Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Waiting Game

Ugh I hate it! This waiting game of staring at the phone just begging it to ring and the other person on the other line say "congrats you got the job". But no the phone hasn't rung once today, not a single person has called me, not even my mother let alone the detention center and hopefully future employer.

Yesterday I had round 2 of the medical portion. I had a in depth physical, chest x-ray then met with the doctor to go over all of my test results. I passed all the test, minus the 22 minute shortage of the stress test, but even then I had no ischemia, chest pain or abnormal EKG during the stress test so I should be fine. The only abnormal thing she found was a slightly elevated LDL level (bad cholesterol). The doctor said exercise and diet should put it back into normal range. I laughed inside thinking "umm and what have I been doing the past 205 days?" It makes me wonder what my lab levels were like BEFORE I started my new healthy lifestyle.

So after some research I have really cracked down on my diet since I have become somewhat lax with quality healthy food intake since moving. Now I am really trying to focus on foods that are going to specifically help with lowering my LDL levels. Yesterday I walked 5 miles just so I could have Subway for lunch, and today I mowed the yard and aerobic stepped to the Biggest Loser.

Anyways just thought I would update real quick...and now back to the waiting game!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011

After my stress test on Friday I have been struggling with being disappointed in myself in not being able to run for 6 minutes, for indulging in unhealthy foods (ok I didn't go completely overboard but not the best either), and definitely haven't exercised. Yesterday as a distraction from my mind of being myself up over the stress test I finished reading the book "Heaven Is For Real" by Todd Burpo. I came away from it thinking "ask and it will be given to you". God knows the desires of my heart. He knows how I want a husband, a healthy body, a job, etc... After finished it I just knew that if this job was God's will then He will allow me to pass the medical portion of the employment process. Tomorrow (Monday) I go in for the doctor's appointment to get the results of the medical physical.

This morning I woke up excited. For today, 2000 years ago, the grave was empty, He had risen. Today we celebrate the greatest day in the history of man. I woke up with 1 Corinthians 15:54b-55 on my heart...

"Death has been swallowed up in victory.
Where, O death, is your victor?
Where, O death, is your sting?"

As the worship service got started this morning, they had this verse on the screen, and then a few songs centered around it. I just love when God gives a verse in my heart and I have affirmation throughout the day. Today I have been focused on asking God for the desires of my heart. I am not demanding God give me this job, I am asking that His will be done. He know that my savings account is dwindling, and that this job is right up my ally for pay, and it's a jail so in my field. He knows all this. And I know that my God is greater then 20 seconds less then completing my stress test. I am believing in Him to provide for me in His Will.

I have been trying to finishing reading the book "Made to Crave" by Lysa Terkeurst. It's a fabulous book about us as creatures being created to crave after God instead of food or other physical cravings. I highly recommend it for anyone struggling with weight loss. Since I moved I got off track with my weight loss. Lost my passion due to all the temptations and the food cravings. I am learning to turn my cravings for oreos to craving for God. It's a struggle, but through this book I am learning it's possible to make my weight loss to be God centered instead of weight centered. To not focus on the scale but to focus on making my temple clean and healthy that God gave me.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Stress Test

This morning I had to go get the physical portion of the pre-employment process completed. This is the last step before they offer me employment. I already had 2 interviews, background check, fingerprinting, tour and polygraph test. I have never had a job that has this complicated of a hiring process. I know police officers, fireman, military officials have this kind of a hiring process, but come on I am just a nurse!

So I know I have a shy bladder when it comes to peeing in a cup, so I drank 60 ounces of water within an hour period to guarantee there is urine in me. A couple years a go at the prison I had to do a random drug test and it took me 2 hours and 55 minutes before I produced enough urine (thanks for them not telling me ahead of time that, and I peed like 10 minutes before they notified me of needing to do it). So I went into the occupational health building and was able to pee within a few seconds. I also had blood work drawn (yay on the first stick!), vitals taken, spirometry test, hearing test, visual test, body fat percentage test (hello I know I am fat already!), chest xray, TB test, EKG, and a stress test...

The stress test I had to get hooked up to an EKG in my PT clothes and on a treadmill. I started out walking and he increased it to running a 4.5 speed on a HUGE incline. I was only able to go 5 minutes and 38 seconds. I was suppose to run for 6 minutes. Now let me remind you that this test is given to military officials, fireman and police officers...I am a nurse. A year ago I weighed 50 lbs heavier and barely able to run for 15 to 30 seconds on a flat treadmill. Today I ran 5 minutes and 38 seconds. But still that wasn't good enough. I felt like I failed myself. The technician giving me the stress test said my BP, HR and EKG looked really good during the stress test. I am hoping that they can get a good enough reading and realize that I am going to be working a noncivillian job...

I have to go back on Monday for my follow up with the medical director to get the results of all these test and see if I pass these test and get her approval of me employment. Her approval is the only think standing between me and the job.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Garage Cleaning

Can I just say that my parents are pack rats? Yes you read that right, the Harris clan are pack rats. Wilna and I decided to go through their garage and clean it out. Now let me tell you it is full of boxes and stuff that just gets move from one state to the next. We spent 3 hours yesterday and a good 3 hours today and we are 3/4 done. So many memories and junk and 2 dead mice. It's grand let me tell you. I love that I am getting my sister's to clean on their spring break. Oh the influence I have in their life!

On a different note I got a call from the detention center today. They said that the 4 people in the executive office approved of my file. So the last step before offering my employment is to go see their doctor for a physical. Friday morning I have to go and get lab work, stress test, drug test and ppd. Then I return on Monday morning to meet with the actual doctor and go over the results of the test. As long as all that goes well I will be offered employment and scheduled to start of May 9th.

Monday, April 18, 2011

200 days

Every day is a new day. Today I hit the 200 day mark. In 200 days my life has turned upside down. In 200 days I have reached the 50 lbs marker, though right now I am fluctuating a few pounds of water, I know that the scale sometimes lie by inches don't...I have lost 48.5 inches throughout the body, and reached the 50 lbs marker. I try not to get upset by the fluctuating scale, because in the end it's about getting healthy and slimming down, and let me tell you 48.5 inches is slimming down.

It is my fault, my lazyness and excuses of having that fluctuating few pounds because to be honest I haven't been giving it my all. But it's not just about weight loss, it's about a healthy living, a healthy lifestyle. In 200 days I went from having a routine, a job, gym buddy, and purchasing the groceries for the house for Steve and me. I was in control of everything for this healthy living. I went to the gym 6 days a week, for an hour to two. I closely monitored the intake of my food, and monitored everything on MFP. 2 months ago I moved across country. I moved in with my family until I can get settled. The clubhouse associated with the neighborhood has a little gym that on any given day can be completely empty or every machine taken up. And since I am living with the family I don't buy the groceries, though I try to encourage healthy choices, there is still every type of temptation you can imagine. And no job. Many many many interviews but no job. I have learned that life can easily get in the way of my end goal of losing at least 150 lbs. But isn't that what life is about? Temptations, busy schedules, family?

Anyways it just goes to show that in 200 days your life can turn around. But I am not upset, because it's not about the fluctuating scale, it is about learning how to have a healthy lifestyle even when there are temptations, no routines and no gm membership. I am successful because I have turned my life around. Yes I haven't been the best at eating and exercising since I moved, and yes I have fluctuated from 283 to 288 lbs the past 2 months, but I haven't crossed back over into the 290's. And to me that is success.

The past 2 months I have tried different weighing in days. But no matter what Monday will always be the best day, the beginning of a week. So today I weigh 288. Today is Monday, my 200th day. Today is a day that I put my foot down and say my goal for this week is to do at least 1 hour of fitness a day. My goal is to lose 20 lbs by June 25th, my sister's wedding. My goal is to lose 88 lbs by December 25th, breaking through the 200's and into the 100's. My goal is to run a 5k in 2011. My goal is to reach that 150 lbs loss so I can go visit my friends in Africa.

And you, dear friends, are my support. You are my encouragers and motivators. And I ask you to step it up a notch and keep me accountable. Today is day 200 of my new healthy lifestyle, and here is to 200 more.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Jail, Steve and More

A few weeks ago I saw an ad for a "Correctional Health Nurse 3". I had no clue what the "3" stands for, so after googling it found out it was a RN charge nurse, but went ahead and called asking if they hired LPN's. They told me to go ahead and sent my resume in. A week ago Friday I was heading to go bridesmaid dress shopping and got a call from them asking for an interview. I went in for one on Monday and was interviewed by the human resource officer and medical directer. I knew immediately that this was the job that I wanted. Sure it was a jail, but it was still the correctional field. They gave me a huge packet to fill out covering everything, by everything I mean: all my personal info, my siblings addresses and SSN, all addresses for last 10 years, all drivers records from the 4 states I had licenses for, all financial debt, criminal records, college and high school transcripts, 9 references, birth certificate...literally the whole nine yards. Anyways I filled it out and went in on Thursday for a polygraph. Talk about nerve wracking, but I knew I had nothing to hide. The polygraph took 4 hours, 3 on it was a general interview and an hour the actual test. Oh yes and fingerprinting. After words I had a tour of the facility by the medical director who I originally interviewed with. She basically told me that I had the job in the bag as long as my background check and polygraph came back good. Friday I got a call from them saying they needed one more reference, whom I personally called and got them to fax it. I am now waiting to see what the next step is. Oh and I found out it is a pay increase, almost double of what I was making before. Crossing my fingers to this job!

On other news Steve informed he is thinking of moving out here. Well as he said he is 100% sure of it. We have talked about it for awhile now, and he is applying for nursing schools and jobs with a projected move in June but possible sooner if a job comes about. I would love to have a friend out here. So we shall see.

The girls are on Spring Break this week. Hopefully we can find something fun to fill the time.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


So someone on MFP recently asked me what I was going to do when I reach my goal of losing 150 pounds. By losing 150 pounds total I will make have gone from 333 to 183. I am not sure how much I want to lose, but when I get in the 180's I can re-evaluate it and then decide. I think I want to be closer to 150, but to loose 150 lbs would be an incredible feat. I have been on this weight loss path for exactly 6 months now, and I just reached 50 lbs lost, meaning 1/3rd of my goal! When I reached this a friend on MFP asked me what my overall goal will be. Sure I will need clothes and what not, but if that's my overall goal, heck I can go get new clothes now. I want a fabulous reward. And my reward is going to go back to Africa and visit my dear friends Sandy and David. Sandy has been a huge supporter in my weight loss endeavors. I think back to when we were in Tanzania, and how much I wanted to climb the "mini" Mt Kilimanjaro, but I knew it wasn't possible, so instead I went giraffe hunting while the others climbed the mountain. I was at church on Sunday and the preacher talked about being lonely, and I was flipping through my Bible and came across a little piece of paper that Sandy made for me. It took me back to our time in Bible College, and of course Africa, where I got the name appointed to me "the Shinny One". That is when I knew that my reward for losing 150 lbs was going to be a trip back to Africa, to visit my dear friends and the work they are doing to bring the love of God to the Namibian people.

Monday, April 11, 2011


I have 7 weeks under my belt of being an East Coast city girl again. Last week I got to the point of missing having friends, missing having someone to text and talk to and share the little details of my life to. I began entertaining the idea of posting an ad on craigslist stating "needed new best friend". Don't worry I didn't do it! Believe me I saw the movie Craigslist Killer, I worked in a prison for 3 years, I am not that stupid. It just got me thinking though about how I miss feeling connected to others, and not just on Facebook. Anyways I went to church Sunday morning and what did the pastor preach on? Yah you got it right, loneliness! It seems like every Sunday the sermon relates to just me. It's pretty powerful. He preached on the part that God is always with us, never leaving us alone, It came straight from the Great Commission..."lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:20b. I have never heard one sermon that broke the Great Commission up like that, but all I can tell you is that's what I needed. I needed a reminder, that even though I know no one outside of my family and I spend all week applying for jobs, and my savings count is depleting, that yes despite it all, He is always with me, and He will take care of me even to the end of the age. What a beautiful promise that is.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Not Settling

So last week I was hired at a skilled nursing facility. I was hired full time, but the time I went through the paperwork orientation they changed it to part time by just one shift less then full time. The catch was to do a double on Fridays then turn around and do every Saturday, Sunday and every other Monday. By doing it every other Monday that means I wouldn't have full time. When asked about it they said I would never get it. When I said I needed off one weekend for my sister's wedding in June they laughed at me. They said by getting this job I would agree to every weekend period. I am sorry but if you aren't willing to work with me, and I agree to work every single weekend, then you simply aren't the job for me. I would be settling. I didn't move all the way out here for that.

So yesterday it was back to the drawing boards. I got a call yesterday from the gov job in Fairfax that I had a phone interview with back in Missouri, then a second interview here. After a big headache of all the government requirements of background checks and what not they finally offered me a full time job yesterday. It's okay pay. But only by 10% of what I was making in Missouri. However I will be working overnights so it would be an added $2 shift differential. Fabulous benefits though. The only catch to this job is that I can't start till the 25th. 3 weeks. Seriously?!? Until then there is things I have to do for them, paperwork, finger printing. Oh well what can I do?

I do have a juvie interview set up for next Wednesday. I figured I might as well still interview with them to see how it goes since it is right up my line of duty. The good news of the week, I had Lily all day Sunday since Briana was sick. And my Aunt Cindy comes to town on Thursday for a visit with the family. So do you ask if I regret moving here? Absolutely not. Sure I miss my friends. And sure I don't have a job. But I am ok financially for right now. I have tried a job with a staffing agency and now with a nursing home and I definitely know not to settle. A job is a job, and the right one is coming for this next season in my life. But family is more important and I did move out here to be a part of their life. And this is exactly where I need to be.