All posts by beachnative27

25 year old adventuring through life and the process of getting fit!

Adjusting to consistency


September 19, 2016

“There is a mighty battle going on for control of your mind. Heaven and earth intersect in your mind; the tugs of both spheres influence your thinking. I created you with the capacity to experience foretastes of heaven. When you shut out the world and focus on My presence, you can enjoy sitting with Me in heavenly realms. This is an incredible privilege reserved for precious ones who belong to Me and seek My face. Your greatest strength is your desire to send time communing with Me. As you concentrate on Me, My spirit fills your mind with life and peace.

The world exerts a downward pull on your thoughts. Media bombard you with greed, lust, and cynicism. When you face these things, pray for protection and discernment. Stay in continual communication with Me whenever you walk through the wastelands of this world. Refuse to worry, because this form of worldliness will weigh you down and block awareness of My presence. Stay alert, recognizing the battle being waged against your mind. Look forward to an eternity of strife-free living, reserved for you in heaven.” -Sarah Young Jesus Calling

Suggested reading: Ephesians 2:6; Psalm 27:8; Romans 8:6; & 1 John 2:15-17

Things I’m Thankful For Today:

  1. My trainer always being patient with me for gym sessions
  2. God always being willing to forgive me, especially when I screw up
  3. Beautiful weather
  4. Schedules working out

September 20, 2016

“Try to see things more and more from My perspective. Let the light of My presence so fully fill your mind that you view the world through Me. When little things don’t go as you had hoped, look to Me lightheartedly and say, ‘Oh, well.’ This simple discipline can protect you from being burdened with an accumulation of petty cares and frustrations. If you practice this diligently, you will make a life-changing discovery: You realize that most of the things that worry you are not important. If you shrug them off immediately and return your focus to Me, you will walk through your days with lighter steps and a joyful heart. When serious problems come your way, you will have more reserves for dealing with them. You will not have squandered your energy on petty problems. You may even reach the point where you can agree with the apostle Paul that all your troubles are light and momentary compared with the eternal glory being achieved by them.” -Sarah Young Jesus Calling

Suggested reading: Proverbs 20:24 & 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Things I’m Thankful For Today:

  1. I was approved to take the NCMHCE test today!!!
  2. I have time to study for the test before Dec 14th
  3. God answering prayers about clients

September 21, 2016

“Wait quietly in My presence while My thoughts form silently in the depths of your being. Do not try to rush this process, because hurry keeps your heart earthbound. I am the Creator of the entire universe, yet I choose to make My humble home in your heart. It is there where you know Me most intimately; it is there where I speak to you in hole whispers. Ask My spirit to quiet your mind so that you can hear My still small voice within you. I am speaking to you continually: words of life… peace… love. Tune your heart to receive these messages of abundant blessing. Lay your requests before Me, and wait in expectation.” -Sarah Young Jesus Calling

Suggested reading: 1 Kings 19:12 & Psalm 5:3

Things I’m Thankful For Today:

  1. Getting to reconnect with Mariners ladies for the Be Amazing Bible Study
  2. Got to take a nap today
  3. I love my new language app… I’m going to get my Spanish back


It’s been a busy couple of days, but I’ve been keeping up with my devotional. I think the thing that hits me the most is how every time I read one I notice an immediate correlation to my life at that moment. I’ve been incredibly anxious lately and reading His word helps me calm down immensely. I am so incredibly grateful that I have some of the very best friends and such a supportive family and church family. I have had some missteps lately, but I’m so happy to be getting back on track, focusing on gratitude rather than jealousy, and starting a healthier life both inside and out. Jealously has been my biggest battle recently alongside the anxiety, because I constantly fear that I am not enough. It feels as though everyone around me is moving on in life and I am falling further and further behind. I worry that I’ll vanish into nothingness if I don’t have what others have. God has been showing me that this is incredibly incorrect. God has provided me multiple opportunities to take advantage of the fact that I am young, working, and single. Going to Jamaica, Scotland, Iceland, and Mexico in 1 summer is awesome and insane. I couldn’t have done that if I was married with kids, which is where I saw myself at this point in life. Obviously God knows better, but it can be so hard to trust Him sometimes. I like what it says in the September 20th devotional about how if you don’t waste all your energy on frivolous worries you have strength left for real things… I’m making that my motto this week. Ok… now to do my Be Amazing homework. Here goes nothing…


Day 1


September 18, 2016

“Seek to please Me above all else. Let that goal by your focal point as you go through this day. Such a mind-set will protect you from scattering your energy to the winds. The few will I bestowed on you comes with awesome responsibility. Each day presents you with a choice after choice. Many of these decisions you ignore and thus make by default. Without a focal point to guide you, you can easily lose your way. That’s why it is so important to stay in communication with Me, living in thankful awareness of My presence.

You inhabit a fallen, disjointed world, where things are constantly unraveling around the edges. Only a vibrant relationship with Me can keep you from coming unraveled too.” -Sarah Young Jesus Calling

Suggested reading: Matthew 6:33; John 8:29; & Colossians 3:23-24


I’m having a tough weekend at the moment and so much of it is all my fault. I have to wait almost two weeks to get tested to make sure that decisions I made in the past have not forever tainted my future. After dating a con-man I did get tested and everything came back clean, but just to be 100% sure I’m getting the full gamut of testing again. I’m talking to a man who I think may actually be worthy of my attentions and I want to go to him in good condition. This is probably the first time where I am truly angry with myself and how vulnerable I was to the con-man. Satan has been waging a winning war on my heart and I’m starting to be at the point where I’m ready to change and I’m terrified that I did permanent damage in the meantime. All of my crisis counselor training tells me to focus on what I can control vs what I cannot control… it’s just so hard. I am trying my best to focus on this and to put all my anxieties in God’s very capable hands.

Today in church they had baptisms and it made me remember my baptism in July of 2015. I want to focus on that again and really put my life into a positive direction. I need to be better and I intend to be better.

This summer I have had some wonderful opportunities to travel and get some perspective on my life. I refuse to remain complacent. I need to actually address the problem areas on my life or nothing will change. Something must change and that starts with me. Today is Day 1.


Things I’m Thankful For Today:

  1. My supportive family
  2. My wonderful church family
  3. My incredible friends
  4. My ability to go to work and save up for the things that I want and need in life
  5. My ability to travel

Day 1 … version 2.0

Today is Day 1:

It is 12/10/2015 and 2 years ago I vowed to change my life and get healthy… big promise, I know. And I did, I dropped 11% body fat, I got down to 212lbs from over 240lbs and I slimmed down about 2 pant sizes. The problem was my frame of mind, I was always doing it for the wrong reasons and therefore the results would never hang around. Today I became my focus, not men, not summer time swimsuits, not looking hot at my best friend’s wedding, me. I’m the only one who can make the change and I am the only reason worth doing it, as ultimately I’m the only one who has to live with the consequences if I do not. Tonight I stepped on the scale and saw 235.5lbs and that is a number I swore I’d never see again so I will be making a change starting right now, not tomorrow, not in a week, right now. This is it. Today is Day 1.


PS. Totally did not realize my last post was exactly one year ago… that is some unintentional skill right there 🙂

Feelin Goooood

JGratz-2014-11-02-4951I’ve discussed before that I’ve struggled with my self esteem… I feel like it’s almost an understatement to say that, but it’s true. Recently my mother arranged for our family to have family portraits taken as we have not had new ones since I was in high school … *cough* a long long time ago *cough*. In those portraits I really look my weight, I was probably in the 240slbs range and you can tell, especially in my face. I currently am still in the 220s, but I’ve lost 11% body fat and I’ve lost inches from all over my body.

Needless to say, I wanted to look fantastic in these new portraits.

Mom and I spent the morning of the photo shoot getting pampered. We went to get our hair blown out at Hair Cuttery (so fun) and then had a make up artist do our makeup. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt so beautiful. It was such an amazing experience and Jan Gratz was a superb photographer (I totally and completely recommend her). We had all the photos taken and then it was an eager waiting period to see the final results.

… When they finally came, I was happy with the result, but not ecstatic like I’d hoped. I do not have body dysmorphic disorder, but I do believe that my low opinions of myself have become so ingrained that I very rarely like pictures of myself. People will tell me that I look great and all I will see is a double chin or the fact that my jacket makes my stomach look big. I know that a great deal of success is a mental game, and I know that in order to achieve the body I want (being realistic of course) I need to believe it is possible. Patrick and I are working in every session to help me fully believe in my potential for real success physically.

Two weeks later as my mother went to pick up the prints, she came home and told me that Jan had chosen to hang a blown up copy of my solo picture in her studio. I was dumbfounded. To hear that she would want to hang a picture of me up in her studio was so flattering and it really got my thinking. I started going back over my photos and over a few days my perceptions of them began to shift.

The day I first looked through the photos I was disappointed, but the more I’ve looked over them, the more I realize that I do look beautiful. Really beautiful in fact. 🙂 That is not something I would normally feel for myself. There is still progress to be made, but for now I’m feelin gooooooood!!!





Or maybe I am crazy…

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Ok… I admit it … I’ve gone a little race crazy

When my best friend Laura (of the blog Finding My Strong) told me that running races becomes addictive a year ago I told her she was crazy… and I completely believed that. In my head anyone who truly loved running for the sake of running was crazy… now I don’t classify myself as such, but I’ve found myself getting addicted to racing so I’m on my way there.  Yikes!

I really like running races …and when I say that, what I really mean is that I like collecting race medals and bragging rights. The first Sunday of Oct was the Wilson Bridge Half Marathon… This upcoming Sunday is the MCM 10K… so basically half the distance of a half marathon. I’m really excited to run it! Like weirdly excited considering this is the second long race I will have run in this month alone.

I’ve been buying running stuff to try out. I even just bought 3 new pairs of running shoes (don’t worry I only plan on keeping 1 or 2 at most) to try out and see what I want as my next running shoe. All 3 are Asics because I love Asics. I tried a pair of Brooks and they have been alright, just not for me (sorry Laura, I know you love them). I’m trying to make sure I find a good pair that support the unique needs of my feet and body (my feet are very very flat and large) while still looking cool and attention grabbing and such. … PS Did you know that ASICS is an acronym for the Latin phrase anima sana in corpore sano (for those of you like me who DO NOT speak Latin, that means ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’)? I did not know that before this morning and I think it is AWESOME.

I bought Cliff Bar Shot Bloks in a variety pack so that I can test out which flavors I like. The Citrus ones definitely helped me in my half marathon efforts and I want to test out some of the other flavors to see how they do. I bought a thing of salt pills because it may have been a placebo effect, but during the half marathon I got a major cramp in my right side (a frequent problem for me when running) and Laura had told me to take one when I cramp up and it went away! And it went away fast. Like I said, that could totally be my brain playing tricks on me, but I don’t care, I’d rather not have the cramp :).

Annnnnnddddd I may have also bought a couple outfits off of Fabletics (if you haven’t checked them out YOU ABSOLUTELY SHOULD!!!).

Good thing I work 3 jobs to pay for my new addiction ;). And that’s not even including the fact that when you run races you pay fees. I actually made a list on Monday of some potential races I’d like to run in the upcoming future and you can see that entry fees can add up fast.


All this to say, yes running races can become addictive and I think I’m it’s most recent addict. Thankfully of the things I could be addicted to, this is a healthy one. I have made a promise to my folks that I will not pursue a marathon (I believe I mentioned this in my last post) and at this point the wear and tear I’d experience is not worth the ability to say that I ran 26.2miles. I think it’s great for all those out there who are capable of such feats without sacrificing their knees and backs, but at this point I think I’d rather stick with the shorter races that have other challenges. … Like the Zombie Run or a Tough Mudder … I ain’t afraid of getting down and dirty ;).


The fact that the Marine Corp Marathon 10K was my very first race makes this upcoming weekend a little extra special. Last year if you had told me  after I ran the MCM 10K and was trying to get my legs and lungs to work with me again, that I, Christy Dressel, would have run more than 3 races in a year I would have laughed at you. If you had told me I would run a 10miler I would have laughed at you harder. And if you had told me that I would complete a half marathon I would have probably fallen on the floor and continued laughing … at you. I’m actually really grateful to Laura for getting me started on this racing addiction, and I’m super grateful to my trainer Patrick who supports my fitness efforts every week and keeps me on track as well as my friends who had me join races with them or are putting races on my radar to keep me racing a regular basis. You guys are the best and I want you to know that despite the fact that I probably give you looks or even sometimes whine about such efforts.

OORAH!!! Bring it MCM 10K!!! … I’m coming for that medal




I’m only HALF crazy… I swear


Hello once again, I apologize for the absence, but I had some things to take care of and some doctors to see. All is well now, but the path to here meant a whole month that I wasn’t allowed to meet with my personal trainer which was really rough because each day, as nice as it was to not have to wake up early or hit the gym late, I kept thinking about how the hard work I’d worked on since Dec was melting away. Thankfully, even though my diet was not the best, nor was my cardio… I actually didn’t do too bad on my last set of measurements. The real difference is in my lack of strength in areas that I’d worked really hard to build it.

Looking past that, tomorrow is my very first half marathon… 13.1miles… crazy huh?!? I honestly did not think I would have any interest to sign up for anything further than my 10K, but then there was the 10miler, and now the half marathon. I can honestly tell you with 99.7% certainty that I will not be running anything further. Knowing my body and my will power I just do not have the itch to run 26.2miles … but I never say never so there’s that.

I will write a post tomorrow to tell the half marathon tale… assuming I survive of course 😉





You know those people who love to run? They get up early in the morning with a smile on their face as they lace up their shoes? …I’m not one of those people, never have been, and most likely, never will be. I ran in high school and college so that I could play sports, in grad school I ran because it was my refuge from work, and now I run because I have amazing friends who encourage me to push past the limits I set for myself. I have a pattern of shying away from things that intimidate me so as not to look incapable… in other words I have a strong fear of failure.

In grad school my friends encouraged me to run the MCM 10K (6.2miles) and that was my very first race since I was a little kid and used to run Carlsbad Mile Races. Since then I have completed the Susan G Komen 5K, the ROC Race 5K, and now the Annapolis 10 Miler!!! A couple months ago my friend Andie (see pictures below) mentioned to me that she wanted to run the Annapolis 10 Mile Run as a way to test her progress as she trains to run the MCM in Oct 2014 (YOU GO GIRL). I thought well I’ve run 6miles before, I’m sure I can do 10, and said yes. Then after signing up I didn’t end up having as much time to train as I’d hoped so I began to worry about how well I’d do. In this race you have 2 ½ hours to run the 10miles and be a “finisher”. If you do not “finish” you do not get the race jacket, and I was not about to run 10miles and not get the darn jacket. So in a way the jacket became my motivation and it was well worth it!!!


It was really tough to conquer the extra 4miles, but by being able to do it, I know that I’ll be able to complete my upcoming races (½ marathon in Oct followed shortly by the MCM 10K). I attempted to keep a 5mins running then 1min walking interval pace, but after about 3miles I was not able to keep that up. So then I got out of any real rhythm. It was around mile 4 that I began to keep pace with a group of women who I then began actually running with around mile 6. I’d say that miles 4 & 5 were my hardest as I was worried that I would not finish and then I wouldn’t have anything to show for my efforts. At first I thought, ok get to mile 6 and it will be all downhill from there since I’ll be more than half way done, but it was really mile 7 that gave me hope. I mean, I’ve run 5Ks and that’s all that was left. I began running with the ladies and we kept a 1min running 1min walking pace, we jogged downhill, and walked uphill (except when there were cameras 😉 lol). They really helped me push through as they told me stories from running this race 10+ times as well as multiple marathons and other races. The race volunteers and the Annapolis community also played a HUGE part in getting me through, the groups handing out water and Gatorade, the old man on the ukelele, multiple families out on their front lawns to cheer for us, multiple families bringing out hoses and sprinklers to cool us off, people handing out ice to put under hats or down our backs, the police officers keeping us safe, etc… it made a world of difference! I especially thank the volunteer at mile 6 who shouted that we were now closer to the finish than to the start… that really stuck with me. The women I ran with at the end got me to the end and encouraged me to sprint the remainder of the way.

I finished the race in 2hrs and 20mins … A FULL TEN MINUTES TO SPARE! Which blew my original goal of finishing with at least 1min left … well … kind of out of the water. I’m very happy with my race experience, but it showed me just how important proper training is, and I will be training more consistently before my ½ marathon. I want to run with a consistent pace and recover better than I probably will after this one.


So the moral of this story is… I GOT MY #RACEJACKET!!! (# credit goes to Andie… I can’t stop using it). I ran 10 miles today, that’s just so crazy to think :)… I’m so grateful to my friends and family for believing in my ability to do this when I never would have.

Alright I’m signing off for the night… in my race jacket! 🙂


Wedded Bliss


It’s true! You can have a blast at a wedding without ruining your gym progress…

The wedding August 2nd was gorgeous, and as predicted the food was AMAZE BALLS! I did my best to be good, but check out that tower of cupcakes! I won’t lie… I had 2. I mean I had to try one of each. The Bride’s choice was fudge/peanut butter and the Groom’s choice was Coconut/Lime. Both were fantastic, but the bride’s choice won in my opinion! What can I say, that chocolate/peanut butter combo is just simply amazing.

As mentioned in a previous post, there was an open bar, and I had 5 :/ … more than my 1-3 as predicted. However, I will not be too hard on myself as I stuck to vodka sodas – with only one Captain and Sprite – that were well spaced out and accompanied by lots of dancing (see Patrick, I listen!). There was lots of dancing :). …There was also cornhole which was awesome!

Alongside the delicious meal, dessert, and open bar there was also a candy bar which I did my very best to stay away from. Is it really my fault that a packet of gummy bears came home with me?… Alright, yes it is, but I was good and ate them today in the AM 🙂


Not too shabby if I do say so myself… There were a lot of high calorie options that I could have gone bananas over, but I pushed through certain cravings and made sure to dance my heart out to burn off some of those calories I couldn’t pass up. That’s what I call progress.

What an amazing wedding experience! Congratulations to the Taylors!!!


Patrick’s Guide to an Open Bar…


So during training tonight Patrick asked me about the wedding I’m going to on Saturday… and then he wanted to know specifically what my plan is for tackling the open bar. I was honest and told him that I’ll probably have a couple drinks (not as many as I would have during grad school when I was dirt poor and couldn’t afford to drink, but I don’t pass an open bar without getting at least one… come on now!). Since I will definitely be partaking in wedding cake I am making it my goal to stay within a 1-3 drink radius … but I’m only human ;).


In case you are facing an open bar or any other drinking experience, here is Patrick’s guide for consuming alcohol and not losing all your gym progress:

1. Stick to the less sugary/higher proof drinks -Vodka is good as opposed to say Bourbon, Beer, or Rum… my fav womp womp womp

2. Try not to go too overboard -Stay Classy San Diego

3. If you’re gonna drink.. you gotta dance! -No arguments here!!!




Rottenecards_31817299_957vyhdc5y    I had measurements today and it was good news!!!

I lost a little over 3 inches over my entire body! Measurements now show that there is a 9 inch difference between my waist and my hips WOOT WOOT!!! My hourglass figure is becoming more defined!


… Currently I’m suffering through every woman’s favorite monthly visitor so I’m carrying a little extra bloat. I will be re-doing my weigh in and body fat % in a week to reassess.


Body Fat%: 38.1