Saturday, December 8, 2018

No Ambition: What is Wrong with Me?


The struggle is real. I feel like this is my most go-to catch phrase. Here I sit again, my mind spiraling with all sorts of hopes and dreams of a better life, yet I have no ambition. Having no ambition is such a foreign concept for me. After-all my personal motto is determination and strength. Now that I have no ambition my motto is practically meaningless. Just as little as a couple of months ago I was training for a triathlon. Before that I was running 5K's and 4 Milers. I had spent the greater part of a year training my body to become a runner. I was eating better and drinking water like a boss.  I was doing things physically that I had always wanted but couldn't do before. I think back on this past year and I realize there has been a lot going on. I hate excuses and I hate the idea of people thinking that because x-y-z happened that its okay.

Namely I lost my dad to cancer. Cancer sucks! My dad fought long and hard for 14 months. When my dad's health took a bad turn, I left my full-time job and drove out to Arizona from Ohio. At this point in time I was in a peak of my weight loss. My starting weight was in the 270's and I dropped into the 250's. Up until my dad died I had stayed healthy. I was walking daily and I was continuing to drink water. My food intake wasn't the greatest though. I slipped back into poor habits. Eating lots of snack foods, chocolate, and gluten. I'm an emotional eater. Since my dad's death I haven't gotten a good grip back onto my gluten-free diet, nor have I been a diligent water drinker as I had been before. I found that exercising in Ohio was harder, especially in the colder months. After dad died we did eventually come home and it was in the midst of winter. I packed the pounds back on. It was heart breaking for me. I was so mad at myself. I still am. My loved ones and supporters keep telling me that this is understandable due to everything I have gone through. I've tried to take it easy and be easy on myself. Unlike the year previous something else is going on that is holding me back from getting healthy. I just haven't been able to put my finger on it. I know I feel "off" but don't know why.

Medical Intervention

I recently changed doctors. Long over due. With my recent change of my medical personnel, I had my blood work checked, I was specifically concerned with my Thyroid and Vitamin D levels since it hadn't been properly attended to in the past. I've been previously diagnosed with Hypothyroidism (thyroid is sluggish) and low Vitamin D. The test results came in and the results were mind boggling. This required me to have a follow up appointment with my nurse practitioner. I learned that the dosage I was on for my thyroid was extremely low. It wasn't even close to a correct dosage for my weight. My dose has never been changed my entire life. This is 100% my fault. Up until April 2018 I was not taken my thyroid medicine regularly. The fact that I've been taking my medicine consistently since April is a huge accomplishment. In addition to my medicine dosages changing, I'm going to have more tests done to check to see if I have any auto-immune disorder called Hashimotos.

Both of these diagnoses Hypothyroidism and Vitamin D can contribute to the mood swings I'm struggling with. My mood swings have been intense. They are not just affecting me anymore. I am also affecting my loved ones, my friends, and co-workers. It's bad that when someone sees you at work and they ask if you are okay because you haven't acted like yourself lately. I can feel within myself that there is something wrong. Sadly there is nothing I can do to change it, not in the short term that is. The new dosages can take up to 4 months to works in way into my system and therefore start feeling the affect and feeling better. I'm ready to start feeling better. I want to get back on track with my diet and exercise and want to become the person I feel like I am on the inside. For this to happen I need ambition. And sadly I just don't have ambition right now.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Manifold of Life Updates

Authors Note: Do you ever have the urge to write but when you actually sit down to do so you really don't know what you want to write about? Yeah...that is my problem.

Goodbye Catherine's and Hello Teaching 

Perhaps the biggest change in my life is my career status. In December I landed a job in the teaching field. I would never have dreamed that I would end up teaching in a daycare setting but when life gives you lemons you have to make lemonade. Overall I love it here. For security reasons I will leave my academy's namesake unmentioned but truly I love my job. Sure it's stressful sometimes and I'm not going to lie preschool kids have so much to learn which can make it frustrating because I have to constantly repeat myself day in and day out, and it's always the same things. In dog training we call this the puppy years, but since it would be considered child abuse I can't lock my kids up behind small metal bars. I think I just dogged a bullet there. I go home wondering how long in comparison it will take my kids to learn stuff to my dog. Am I the only person that thinks of these things? 

In all seriousness though, I love my kids. Nothing beats coming in first thing in the morning or returning from an hour break and my kids screaming "Ms. Katie" in pure excitement, like a dog they have no concept of time yet; Sometimes they even run up to me and give me a hug! These gestures are what gets me through my toughest days and this grounds me. It makes me feel like I'm not as awful as I think I am; I'm not Mrs. Trunchable after all!

God works in mysterious ways. I just cringed a little bit while saying that as God and I aren't very tight these days. More on that later, maybe. But truly life did take a difficult turn in regards to my family life when my dad was diagnosed with cancer while he was living in Arizona helping our elderly aunt with her house, finances, medical stuff and everything else that comes with the last stages of ones life.  Many decisions. My mom, dad, and I decided it was best for them to remain in Arizona in the much less harsh clement (despite its winter) for him to receive treatment. The good news is his chemo is working but with any kind of treatment there are always obstacles. We've had them, many hospital stays, kidneys near shut down stage, dehydration, and now some kind of lung complication. Luckily and thankfully dad has an amazing oncologist that is truly a female version of Dr. Wilson (but we hope and pray she doesn't end up with cancer). You may be wondering why I say all of this is God in mystery. When all of this went down with my dads health it only make it even more apparent of how bad I needed full-time employment. Their stay in Arizona was going to be indefinite and later found out that they are actually going to be moving there which meant I needed steady income to take over the house or essentially I would become homeless. It wasn't but a couple of months after dads diagnoses I landed my job at the academy. Now after a month I'm employed full-time and with benefits! Soon I will begin earning paid time off. Due to the lack of finances and the new teaching job I was not able to fly out for Christmas, but luckily I have a pretty amazing boyfriend with a large family who welcomed me into their home without hesitation. Our aunt ended up dying sometime before thanksgiving; she had recently been diagnosed with heart failure on the right side. She was very ill; She hoped to get strong enough to be able to take a drive to see the Christmas lights and decorations but God called her home very quickly after her diagnoses. Honestly as grueling as this may sound, her death was a relief to my parents. Between taking care of her (checking in on her, taking her to doctors appointments, and seeing to her finances) on top of my dads diagnoses it was becoming tiring. And here I was left in Ohio not able to do anything. I have definitely been on a search for a healthy vice, I may have found it.

Fitness Journey 2017 

I've struggled my with my weight nearly all of my life. Being overweight sucks! Numerous times I've tried different health and weight loss gimmicks hoping and praying that the weight would come off. I remember even making deals with God; He doesn't love me was what I thought at one time in my life because he made me different from my friends. Different in all of the wrong ways. My weight keeps me from being as active as I'd like. I'd love to train for a half-marathon or even a entire marathon but between my feet and my weight there's no chance of that happening. Why do I have this strong sense of wanting to run? I know now more than ever I can't run away from life's problems! I just want to run! A couple of years ago I hit my all-time high weight nearing 290 lbs I feared I would just keep escalating. I had a conviction to stop gaining and start losing or at the very least keep maintaining a lower weight (below 285). I've attained this goal! I have stayed around the 270's mark for the past year plus, so now it's time to step up my game. You know how some people just want to lose weight for the wedding? I know someone who is paying a personal trainer and everything; She even has thus hashtag on her Instagram account #sweatingforthewedding don't get me wrong we all have our motivations but I'm saying is this. My motivation is deeper. I have a lifetime goal, rather than one shorter goal. Sure I want to or lose 100 lbs and it would be my hope that I'm already on this big journey when I get engaged so that I can justify continue my journey rather than go on a "diet" for my wedding. What I'm saying is I want to change my lifestyle.  I'm not interested in dieting!

For anyone interested in following my fitness journey please feel free to follow me on my public account I'm always looking for more cheerleaders! Follow me @beer_belly_be_gone on Instagram!



Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Must SEE for Periscopers


Today I wanted to give a very special shout-out to a dear friend of mine. Believe it or not, I actually just met her a little over one month ago as we just celebrated our one-month friendaversary. Do you remember that blog I did about a week ago talking about Periscope? In case you missed it you can check it out here: Can Periscope Be the Saving Grace to my Spiritual Dryness?    In an effort to fight my spiritual dryness I have been broadcasting the weekday scriptures on Periscope. 

For the past week or so I have 'Scoped' five times; once a day every morning. My new friend @ChelseaRoadman helped me to establish my new "Peri-Series" which she helped name, Bible and Brew which airs weekday mornings around 10 am. If you missed my previous broadcasts you can go to my YouTube Channel and replay any broadcast at your leisure. Please be sure and leave me feedback in the form of comments or questions to better serve you as my viewers.

New to Periscope?

If you are new to Periscope you should join me for Chelsea's Scope-inar this Thursday 4/14 at 7:30 CT.It costs $10 but like any buisness wom/men knows it takes money to make money! Chelsea will be sharing 10 Peri-tips and Scope hacks for you or your growing business. It is a special exclusive opportunity you do not want to miss. The scope includes PDF notes to go along with all of the tips and she will be holding a Q&A session afterwards! 

How Do I Register?

1. Follow Chelsea on Periscope @ChelseaRoadman2. She will follow you back3. Simply pay you $10 at Square's$ChelseaRoadman

--Input Payment--Input amount: ONLY $10

--Input your Periscope handle in the "NOTES" section so she know's who to invite! 

If you have ANY questions at all, please contact Chelsea via her FB business page at or quickly drop her a message at ! You can even text her at (TOK) BRAND-IT. 

Check out Chelsea's Sneak Peek Video: 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Bible & Brew: Third Cup

Author's note: First off I would like to apologize to my regular readers as this post is a day late! 

In yesterday's readings we found the common theme to be persistence. In the first reading (Acts 6:8-15) members from the synagogue gets into a debate with Stephen who is speaking the Word of the Lord. They did not like it that Stephen was proclaiming on about the Holy Spirit. Therefore they took action against Stephen which is all too common of a happening that we have read over the past few days in the first reading. A group of people including Scribes, elders and people apprehended Stephen and takes him before the Sanhedrin. Then at once they begin making false statements about Stephen accusing him of many unlawful things. The reading ends abruptly in the middle of Stephen's trial with mentioning that everyone in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel (Acts 6:15). The Book of Acts continues to show us how persistent the disciples were. Equally so, we find in the Gospel that the Apostles too were persistent.

The Gospel (John 6:22-29) continues to move forward. Now, it is the day after the feeding of the 5,000 with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. The Apostles and Jesus' other followers awake to find that Jesus is nowhere to be seen. They go on a hunt looking for the miracle worker. All of the boats were accounted for and so that left the only conclusion that Jesus must have walked on water in order to get out to the island where they found him. They could not get enough of Jesus' miracles, they wanted answers but Jesus ignored their pleading and pointed out the larger picture to them. Jesus said,

Do not work for food that perishes but for food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. 

They wanted to know what it was that they must do. Jesus told them that
they must, "...believe in the one
He has sent." Needless to say,
this was a difficult concept
for them. Put yourself in their
shoes. What would you think
if Jesus came to your homeland
and started healing the blind,
making the deaf
hear, and walking on water?
It would be shocking right!?!
I sure think it would be and
I've been practicing the faith
my entire life. No one ever said
faith was easy. I am going to use
a line from a fictional movie, The Santa Clause, to illustrate what faith is all about. In this clip, the little elf explains to the new Santa Clause, Tim Allen, that "believing is not seeing, seeing is believing." I invite you to watch the clip!

Faith is not always easy. 

Having faith is a difficult concept for us because we are human--we are predisposed to all kinds of things including sin, disappointment, depression, cancer, and other illnesses just to name some examples. When life is going well we feel close to God, but when life is tough we feel distanced from God. Think of it this way. Put yourself in a boat in the middle of the ocean. When your life is seemingly going well you sense Jesus' presence in the boat with you and the ocean waters are still. Then all of a sudden, life happens, and you notice that the once still ocean waters are still no more. Rather, the waters get choppy and you no longer sense the presence of Jesus with you in the boat. Or at the very least, Jesus' presence seems more distanced and hard to grasp. Life's challenges are going to rock the boat; However, these difficult and challenging times help us to grow.

Meditation: Do your best to be like Stephen and the disciples and no matter how rocky the boat gets from the choppy waters be persistent and never give up. How can I be more persistent when life rocks the boat?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Anxiety: Is a Trap

Anxiety is real. It is a mental illness. I know these things because I am a victim of anxiety. Unfortunately, there are many people who do not understand anxiety; Whether it is a lack of understanding or it is because they have not been educated or do not have the initiative to do the research, or just out of ignorance is beyond me. If it is the later that is a shame and I plead anyone who does not know anything about anxiety to take the time to learn. I do believe it is easier to understand what someone is going through no matter the illness if: a) they either have it them self or b) they have a close loved one or friend who struggles with it.

I can only speak for myself but I do not use anxiety or any other illness physical
or mental as an excuse for attention. I would like to take some time to explain to you my experience with anxiety and explain what an anxiety attack looks like in my life. I am documenting my experience of my anxiety and attacks for the sole purpose of educating others in the hope that my testimony will help others who may not understand anxiety to be more compassionate and knowledgeable.

 Anxiety: What does it feel like?

When I am having an anxiety attack it feels like time stops but yet it does not stop. This feeling is like nothing other. It is very difficult to explain as it is very complex. In the middle of an anxiety attack I feel more things at one time than my mind and body feels it can handle. Anxiety causes my body to make me feel like I am trapped and my brain freezes. I've had times where I stare blankly into space.

My mind also tries to process too many thoughts at once. I can take one comment and consequently spin it in so many different directions that my mind creates ways for me to take the comment out of context. Literally my mind tries to make up reasons for the comment and/or I am try to analyze it which only creates more problems. Anxiety can be brought on by just one comment that I take the wrong way or take it too sensitively, consequently it rocks the boat and thus sometimes causes me to explode. An explosion can look like a bottle of soda that had been shaken prior to being opened.

An exploding soda is like an adult temper tantrum. Adults have temper tantrums? Yes! Temper tantrums can happen at any age. When I explode it does not happen because I did not get my way, it is because I am so overwhelmed that I need an outlet to defuse my energy. Imagine if you shake a bottle of soda and then immediately take the cap off. What happens? It explodes of course! Why? The pressure of the carbonation trapped inside of the bottle is greater than the air pressure outside of the bottle thus causing it to explode. Scientifically speaking the bottled up carbonation is forced to become a gas again.
My response in relation to having feelings bottled up inside of me causes my own kind of explosion. My explosion diffuses through crying, screaming, throwing, and kicking. All of these things do not necessarily happen at one time or even happen every time I have an anxiety attack. My therapist tells me that these actions are merely my outlets to diffuse my bottled up energy. Just like the trapped carbonation, once the cap is removed from the bottle, I too will eventually explode.

Anxiety: Support Systems

I have found that there are a variety of support systems available. I have mentioned one already, therapy. Professional help of course if a very important resource. No one likes to be vulnerable; Although it can be difficult to talk about our most intimate self with others it can be very helpful and be healing to talk to someone who is knowledgeable in mental health. Another resource is family and friends. Know who you can talk to and who you cannot; And just because you can talk to them does not mean they are the right person to talk to. I have unfortunately experienced sharing something intimate with someone who I know cared about me deeply but was incapable of giving me any kind support, including a listening ear, in my time of need. This was very painful. My suggestion is to know who you can turn to when you need to talk. Especially in the case that you cannot get in touch with your therapist, or s/he cannot offer you a therapy session sooner than the one you already have scheduled. Another type of support is a support group. Sharing your highs and lows with a group of people who similarly suffer from anxiety can make you feel less alone in your state of loneliness. It gives you the realization that you do not suffer alone, that you are not the one person in the world with anxiety. I have not personally been involved in a support group but I have heard great things about them. Lastly, I advise you, if you have not already done so, to use the social media platform Pinterest. Through simple searches on Pinterest, using the key-word "anxiety," I have found pins that have helped me to recognize the symptoms of my anxiety.

I leave you with this if you suffer from anxiety know that you do not suffer alone; if one of your loved ones or friends suffer, do them a favor by learning how to be compassionate and learn what anxiety is all about. Sometimes just being there by their side is all they need from you.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Bible & Brew: Second Cup

In today's first reading (Acts 5:34-52) we learn that the Apostles' journey continues.
Just prior to today's reading the Apostles had been visited by an angel of the Lord who opened the prison door, telling them that their work was not yet complete and that the Lord wanted them to go to the Temple to continue on in the ministry. 
The Apostles' adventure picks up with them standing before the Sanhedrin. By this point, the members of the Sanhedrin were fed up with the Apostles who continually disobey their orders. As the Apostles state in verse 32 they only take orders from the Holy Spirit. When the Sanhedrin got word of this they wanted to have the Apostles put to death.

The Apostles' lives were spared notably because of one member of the Sanhedrin; Gamaliel who was a Pharisee was a wise man. Because of his vast experience, he believed that when man interfered with God's will or actions that this only results in a battle against God himself. Therefore, the Apostles were not condemned to death but rather they were flogged and then released. Ironically the flogging only energized the Apostles more.

"So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name."

I can only speak for myself but I am not like the Apostles in this regard. When I encounter someone bashing me whether it be for my faith or anything, if it becomes a confrontation, I chose flight instead of fight. The Apostles choice to rejoice after being flogged makes me think about when Jesus says, if someone slaps you on the cheek, turn and let him hit the other also. There is a deeper theological meaning to this than what most people think but I am not going to go there. For now, I just want that image to shine through, as this is what I picture in my mind's eye. Quite frankly, we must know ourselves and our limitations. I am not a charismatic person and I am not the type of person to evangelize. You would never see me on the streets programing God's word. Nor would my expression be "bring it on" when someone wants to question the faith. However, let me be clear, I am not saying that the Apostles are not good models for us of how we should be. It's time to go a little deeper, let's take a look at today's Gospel (John 6:1-15). 

Author's note: It's no joke, the first words out of my mouth after looking at today's Gospel was, "oh...yes! This is going to be a good one!" 

The Gospel today is probably one of the most familiar of Jesus' miracles.
Throughout the Gospels it's not uncommon for Jesus to go off and pray. Jesus deserved alone time too! Imagine being followed constantly. As described in today's Gospel people left their homes to gather around Jesus. In John's account of the feeding of the 5,000 Jesus tests his Apostle's by asking them where they could buy bread to feed the hungry crowds. They were concerned because it would cost nearly a year's wages to feed everyone. Note: a derarri was a Roman's wage for an entire day.

Did you know? The feeding of the 5,000 also known as the multiplication of the loaves is the only miracle that is found in all four Gospels.

Jesus took five loaves of bread and two fish and offered a prayer and miraculously there was enough food to feed the multitude of people. This miracle is believed to have been a foresight of the Eucharist and the final banquet in the kingdom. Like many passages there is always a deeper meaning and symbolism. Just as this passage anticipates the Eucharist it also looks back to the time of Exodus and the feeding of Israel with manna.

Numbers are also significant in the Bible. In this passage the numbers five (5) and two (2) are especially significant. According to St. Anthony of Padua [St. Anthony, the saint we pray to when we have lost something] the five loaves represent the five refreshments for the soul (the Five Books of Moses). They are as follows: 1) Rebuking of sin by contrition; 2) the barring of sin in confession; 3) the abasement and humiliation in satisfaction; 4) the zeal for souls in preaching; and 5) the sweetness of contemplating our heavenly home. The loves were specifically referred to as barley loaves; the food of the poor. The five loaves were not only physically nourishing but spiritually too. Finally, the two fish which were brought up from the sea represent Moses and Peter. Moses was taken up from the water; he was found in swaddling clothes in the River Jordan. And Peter too came from the water as he was a fisherman. The meaning behind the fish is leadership so that we can align ourselves to God.

Meditation: Let us concentrate on aligning ourselves to God no matter the cost. Let's be like the Apostles who rejoice after being bashed for their faith. What do I need to cut out of my life or at the very least minimize in my life so that I have more time for God?


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Bible & Brew: First Cup

What would it have been like to walk in an Apostle's Sandals? 

In the matter of just three years time 12 men were selected by Jesus Himself, who was said to be a stranger of the lands, to become His elite group, the Apostles. Can you imagine the faith that these men must have had? Seriously, though! These men had nothing but their faith to trust in that Jesus was who He said He was! The chosen men, literally left their homes and everything they owned behind to become Jesus' Apostles. After these men had been sent out on foot, walking all over preaching the Good News they were soon finding themselves watching Jesus being persecuted. They were witnesses to Jesus' passion, death and resurrection. This of course is just a precursor to today's readings. In order to understand scripture it is important to consider the historical context, this is why I prompted you to think about what it would be like to be an apostle of Jesus. When studying scripture, one should also consider the passages surrounding the one you are examining, thus let us look at the passage prior to going any further.  

In the passages leading up to today's reading we find that the Apostles have been arrested and put in jail and while the Apostles were in jail an angel of the Lord came to them and opened the door directing them to leave and go to the Temple Area to continue their mission (Acts 5:17-22). Today's reading picks up with the Apostles being before the Sanhedrin (Acts 5:27-33). The Sanhedrin is furious that the Apostles continue to preach the name of Jesus. In the very next passage, Acts 5:34-42, the Sanhedrin threatens to have the apostles to be put to death. Luckily for the apostles an elder leader talks the others down and they order for the apostles to be flogged instead and then released. 


Like the apostles we too are called. We must continue to speak in the name of Jesus at whatever the cost. How can we call ourselves disciples of Christ otherwise? The Church offers us hope as well as models of the faith, i.e. the saints. Think about how many saints have been martyred for their faith. Right away I think of Dorothy Day and Mother Teresa. Dorothy Day has a very touching conversion story which the Church as well as Pope John Paul II has referenced. Prior to her conversion Dorothy was living a sinful life without Christ at the center. She got tangled up with a man and she became pregnant and aborted her unborn child. Follow this she had a spiritual awakening and had a conversion. She then became a social activist. Alongside her good friend Peter Maurin they established the Catholic Worker Movement which was a non-violent group that gave direct aid to the poor and homeless. Dorothy was arrested many times for civil disobedience. Certainly it's not just me that is making the connection, right? Similarly we can name Mother Teresa who left her own religious community to start a new one in Calcutta, India because she wanted to serve the poorest of the poor. It is so easy for us to read about other holy men and women and think to ourselves that we are not good enough--that is the problem. We cannot measure or compare ourselves to others. What we can do is look to them as good leaders or even models because we are all called to be Christ-like.

Mother Teresa is a particularly fantastic example of being Christ-like. As she cared for the poorest of the poor she did it out of pure love. In today's Gospel, John 3:31-36, we are called to not ration our love. We do not ration our love because the Father does not ration his love for us. Through and through this is message Jesus and the apostles were conveying to the people. After all Jesus was sent by His Father, Our Father, to save the world from sin so that we may receive everlasting life. All we have to do is believe and trust in Him.


Reflect on your life and be honest with yourself. Figure out where or when you have rationed your love rather than allowing your love to pour out of your hearts. Think about how you can be like the holy men and women who have gone before us. Remember, the key word here is "like." What verse speaks to your heart? What is Jesus telling you?

Join me on Periscope daily at 10am ET for #BibleandBrew find me and follow me @HoelscherKatie