to that is easy. "YES!"



***My next give away will be on this blog. Tune in Thursday, March 6th for details.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Bye Bye Bunion!

Check it bunionectomy experience.

Whew! It's over!

I'll get back to beautiful blogging in a few days when I'm feeling a little better. For the next few days I'm focusing on following doctor's orders with my foot.

Stay beautiful!


Friday, February 15, 2008

Beautiful Bunion

Ok, so maybe bunions aren't so beautiful. I would know. I have a huge painful one on my left foot. I'm scheduled to have it removed on Monday. And I'm scared!

My friend, Micca, reminded me that the Great Physician would take care of me. I know that. and that brings me much comfort. Really, it does. And I trust my earthly physician Dr. Anderson. He's the bone doctor of the Carolina Panthers, so he must be good, right?

My left foot hurts on a daily basis. It doesn't matter what shoes I'm wearing either. By 5:00, my foot hurts. Sometimes it throbs. That will be better once I recover. But I've heard horror stories about the recovery. So, I'm scared. I'm a baby when it comes to pain. I need lots of love and attention, ya know what I mean?

I didn't exercise at all this week. I surely won't next week. But just like this week, I'll keep focusing on my water intake and healthy eating. 2 out of 3 ain't bad. At least that what Meatloaf says. (remember them?)

So, if you read this, remember me in your prayers please. I'd like to have a beautiful foot in the end, but that's never been the case anyway...those of you who have seen my feet know what I'm talking about (a story for another day), but at least be able to wear cute shoes by summer:) And have no pain so I can run again.

Hope you are feeling beautiful today. And I hope your feet don't hurt. Go get a pedicure in my honor. (I can't even wear toenail polish during surgery!)

Beautifully Blessed By a Bunionectomy,


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Men, Women, Boys, and Girls...

We all struggle! None of us are immune to hurt feelings, self esteem issues, and wanting to be and feel attractive, happy, content, and accepted.

Go to and read my son, Dylan's, personal struggle with thinking he doesn't quite fit in because of a noticeable physical flaw on his head.

As women, we know it's an issue for many of us, but the boys feel it too ladies. We need to let the guys in our lives know that they are beautiful (or handsome, special, unique, amazing, wonderfully made) too!

Challenge: Go out of your way today to give a compliment or encouragement to someone who needs it!

You Are Beautiful Indeed,


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Friendship Makes Me Feel Beautiful

I recently celebrated my 40th birthday:) I can honestly say, it's been one of my favorites to date! (well, okay, it's my 2nd 40th birthday...the first time around didn't go so great, so I'm redoing it) But it's still one of my favorites. Why? Because I spent so much time with friends.

This year I didn't have a party or anything like that. I had quite a few mini-celebrations instead with friends. My actual birthdate was the 27th of January, but I celebrated over and over again during the past 3 weeks. What a blessing it is to have good friends. They make me feel more beautiful than any number on the scales ever could.

First there was the celebration with my Fab 5 group. Next was a celebration with the Southbrook women and fried chicken with Amy Woods. Then there was the office celebration with my amazing co-workers. Then a night out with my wonderful high school friends, Amy Haag and Donna. And finally, an evening out with my long time friend Denise. Between all of these women I received a Bath and Body Works Gift Set, a Cheerleader set complete with pom poms, bubble gum, a Starbucks Card, an iTunes Card, concert tickets, a cool set of Tervis Tumblers, a ring, a Christmas stocking (Don't ask), and a pair of earrings. What I loved most about these gifts was that each gift was carefully thought out. My friends considered what I liked and gave me gifts that had a special meaning. The thought behind the gift was truly as special as the gift. And the person behind the gift, even more special. How could I not feel beautiful? Or blessed?

I tend to focus too many times on what's wrong with me instead of what's right with me. Friendship is a precious blessing that I treasure and value so much. There have been too many times to count that it has been a friend who has picked me up when I was down, pumped me full of encouragement when I felt defeated, loved me when I was unlovable, prayed for me when I felt hopeless, and told me I was beautiful when I felt ugly and rotten. Friendship is beautiful.

If you have one good friend, I encourage you to let that friend know how special she is to you. Tell her she is beautiful. Send her a card today. Thank God for her.

You also have another friend. Jesus. He thinks you are most beautiful. And you are. So am I! (even though I didn't exercise today or yesterday!!!!!)

I love you friends!

Beautifully Blessed With Gr8 Friends,


Saturday, February 9, 2008

Saturday, Weigh in Day...

Well, it's Saturday morning. This is my weigh in day. First, a little history for ya:

I went to LA Weight Loss in November, 2006. I had been fighting this weight struggle for a while on my own, and a friend of mine had great success there. I was ready to get serious, so I signed up.

Although I didn't learn anything that I didn't already know, what I liked about LA was the accountability and friendliness of the place. I also liked that the counseling was one on one and not in a group. When I lost, we discussed, when I gained we discussed. And I was always encouraged and pumped with confidence that I was worth it and I could do it.

Let me just say, I've been on MANY weight loss programs. In fact, I'm the queen of them. Nutri-System (twice), Diet Center, Weight Watchers (I'm a lifetime member!),, Atkins, Slimfast, Dexitrim....and well, you get the picture. I'm not promoting or endorsing any of these programs, just sharing my experiences. One thing these all have in common....I was successful on them all. I lost weight and felt better about myself. But it didn't last. I always gained the weight back....either I got pregnant or just ate too much! So, as you can see, losing weight is not my problem....maintaining a healthy lifestyle is. Obviously, I never got to the root of the problem. (The programs I have listed in the sidebar of this blog are programs I whole-heartedly believe in. They are realistic and promote a healthy overall lifestyle. Again, I like these. You know what works for you.)

I'm still working on it. And that's what I've learned. You don't just lose the weight and "arrive". Just like my Christian walk, maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires daily awareness and commitment. There will be good days and bad days. It's not easy. But the payoff is sweet! Good health (at least what we can control) pays off by being able to live longer and more fully. Good spiritual health pays off a legacy on this earth for generations to come and when I get to my real home in Heaven. (where I'll never have to go on a diet again....can I hear an "Amen"!)

So, back to LA Weight Loss. I reached my goal weight within 4 months. I felt so good. With LA, my program required that after I reached my goal, I come in once a week and weigh in for a year. That was key. Then months later, I fell apart. My life circumstances took over....marriage (read more on this on my other blog, finances, health of my parents, going back to many trials and struggles...and I fell apart. You can guess what happened. I quit going to LA Weight Loss and I gained every bit of my weight back. LA never quit calling me. Finally, I went back in and realized I had nothing to be ashamed of. If I kept hiding, the enemy could only use that to bring shame and blame in my life. That accomplishes nothing. So, I'm back. And all areas of my life are looking up. (Thank you Lord for never giving up on me and always taking care of me and my wonderful family.)

I have a few months left on my LA contract. I'm not going to extend it, because it's just not in the budget and it's time to live it. That's one of the reasons for this blog. It is helping me. It is my prayer that it can help someone else too.

So, today is weigh in day. And here I go. I'll let you know how it goes later!

Beautifully Blessed,


******Well, I weighed in. So sad that I gained 1 pound!!! Yikes! But, my counselor at LA Weight Loss was, as usual, very encouraging, but also real and gave great insight. Her name was Charity. First she reminded me that I did have my period this week and therefore I had water retention. She also had me resign a new committment. We went over the upcoming week and I recommitted to my plan. But, I did good this past week!!!! So, I was disappointed, but not defeated. I am more motivated than ever. I am pumped to be healthy! The goal is not thin, but healthy living! I have 21 weeks left on my LA is very doable to lose these 15 extra pounds in those 21 weeks:) I weigh in again next week. If you are interested in joining LA Weight Loss, they are running a special right now. If you join in the next week, contact me and I can get you 30% off the program price. It is a magnificent program. Pricey, but good.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Can't Function on Feelings

I've posted about this before. Well kind of. (see Wouldn't it be so nice if our feelings matched how we wanted to feel. Like today. I want to feel happy, but I feel sad. Physically I'm gr8! I've eaten real good the past 2 days, exercised each day, but I feel like crying. And I don't think it's hormonal this time.

My daughter, Hayley Grace has already picked up on this. Just the other day she said to me, "Mommy, you know how girls feel sad for no reason? Well, that's how I feel now." And she bursted into tears....for no reason!!!!! She's 6 years old for crying outloud!!!!!

Can we change how we feel? I think that yes we a certain point of course. Much of our feelings are chosen by us, don't you think? Like early this morning, I really did feel happy. Then someone said something to me that hurt my feelings and that's all I could focus on. And for the past 2 hours I've been sad...even tearful...feeling defeated. Now I don't want to feel like that all day. So I'm going to have a talk with the One Who loves me and knows me better than anyone else.

"Hi Lord, it's me, Melissa. You know how I'm feeling today. Thank you for caring. I'm so thankful that I can come to You right now. I'm going to open my Bible and think on Your Words. Please open my eyes, ears, and heart to receive what You have to say. In Jesus' Name, Amen."

*Because of his love God had already decided that through Jesus Christ he would make us his children---this was his pleasure and purpose. Ephesians 1:5 TEV (God has pleasure and purpose in me, Melissa!)

*Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you. 1 Kings 10:9 NIV (He delights in me, Melissa!)

*Go to the Lord for help; and worship him continually. Psalm 105:4 TEV (God is there to help me when I'm feeling blue...Oh thank you sweet Jesus!)

*I am your Creator. You were in my care even before you were born. Isaiah 44:2 CEV (I'm in the care of the Lord, today and always---that's a gr8 place to be!)

*Don't be afraid. Just stand where you are and watch the Lord rescue you. The Lord himself with fight for you. You won't have to lift a finger in your defense. Exodus 14:13-14 NLT (I do not need to fret, worry, fear, or even fight. I can rest easy knowing that God will do it all for me, Melissa. I don't even have to lift a finger in my defense!)

*He will not let you stumble and fall; the one who watches over you will not sleep. Psalm 121:3 NLT (He is watching over me 24/7...when I'm happy, sad, mad, or asleep. I need to trust in that.)

*I command you---be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 NLT (Yes, He's with me wherever I go or however I'm feeling! No need to waste precious time being discouraged!)

*The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me. Psalm 138:8 NIV (Amen! Praise You Father. I am radically committed to You. Use my life for Your purposes....that makes me feel so special!)

*God decided to give us life through the word of truth so we might be the most important of all the things he made. James 1:18 NCV (I have received life through Your Word. How could it be that I, Melissa, could be among the most important of all things You made? Yet I am. I have no words to describe how that makes me feel. Wow.)

(Note that I made the verses personal to me. You make them personal to you. God's Word is for all of us!)

Oh, I feel so much better. Don't you? Join me in meditating on the Word of God today to determine your value. We can't function on feelings, so don't even try.

I pray you have a most wonderful day and that you feel beautiful...inside and out!

Beautiful because I belong to God,


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Crazy Time of Day: 3-6

One of the biggest obstacles for me in being disciplined and making healthy choices is the time between 3 and 6 in the afternoon. I can go all day, behaving beautifully, then I pick up the kids from school and it's like all self control and good sense flies out the window. My brain shuts down and my mouth opens up and what goes in it I couldn't tell you. The reason I can't tell you is because half the time I'm not even aware of what I'm doing. I call it crazy stupid eating cuz it's crazy and stupid. (pretty profound huh?)

Really though, this time of day has always been a weakness for me. True, with 4 kids and a full time job, it is a really crazy time in our home. On any given day, it's rushed (trying to finish homework, get to afternoon activities, prepare dinner, work on the laundry, get ready for the next day, etc etc) and I get a little stressed and jittery and I just eat. I'm not mean or angry, I just eat. The afternoon crazy time is craving a little order and restoration.

This is the next way I'm going to love myself. I'm going to change my afternoon pattern of senseless eating. I know in order to do this I need to replace the bad choices with good ones. Tomorrow and each day thereafter, I'm going to have one snack in the afternoon with my children. I'll also have a diet coke. Then I will exit the kitchen. I love music so I'll turn on some music and get my housework done or read/do Bible study/blog at the table with my kids while they do their homework. I will one thing at a time. When I eat during this time of day it's usually in a rushed fashion while I'm doing something else...which is why I'm not even aware of it. I am going to be aware. I am also going to post on my blog what I eat each afternoon during these hours.

So far the 3 ways I have begun to love myself to good health this week are:
*Drinking lots of water
*Exercising at least 5 days/week
*And now making an afternoon crazy time change

What about you? Do you have a crazy time? Are you struggling in any of the areas that I've mentioned over the past week? Do you have anything you can share?

I want to be held accountable. If you'd like to join me, I'd love to help you too! At my office, we have started asking each other if we exercised. Just reporting to one another has helped me this week. Many times it is a little easier and a lot more fun when we can share our struggles and journey together. Encouragement and Accountability are treasures when we feel tempted or weak.

Like I've said so many times before...I don't feel beautiful or very good about myself lately. I have not been making wise choices that lead to good health and wellness. God gave me a gr8! I'm choosing to take care of it. With God's help, I know I can. I know it's not easy and sometimes seems like a chore, but I believe it's worth it. I'm worth it. You are worth it. Let's do it!

Okay, that's all for now. I'm beginning to feel better already!



Monday, February 4, 2008

Head aches, cramps, and the blues

Yes, I have all 3 today. I'm trying to "love myself" but I just can't get away from my pity party today. Do you ever have days like that?

Now, in my defense, I am hormonal! My "friend" is visiting, just got here last night...arrrrgh! It's been one of those days when I had to rely on what I knew was true, because I just wasn't "feeling" good. As I drove to work this morning, tears just streamed down my face. I can't even pinpoint a good reason. I was just sad. I definitely wasn't feeling beautiful, more like beautifully bloated.

Chocolate sounds good on a day like today. Yes, chocolate will make me "feel" better.....WRONG. I'm glad now I didn't eat chococlate. Chips sound good too. Yes, chips will make "feel" better.....WRONG AGAIN. I did eat some cheetos...and NO I don't "feel" better. So, why did I eat them????? I don't know.

What the heck is up with me? Please tell me someone can relate! I knew there was no food or material thing or even a person that could make me feel better. I even called my friend Amy because she always makes me laugh and smile...she wasnt' home, so I left her a message and while I was leaving her a message, I saw a dead deer on the side of the road. That made me cry too. Puhleeese! Cut me a break here!

Ok, Melissa....time to crawl up out of that pit you jumped in today. So, right now at 4:27 pm, I'm climbing out. Pity party and self indulgence is over. Once again, my way wasn't very successful. I'm so thankful that God is always there waiting on me to come around. Here I am Lord.

You see, there are days when I am super motivated and I feel gr8! Then there are days that I just want to crawl back in bed and ignore the world. That's life. For much of today I allowed my joy to be robbed and I chose to sulk in those feelings. True, I didn't feel good today and I really was just sad. But I didn't have to stay that way. I visited my friend, Glynnis Whitwer's blog today. She wrote about having the blues and 3 quick things we could do to feel better. (watch a funny video, listen to some music, and read some Words from my Creator) Even though the day is almost over, I still have a choice to change the rest of my day for the better. I did those 3 things Glynnis suggested. Also just writing in my blog right now has helped a ton too.

Now it's time to take my sweet daughter to dance class. I still don't feel all gr8, but I do have a change in my perspective.

What do you do when you have the blues? Do ever find that your choices aren't the greatest when you are focused on the negative or when you are sad and blue?

Well, no matter how we feel, let's keep remembering.....we are beautiful.

Have a beautiful day:)


Friday, February 1, 2008

Time to Love Myself

I have a heart that is full of love for others. I have always found it easy to love my family, my friends, my students, people I meet at events, and even just people I meet on the street. I love people! The Bible says that "God is love", so I'd like to think that when I share the love in my heart with the people around me, I am indeed sharing God with them.

The Bible also says that "God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son" (John 3:16). I am part of the world that God gave His Son for. That means that God loves me...He loves me...He loves Melissa Taylor so much that He gave up His Son to die on the cross for me. (and of course for you too, but I'm personalizing it for should do the same:) If God Himself loves me that much, I should follow His lead and love myself.

Obviously God thought we were pretty special and important or He never would've done such a thing, like John 3:16 says. So shouldn't I take special care of His investment....His If Jesus is going to go to such great lengths to keep me in His family, to die for my sins (thank you so much Jesus!), the least I can do to say thanks is to take care of that which He died for. That way I am able to serve Him more fully.

Now I've already admitted my selfishness in wanting to "look" pretty, but I am casting that aside. I want to focus on the way I love, not the way I look. So today, yes today, February 1, 2008, I am choosing to love myself. And not in a selfish or prideful way, but because I care enough about the investment and sacrifice my Almighty King made for me. He thinks I am beautiful. His Word says that "I am wonderfully made". I don't want to mess that up with poor choices and lack of love/care for myself.

So, what are some practical ways to begin loving myself. First, I want to love myself to good health. The next time I'm tempted to indulge or eat beyond what is good for me, instead of saying, "oh I can't have any, I'm on a diet".....I'll say, "No thank you, I'm loving myself to good health today". And I will be.

Second thing I'm going to do to love myself is to drink more water! How easy and it's free and readily available! And we all know the benefits of water intake....(help me here Denise)'s good for our skin, it flushes out the impurities in our bodies, and it does aid in weight loss. It's just good.

Third thing I'm going to do (and I could use an accountability partner on this one!) is exercise regularly. Now I have to tell you, I'm not one of those who hates exercise. I actually like it once I get started. I just don't like getting out of my warm cozy bed with my warm cozy husband! The early morning is the only time it will work for me. I even have a neighborhood gym that is less than a mile from my house! Exercise is so important and it is so good for our bodies.....our bodies that were given to us by God.

These are all ways I'm going to love myself to better health. Not because I have to, but because I really do want to take care of God's creation, me. We go out of our way to protect the environment, recycle, and care for the earth because God made it. Why do we so often neglect God's most precious creations...ourselves?

Finally, I have to close by saying the very best way to love myself is by staying close to my very best Friend, Jesus. All of this is for nothing without a personal relationship with Him. His Word is the only thing that will outlast, outwit, outplay (ha, I'm thinking Survivor...I love that show...oops sorry, off task)...really His Word is the most important thing I can fill myself up with each day. It reminds me of who I am and Whose I am. And because of Whose I am, I am grateful and I will love myself.....because I Am Beautiful....and so are you!

Beautiful today and always,


***For encouragement on getting started "today", visit, February 1, 2008 post.