A Weight Loss Journey to Inspire

Confession…the Pastorman has really been an inspiration to me with regards to weight loss. I’ve watched his journey progress and I’ve watched him use that journey to grow in every way possible. I respect that about him.

As I read through my weight loss journal I realized that one year ago today I had given up on being healthy. I’ve wrestled with weight loss for the bulk of my life and I was just tired of the battle of the bulge. It was about then that I reread a blog post the Pastorman had written about his weight loss journey. I was inspired. His advice was from a godly perspective and so it resonated with a lot of what I had been wrestling through. I didn’t realize how much of my eating was tied up in my worship of everything BUT God. I decide to take his advice and apply it to my life just to see what would happen. I am quite the skeptic so I wasn’t expecting much to happen. Confession #2…I was wrong.

In the past year, we moved. I went to full time work. We sold our house. My hubby changed jobs. Schedule changes have been INSANE! And I’ve lost 23 pounds in the last year. Those stressors usually drive me to eating and self soothing with chocolate and fries, yet I was able to lose weight.

If I am honest, I will admit that part of me is tempted to feel bad, sad, sorry or regretful that it isn’t more. The bigger part of me, no pun intended, knows I am proud of my progress. I can honestly say that I have really learned how to wake up every day with the plan to do it better than yesterday, even if yesterday was REALLY bad. I have not done any day perfectly. Some days I have sweets that are not in the menu. Some days I have an order of fries. Often I have a diet coke, which isn’t good for me at all, but I make the choice. But every day, I set aside time to prepare my meals for the next day. I make a good choice and most days I stick to it.

I have learned to say no to my urges to eat unhealthy food. I can maintain that resolve for 3 days and if that urge is still there in 3 days, I give in. Hey, it’s 3 days more than it used to be, so I think that is progress.

I have learned to decide whether or not what I am about to eat is idol eating or not. I don’t always resist idol eating but I am now aware of it now. These are all huge steps of progress in my mind.

I know now that I can lose weight and that the power to do so lies within me. I think that is something I have not known before. I have to power to say no and I have the power to say yes. I can use that power however I want. Some days I use that power wisely, and some days I don’t. The win for me is…the days I choose wisely now outnumber the days I don’t.

Food is still a comfort factor, but I’ve also learned to see it as fuel. Fuel to do the things God has called me to do. If I am physically suffering as a result of my food choices, I am unable to focus on the work at hand. That thought keeps me focused…most days.

If you are interested in the blog you can check it out here. I’ve shared it before, but it is good stuff and I believe it is worth sharing again.

Until the next confession…

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Negative wordplay vs. Plain Ole Hoensty

Confession…I’ve lost 8 pounds and I’m stunned! I keep expecting to get on the scale and see the weight back at the starting point. I’m elated and cautious and proud and cautious…you get the idea?

I got to spend time with my daughter last week during our back to school shopping. We had dinner together and some insightful conversations. Here’s how one of them went…

“Mom, how long are you going to eat like this?” E-girl asked in an exasperated tone.

My reply, “My goal is until I die.”

Shocked, she stated “Why Mom?!”

“Sweetie, because I want to be responsible with the body that God gave me so that I can reach  my goal of being there for you when you get married and have your own babies. And also, I’m tired of being fat.”

“Mom don’t call yourself fat!” she said in her most concerned voice.

“Why sweetie, I am. I’m okay with the truth. I know I can change it and make it different. My goal isn’t to be skinny but I do want to be healthy.”

The rest of the conversation will be kept in my heart because it was too precious. However, I did want to draw attention this part of our talk out because I thought about it later and wondered if I had said the right things. Was I too harsh in my honesty? Was I giving a bad a example? Then I remembered James 1: 23-24 . I don’t know if the writer meant this to be about my physical fitness, but it does help me to remember a truth essential to this journey. Everyday for the past 5 years I’ve looked in the mirror with disgust at my body. I’ve hated what I see. It frustrates me and makes me angry. I used to think it was because I didn’t like being “overweight’. I read all kinds of books on how to have good self image and self esteem. I tried diet after diet trying to remedy the problem. However, I was refusing to see the truth of myself. I kept looking in the mirror and walking away and forgetting what I had just seen. I didn’t forget because I’m stupid, I forgot because I didn’t want to be responsible with the information. This isn’t true for everyone so don’t interpret that I am saying ALL overweight people have this problem, I’m just saying this is MY TRUTH. My truth is this: I stopped being disciplined, I stopped caring, and I stopped challenging myself to do the hard work. It wasn’t until I looked in the mirror and admitted to myself that I was FAT (yes I used the word and I don’t apologize) that I realized I needed to change. I could do something about it. I will do something about it. God will give me the strength and the wisdom and I will take His help and guiding. I won’t be too proud to ask for help. Now, if I hadn’t come to this truth, I don’t think I would have changed.

Now here I go, onto my soapbox…I think as a society we have confused being honest with ourselves for being negative. We don’t tell ourselves the truth because we don’t want to participate in “negative self-talk”. I get the premise of stink’ thinkin’ but I think somewhere along the way we forgot that beating ourselves up with our thoughts is different that being honest with ourselves.

Negative wordplay would involve such thoughts as, “I am no good and there is no point to my life.” Those are just contrary to the Word of God for those who embrace the gospel. So, yeah don’t get stuck in that kind of thinking. However, honest wordplay is more like this, “I’m overweight. I eat too many foods that are bad for me and I need to get out and exercise more. God give me the strength to be disciplined.” NO SELF HATE THERE! Just honesty.

So, as I see it that way, I’m glad I was honest with my girl. I believe it will pave the way for her to be honest with herself in her own life. Someday she’ll face a challenge, or be discontent with something in her own life.  She’ll want to improve some aspect of her own character. I want her to know that she can be honest about it. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll feel safe to come and talk about her shortcomings with me because she knows mom understands what it’s like to wrestle with shortcomings in her own life.

Until another confession…

Feeling….Eating….savior?

Confession for the week…I’ve unleashed a plethora of thoughts and I’m finding it difficult to keep up.

When I first posted about Changing Lifestyle I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had researched the plan for two weeks trying to decide if this was something I could do long term. Then I spent another two weeks trying to decide if I really wanted to move forward with this plan. I didn’t. However, I also knew I couldn’t keep saying I wanted to be fit and continue to choose not to make a diet change.

I have no problem getting to the gym anymore. That battle is being won on a consistent basis. Getting to the gym was the most difficult thing for me. I hated walking in with my wiggly jiggly self and bouncing around on the treadmill or elliptical. I just knew that anyone who was behind me was watching the fat bounce mercilessly up and down and to and fro and wondering why I had subjected them to such torture. I still struggle with those thoughts but these days, I imagine that the person behind me is commending me for my courage and silently cheering me on.

However, just getting to the gym won’t solve the problem I’ve got.  I’ve got to eat differently.  Starting this plan, I knew I would encounter some eating “issues” but I had no idea I would make some of the revelations I have made in the past week and a half. Holy guacamole Batman! (Guacamole? Yummy! FOCUS!)

Revelation #1 (and I’ll only do one because that’s all I can handle right now), I don’t know when I have ever just eaten for nutrition sake. I eat to “feel”. I get up in the morning and I want to eat something that makes me “feel” better to be awake. I come home from work, I want to eat something that “feels” rewarding for my day’s effort. I sit down for dinner, depending on the day, I want to eat something that “feels” comforting from the days stresses. I sit down at night before bed and I want to eat something that “feels” sweet so I can “feel” like I have been rewarded for putting up with the whole day. When did that happen? I turned food into my savior and my savior is making me sick! The INSANE thing is I eat more food to make me “feel” healthy and make some of the most ridiculous choices! Gees! Eating the past week and a half has not “felt” great. I am not gonna lie and say I love eating these foods. I kinda don’t. However, my relationship with food is changing. I aim to eat to be nourished. I aim to eat to obtain fuel. I don’t aim to eat to “feel”. That has brought on a whole new set of “issues” but that is for another day and another post.

Until the next confession….

Changing Lifestyle…

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Confession…I’ve started a new lifestyle and it is hard. Granted I’m only two days in but already I want to go back to my old lifestyle…or do I?

I’ve been trying to lose weight for what seems like years. I’ve been parked at the same weight for at least two years now and I’m so sick of maintaining this body.  I researched a particular “diet” and have decided it is one I can do long term, because let’s be honest, it has to be long term. I’ve been at my goal and I’ve been at this weight and at my goal and…you get the idea. I’ve had a minor scare with cancer, I’ve been staving on diabetes, my thyroid is malfunctioning, high blood pressure is a commonality in my family and that’s just the family I know! I don’t even know what I carry on my father’s side. So getting skinny is no longer a goal for me…being healthy so I can be a wise steward of the body God has given me is the true goal.

The trouble is, eating isn’t just a way of obtaining nutrition for me, it’s a security blanket I’ve held on to for way too many years. I always joke that I hate the first week of “dieting” because I am as mean as a snake with a button on it’s tail. Not many people may not understand what I mean, but for those of you who do, you get that changing my eating habit has to be more than a diet, it has to be a lifestyle change.

My new lifestyle has me thinking about what I’m going to eat before I eat. I’m planning my meals and preparing them in advance so I can get to it easily. It has me thinking so much about food, however it’s in a different way. Let’s be honest I was always thinking about food before, I was thinking of how it was going to make me feel better or how it would comfort me. Now I’m thinking how I can get the most nutritional value for my meal. It’s hard. It’s tiring. It’s frustrating at times. But really it is discipline and I hate that “D” word too.

There’s no moral to this story…but this is the continuation of a story I’ve been writing for quite some time. So maybe, I’ll get there.

Until the next confession…

by the way…here are some links to a blog that the PastorMan did. He has some fantastic opinions on the topic.  Check it out!

PastorMan’s story

PastorMan’s weight loss journey blog series

Food Issue or Worship Issue?

Confession: My life has not reflected fully my belief in the gospel.

God loves me.  He loves me so much He sent His son to accept the consequences of my sin.  He then transferred that payment to my life and I can now live as one who no longer lives with the consequence still to be paid but paid in full.  I am free from the effects of sin on my life.

So why don’t I live as a freed person? I live as one who is bound to the effects of sin. I live as one who cannot break free.  This issue of “food” is one of the areas in which I’ve been working to regain my freedom.  The silly thing is, I am already free.  I can walk in freedom now.  Therein lays the struggle.  Freedom sounds easy and carefree, but it comes at a high price.  I must be willing to exchange my pride and ego for the freedom.  I must be willing to walk away from my “captor”, so to speak, in order to be free.  I must quiet the fears and insecurities I have clung to for so long.  I must no longer accept them as reality.  I must replace them with truth.

The truth is hard for me to believe.  I don’t believe it is merely an issue for people with “addictions” I believe it is the human condition. We just manifest our struggles in various ways. Some of us hide our struggle better than others,but  let’s be honest folks, WE ARE ALL STRUGGLING! I struggle to believe God’s truth about me so I shove food into my mouth. Tim Chester writes of the Four G’s.  God is great so I don’t have to be in control. God is glorious so I don’t have to fear others.  God is good so I don’t have to look elsewhere.  God is gracious so I don’t have to prove myself.  I was pondering these points  and began to apply them to this specific area of my life.  I struggle to believe that God is great so I don’t have to be in control. So when I lose control in my life I turn to food to calm my anxious heart and stabilize my mental state.  I struggle to believe that God is glorious so I don’t have to fear others. So when I am insecure I begin to degrade myself for my physical appearance.  This creates a feeling of hopelessness and impossibility and I finally give into the captor of my heart.  I struggle to believe that God is glorious so I don’t’ have to look elsewhere. So I am constantly looking to food to fill the emptiness that I often feel.  I struggle to believe that God is good so I don’t’ have to prove myself. So when I have a successful moment I reward myself with food and when I fail I sooth my heart with food. I believe I make a conscious choice to worship myself every time I choose not to believe that God is God. WOW! I do not like looking at this one little bit!

It makes eating a lot more complicated these days.  When did food become my method of worship?  It is meant to be a means of nutritional intake.  I am warped in my thinking.  As I process through it more, I am finding some freedom.  The freedom is expensive and comes at a high price to my pride.  However, that price is small in comparison to the price Jesus paid for me on the cross.  That’s my attempt to see my “food issue” through the lens of the gospel.

Sidenote: I’ve lost 4 pounds so far and I feel great.  My first thought is to reward myself with icecream and cake. I haven’t done that but it shows me I still have some work to do.

Until another confession…

 

A Trio of Confessions

Confession for my life…it’s my dream to write a book that helps people profoundly. Next confession…I think I have the subject. Final confession for the day…it will be about my wrestling match with weight loss. Here’s a bit of it.

Today was one of those days that make you want to quit. I went to the doctor and he told me what I already know…my weight is causing health issues.  Actually what he said was my weight posed the potential to cause health issues, but he might as well have said the former.  All I heard was blah blah blah you’re fat blah blah blah lose weight blah blah blah you’re not healthy.  Most days it would be another way to laugh.  It would be a small bleep on the radar screen of my life on any other day.  But today was the first of a new experience in my life. It was a first for my child in his life experiences. It was a day with stresses and fears.  Hearing my efforts over the past two months have meant nothing to this doctor was deflating. In reality I know different, but today it felt real.  I felt like a failure. I felt like a fat person.  I hate that feeling.  So I stopped by the store, got that spinach I didn’t want to eat, and ate a salad that I’d been planning rather than the unhealthy alternative I had envisioned in my mind.  It wasn’t as satisfying as I wish it would have been but I can respect my decision.  Normally I would go home and eat the most unhealthy thing I could find and quit my efforts to be healthy.  Today I didn’t do that.  Now my blood work will be a better indicator if any progress was made, but the choice to not indulge tells me that I’m making a different kind of progress.  Today I didn’t turn to food. I turned to God. I complained to Him about the whole thing. While I still had to make the decision about what to eat next, talking to God about the whole thing made me smile at myself and my ability to overdramatize.  So, while I may still need to work on my nutrition I am making progress.  That’s got to count for something…in my own mind.

Until another confession…

The Perpetual Food Resolution…anyone else making it?

Confession for the day: I LOVE FOOD! Not in the way most people love food, but in a way that occupies my mind all day long.  Anyone else have the same relationship with food?  You think about it when you wake up.  You think about the next meal after you’ve finished breakfast.  You wonder what new and wonderful ways you can prepare your favorite recipe.  You get angry at  people who hold their forks mid-sentence with food on it and talk for what seems like  hours before the put the FORK IN THEIR MOUTHS! Yes, I realize I have a bit of a problem.  I’m working on it, but I felt that since we’re all making New Year’s Resolutions I’d find some comrades in my perpetual food resolution.  I’m starting to think that the problem lies much deeper than the chocolate covered, almond sprinkled, milky flavored exterior.  Just wanted to share that confession for the day.

Until the next confession…