~FLOW~

Well, it’s that time!

Blowing a BIG KISS to the pleasant time I had being lazy, being undisciplined and completely unmotivated. I truly ENJOYED my time off. I’ve gotten it ALL out of my system and am now returning to my norm. I DO NOT HAVE A SINGLE REGRET.

I learned and accepted the lesson that beautiful people who struggle with chronic illnesses suffer lows – which includes, but is never limited to: changes in our weight, our moods, our appetites, our sleep patterns and our emotional and mental state. I learned not to kick myself while I’m down, but to gently looooooooove myself (nurse myself) through my down times (my lows). I learned to surf the waves in the moment and to be patient with myself. The biggest lesson I’ve learn is a beautiful (fit) body doesn’t always = a beautiful, healthy mind. Sometimes the most beautiful, most stable, most healthy-minded people are those who choose to just stop – to just be – to just LET – and wait until they are READY AGAIN. These are very wise individuals which I always want around me. Individuals who understand time and seasons and are patient with themselves, as well as, with others. I found out in this time –

I AM ONE OF THESE PEOPLE.

I know how to sit and wait and ready myself in my non-active or unmotivated state. I realize I do not like to race, to compete with myself or others, to be pushed into something, to be talked down to or rushed. I enjoy being around people who accept me as I am and remind me I have an autoimmune disease and it’s best I take my time – one day at a time.

I fall into comfort when I feel my spirit bearing witness with another person’s (good) spirit. In the past week I have been richly greeted with open arms by women who have overcome what I’m overcoming, who know exactly where I am in this season and who just want to walk along side me (without competing against me) and pleasantly listen to me and advise me – without bashing me or causing me to fear they’ll abandon me if I’m not working as hard or as fast as they are to redefine myself (mind, body, spirit, soul). I feel accepted for the first time in a very long time by women who just love themselves and other women. They are all different women in different fields/skill levels EMPOWERING and INSPIRING other women! The end. #nosisterleftbehind

After my last hospital stay I hit a MAJOR LOW. I recently saw what I looked like as a result of the combo of all the meds the physicians had/have me on, lack of funds to buy right foods to prepare for myself and my family, and feelings of despair and I JUST CRIED. 😔

I felt sooooooooooooo ashamed and afraid to expose my truth to other sisters who have overcome their health struggles. I was soooooooooooo afraid to let you all see I had failed miserably in life – I failed God, myself, my family and my friends (including those of you who wrote me all the time to let me know my walk inspired you). I felt “no one can respect me or look up to me now. Look at me! I’m fat, disabled, unemployable, broke and depressed. I failed in life.” I felt I lost my voice – my words to encourage others because I could not help myself out of this rut. I was EXTREMELY EMBARRASSED and I shut down and SHUT EVERYONE OUT OF MY LIFE. I didn’t leave my home for months and I didn’t smile, but cried EVERYDAY. I cried because I was ashamed that I failed in everything I had accomplished building. Everything is GONE! Including the dare to dream – but ~STILL I RISE~ I WILL SOMEDAY DREAM AND BUILD AGAIN – IN DUE TIME. 😁🌟🌟🌟

The reality that my weight and my depression did not floor me was of a concern and not. I knew God knew where I was and He was right here with me.

I haven’t been this big since 2012 – when I lost my first 90 lbs. I cannot say that I have a weight issue. Naw! I just gave up after ALLLLLLLLLLLLLL OF THE DRAMA I WAS ENCOUNTERING trying to stop the MS flare ups and heal, last August. It took me until November/December to heal physically from the mistreatment I suffered from the hospital staff I received back in August/September of 2017. I came home and GAVE UP! I gave on all of life. Everything pertaining to my norm/joy and happiness. I was DONE! With myself, with others and sad to say, I was done with God. Some very meaningful people in my life crushed me soooooooooooo badly I wanted nothing more to do with life or relationships on a whole. I was merely EXISTING – eating out of my brokenness. My spirit was/is broken from the fight I was in to receive the help I SO DESPERATELY NEEDED, to help my Gurlz get acclimated in school and to get the people who were mistreating us to SEE THIS WAS NOT GOD BUT THE DEVIL USING THEM. NOBODY CARED. After it was allllllll said and done, after the holidays passed and everyone went back to “living their lives” I WAS LEFT FOR DEAD. I was EATING TO DESTROY MYSELF SO I WOULDN’T HURT ANYMORE – SUFFER THEIR EVIL AND ABUSE AND CONTINUE TO SUFFER THE REALITY IF MY FAILURES. I was eating to DIE!

I’m not out of the woods, but I’M STILL HERE ~STILL STANDING (even as I now must use my walker again to keep me balance and from falling)

I have not heard from God in my question “ARE YOU THE ONE I SEEK OR SHOUKD I LOOK FOR ANOTHER?” Maybe He’ll answer – maybe He won’t. As of now, I’m just here and getting back in formation – FOR ME! I request NOTHING of God. If He chooses to… He’ll do… if not, I’m cool.

I’m here. Present. #itiswhatitis

Moving forward…

I had my mother take these pix of me, yesterday, as a marker for where I’m starting. I’m not going to do as I did before – underestimating MS and the fight I’m in (FOR LIFE) living with this debilitating disease. I’m not going to act like I’m 100% – that is denial. I’m not going to try and convince myself that I will always feel good, feel up to eating right and living well. THAT’S FAKING IT! Too many people fake! I WON’T! I DON’T! I’M REAL ABOUT MINE!! I WILL REMAIN REAL – NON MATTER WHAT. I HAVE BOTH GOOD AND BAD DAYS. That is the truth!! The end.

But this pic is not about chronicling my “weight loss”. Nope! Not at all! Watch me carefully. These pix serve as a special reminder of the time I came to myself – admitted my truths -forgave and hugged myself – teamed back up with myself – became one of my special friends/accountability partners (for myself) – and embraced myself and the place I’m beginning from. I’ve not taken any steps backward. I’ve taken forward steps in doing it this way – the way that works BEST FOR ME! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

When I first lost my weight back in 2012 (4 years after moving to Long Beach, CA from living homelessness with my family in the San Fernando Valley), I weighed over 265 lbs. I had NOOOOOOOOOO IDEA how HUGE I had gotten until I compared pix of my before and after my weight loss. No! I’m not 265 nor close to it, thank God, but I neither want to be wearing a size 2x anymore! I don’t like being out of shape. 😠 I love the feel of continue to burn fat even as I sleep. It’s a great feeling!!

Yes! I want my healthy body back!!!

Where I was in the bed by 9:30 – tv off, up by 4:30-5:00am communing quietly with God, and off on my walk or swimming in the pool, eating my veggies (some fruit), not craving meat/fast food/sugar/or bread. Just eating and drinking my raw veggies all day and night. This is truly who I AM. I eat like a rabbit. Lol! I LOOOOOOOOOVE RAW VEGGIES, MEETING GOD IN OUR SPECIAL SECRET PLACE, POWER WALKING, SWIMMING FOR HOURS, AND LOTS OF SLEEP.

So yesterday I began my journey of getting back to ME and I’m glad I decided to this at this time. I’M READY!! Plain and simple. 😁

I did it before, I’ll do it again. 😊 At my body’s pace and tolerance.I’ve no need to shame myself or beat myself up. I had a blast eating what I wanted when I wanted and occasionally I may taste a lil bit of what I had – if and when I want. I can say that because I, DANA, am back in control again. IENJOY ALL OF MY LIFE. 😁 I’m not one who can be constrained by others or set programs. I DO ME FOR ME and have had MUCH SUCCESS in the past. So if it’s not broke why fix it? I know my healthy nutritional habits like the back of my hand. I ALWAYS listen to my body and it never steers me wrong. I’m not 100%, I am STILL experiencing very real and annoying symptoms all over my body, but I’m over it. It is what it is. I did my damage, had my FUN and I have NO REGRETS. I’ve turned the ‘pages of life’ – time to write a new tale about my many fun adventures, my development and new growth, all tgebgemsI collect along the way, and lessons learned.

This fantastic opportunity could not have happened at a better time. 😁

-Two days now I have been going to bed earlier, waking up refreshed, sharing (short) devotional time with God again and taking life as it comes. #babysteps

~THIS IS PEACE~

I would rather have a lasting, peaceful, and slow process (beginning) with exciting results (a strong finish) than to be rushed and competing against myself or others only to be burned out in the end and empty handed- needing to start alllllllll the way from the beginning AGAIN. WHO HAS THAT KIND OF TIME OR ENERGY. “Not I!”, said the cat. 😂#imthetortoisenotthehare😁 #iamdanalewis44 #iamintentional #flawsnall #imbalanced #eveninthis

I ACCEPT ALL OF ME AT ALL SIZES & IN ALL SEASONS. I’M HERE. STILL STANDING. IN IT TO WIN IT. PLAYING FOR KEEPS!! #iloveme💋💋💋 #bestfriends🌟 #timeandchanceecclesiastes911 ❤️❤️❤️

His Grace Abounds All The More

God only gives us what we need. Nothing less.

Got up early this morning NEEDING to read about my current condition. “WE CANNOT CHANGE WHAT WE DO NOT ACKNOWLEDGE” I admitted to God this morning before searching online for this morning’s encouraging word, “I do not trust You nor anyone. Lord, I’m a sinner in desperate NEED of a Savior. Lord, I no longer believe… please, HELP my unbelief?” This devotional by James McDonald placed words to the way I’ve been feeling for some time now…. Depleted.

This enriched my soul, this morning – to see from his writings my struggle up close and personal. The best thing to come from my obedience to (follow) & SEARCH FOR HIM is I was met with His all consuming fire – His assurance that He is holding NOTHING against me. This gave me peace. God understands me when I do not even understand myself. God’s grace abounds all the more.

https://www.jamesmacdonald.com/teaching/devotionals/2013-07-12/

Don’t Change A Thing

Out late, late, tonight -Cruising around with my eldest and we were sitting in the car just talking and the conversation got interesting. She begins to educate me on the fact that the smallest facial features I HAVE – the ones I pay no mind to -MOST women of other ethnic groups/nationalities are PAYING BIIIIIIIIIIIG MONEY FOR. 😳😳😳😳😳😳😳

What? A dent in my cheek as a result of damaged skin tissue when I contracted chickenpox. REALLY???

Like, I knew, but… I guess I really didn’t get it. I knew some are paying for the fold in their eyelids. I knew that some drew them on, but I didn’t know that in certain countries these liiiiiiiiiittle itty-bitty features on my face which I pay NO ATTENTION TO are considered veeeeeerrrry beautiful, envied and desired so they pay up to $4k FOR THIS LITTLE CREASE IN THEIR EYELID, YO!

That is BANANAS!!!! 😮😮😮😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳

My daughter pointed out all my features which other women of other nationalities would lose/sale everything to have.

CRAZY!! 🤪😜😋

I had chickenpox when I was 7 years old. 7! And they left a few scars which I STILL HAVE AND FORGOTTEN ABOUT until Nai touched my face and said, “Mom! You have that one, too!???! Oh, you’d be considered VERY BEAUTIFUL in these countries. This and this and this are considered ‘beautiful’ and the girls all want these same things and here it is YOU HAVE THEM – ALL! Do you know how much these features costs over there? LOTS!!”

I had no idea… I am shoooooooocked… beyond shocked.

Listen, never, never, never allow the devil to play head games with you. YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL JUST AS YOU ARE!

Never doubt your own beauty, courage, intelligence, progress, and your purpose for existing. Truth be told FOR REAL there are people out there who will gladly trade places with you; who will ~BE YOU~ everything YOU (good, bad, and ugly) without hesitation!

They’d gladly wear your skin complexion, your battle scars, -and parade around with ever one of your imperfections – if YOU don’t learn to LOVE YOU FOR YOU AND ACCEPT/EMBRACE THE BEAUTIFUL AND UNIQUE GEM YOU ARE. YOU’RE PRICELESS, and someone out there is willing to put down big bills to be your kind of beautiful.

Mercy!

Who knew?

When Nai read to me from the Internet how much each of “MY” features is worth in other countries, I hollered! My mouth fell wiiiiiiiide open. I have been in shock the rest of our time together.

The drive home –

we have just been discussing the craziness of altering one’s appearance and how one doctor claims that the majority of his clients are young ladies with “broken hearts”. 😔 After their boyfriends break up with them they go into deep depression, hurry and rush to see this doctor, pay him big money to alter their looks. They go in thinking the issue is THEM! They go to this doctor desiring to look more like the westernized women – American women and MAINLY – BLACK WOMEN!!! Shut up! Right! He gladly obliges – acclimates them. SMH. 😤

He says once he’s done, they feel very “happy” because he has made them “beautiful” now. Translation to me: “He left you, because you were not HER!”

Well, sweetheart, truth be told, your features aren’t his (your exes’) problem – HE’S HIS OWN PROBLEM AND HE ONLY DID YOU A FAVOR SO THANK HIM FOR GETTING OUT OF YOUR WAY. 😏

Don’t get trapped into thinking your “looks” ran a guy off and your “looks” will bring a man in close to you and he’ll stay with you and treat you right. Hell, Halle Berry is DROP DEAD GORGEOUS and yet she is unlucky in the realm of finding true and lasting love. People are people.

BE YOURSELF, ALWAYS.

Stick to what you know and DO YOU! Change for no one, but God and yourself for positive means, not because someone hurt you, rejected you or you don’t like your features. Love on you and those who SEE you and are for you will indeed LOVE YOU JUST THE SAME – FOR YOU! (AS YOU ARE! AS YOU ARE!!)

I’m just flabbergasted! Hahahahahaha!

I just never paid that much attention to my looks – in that way. Now hearing this – I’m THANKFUL. I have new things to thank the Lord for. Things I soooooo took for granted. This will forever be my “go-to” when I begin to doubt myself and feel I’m not enough. I’M ENOUGH AND I’M WORTH MORE! I’M WORTH FIGHTING FOR IN EVERY WAY. This beauty mark on my face which women in other countries would sell their souls for – to have, is the proof I and what I have are a very hot commodity. Special to my Creator. Desired by others. #iamanoriginal #iampriceless #fearfullyandwonderfullymade #iamGodsWoman

#iknowmyworth #myvalueisinGod

#whatcananotherhumanbeingdotome

The rejection of others is a gift from the Lord. God grants elevation and brings the increase in due time. He just simply wants us to be in peace and live life to the fullest – with and/or without…

With God we are ALL (HE IS) and we possess ALL (everything that is HIS)

Don’t change a thing.

LOVE YOU FOR YOU.

God makes no mistakes. He made you perfectly FOR HIMSELF. 😁😊 #beenvied❤️🌸❤️🌸❤️🌸❤️ #urworthit😉😘

Moments Like These

Moments Like These 😌

Take nothing and no one for granted.

The sign that it’s been a pretty nice day is when you become fully aware of your calm surroundings. You’ve come through another storm. It’s when you look up and say, “God. Thank You! I know that was You”, after facing a string of adversities and you escape each one unscathed, unharmed – everything you lack God is providing you by His own hand. (Philippians 4:19) He’s always looking after you and your loved ones. God becomes your canopy to shield you, like He promised, while the angry storm clouds pass over you. It’s also when you realize how relaxed you are, not fearing or stressing over anything, after going through some very traumatic experiences which should’ve taken you right over the edge – then to the looney house, but instead you’re happily laying quietly ~Serene~ and just listening to Commissioned “The Light Years”, thinking about how God has thoughtfully and miraculously brought you through a very rough spot once more. 😊

Every song is a testament to His love, His care, and His interest in us. Every syllable, beat and hook testify of the deliverance you and your family have been given the privilege to witness with your own eyes. The very deliverance God promised to you in (Exodus 14:13) “The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.”God never speaks a promise He does not mean to keep. He makes good on every one. Yes, – Every one of us, His children, need moments like this – Moments of reminding. 😉 More moments lto ourselves like these. Amen!

Honestly,

To say God is the reason we’re still here – still standing & STILL IN OUR RIGHT MINDS is truly an understatement. Truthfully, -“That’s not even the half of it”, I believe most would add to this.

Hallelujah!! Is all I can say. Hallelujah! Because He’s good. Hallelujah! Because He’s been FAITHFUL. Hallelujah! Because He’s God. Hallelujah! Because when I forget God comes to me and kindly reminds me in order to build me, equip me and firmly plant my feet – He readies me for the next storm. The reminders God gives are simply tools He uses to assure us we’ll come through and come out each time we face a storm. These are reminders He’ll never abandon us. God will always be right here with us, close beside us and we’ll always come out victorious. Because God is our Victory we’ll never have to fear the outcomes of our situations. Amen! It’s been God. All God all along. God and God alone. #allinthelyrics❤️ #morethanasong #swtserenity🌟 🌸🌸🌸

I’m Mad As Hell 😡

Something tells me – IN THE END I BEAT GOLIATH AND CUT OFF HIS HEAD. I don’t go down, easily. Not without a fight. Hurt makes me mad and I go for the jugular. #offwithitshead I cannot stand to feel confined. I DO NOT LIKE POINTLESS CONFORMITY. I will fight with everything in me – from those who feel they have rights over me and to block me to this illness (this cross) I’m made to carry. I’m angry – and I’m the wrong one. ~THROW ME TO THE WOLVES AND I’LL COME BACK LEADING THE PACK~ Nothing has to be wrong for a person to become sick and tired of being sick and tired. MS interrupts my life in ways I cannot describe. I determined this weekend it will NOT stop me! MS will NOT stop my flow. I’m angry with MS and mad enough to do something about it. I’m suffering relapse as I text this, but I refuse to let it beat me. I will not go to the hospital just so they can send me home without a solution or any way of shutting this down. That in itself is super frustrating. I’m going to ride out this wave and let it pass in its time. I’m over this! I’m over these stupid tantrums. The moment I get back to my loves, My (2 yr old) this MS acts out. Right now things are a mess with my body, but tomorrow – I’m getting up and I’m going on in the name of the Lord. #offwithitshead #overit MS = MY STRENGTH MS can’t beat me!! ~I AM THE STORM~ ⛈💨🌪⚡️🌫🌟🌟🌟 #inthefightofmylife #madashell😡 #imgonnamakeitthruthisanyway #withandorwithout #icannotbestopped #ishallnotbemoved #winning #iamdanalewisMUA #idowhatiloveilovewhatido #ibeatface❤️ #imgreatatwhatido #iamintentional #flawsnall #boomboomkack