It’s No Wonder…

I know exactly why most of us struggle to eat healthy. IT’S A LOT OF WORK! I am spending way more time in the kitchen. That’s a good thing, of course, but I have to admit…it’s work. It’s no wonder most people (myself included) would rather buy the quick and easy stuff! There’s no doubt the quick and easy stuff makes our days less grueling, but it comes at a cost. Not just to us individually, also to our families, and to our nation. There’s so much junk in convenience foods by way of preservatives and added chemicals, and it can really do a number on our health. It takes major effort to choose real food. It takes time to plan and prepare. And for me, right now, it takes continual reminders that it’s worth it. But in just these few days, I already feel better. I’m almost past the withdrawal headaches =). This time it wasn’t too bad because I have been drinking way more water than usual. I think that has really helped. One of the books that I have read recently is The Maker’s Diet by Jordan Rubin. It’s full of great information about eating the way God intended. I am loosely following his plan for a detox/cleanse. (I prefer to call it a Reset.) I say “loosely” because there are supplements and products that he suggests that I am not using. I am mostly just taking my prenatals with an additional folic acid vitamin as well as eating clean and walking.  

Can you imagine what the women before us did? Think back about your grandmothers and great grandmothers. They mostly ate clean because they had to grow their own food. It was quite a treat to go out and eat a meal prepared by others. Yet, we can eat out three times a day and think nothing of it. Most of the ladies before us wore belts most of the time. Think about it. They were much thinner and stronger than the majority of American women today. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s a trade off. We don’t stay home all day (most of us) to cook those three meals. And if we do stay home, our modern lives are so full of other things that we find the quick and easy to be…well, quick and easy. I have really made a lot of excuses to pick up dinner and grab something convenient at the cost of nutrition. I’m really going to try to think more like the women before us and find a balance in this fast paced world so that my health and that of my family is not traded for convenience.   

So yeah, it’s no wonder we have a more difficult time choosing healthy foods. Yes, it is work, but nothing that can’t be managed. I guess when they say “lifestyle change,” this is part of it =).

I wonder…

Sunday morning weigh-in! Down 4.4 pounds this week! Woo Hoo! I had a pretty good week and I feel it was a good restart. I got in several good work outs, both cardio and strength training. I downloaded a free pedometer app for my phone and was able to track my time and distance while I walked the track at my daughters softball practice. That coupled with some strength training and I could really see a spark in my energy level. As far as food, I made healthy choices for the most part. I did have several not-so-healthy meals (pizza, hot dogs at a cook out, and Mexican food for a special lunch celebration), but I was very careful to choose smaller portions. I made a conscious effort to have “just one” instead of the usual. I mean, seriously, how many pieces of pizza do we usually eat? And hot dogs? Just one? Forget about it. Especially roasted over the fire pit in the back yard…lol Fun and yummy, but I just had one =).

So I was thinking… If I lost 4.4 pounds just doing “OK,” I wonder what kind of week I could have if I did it right. What would happen if I did not make excuses to skip work outs? What would happen if I did not partake in any of those not-so-healthy foods? I would love to see some of those “Biggest Loser” style results. Hmmm?!?

I am still loving my Made to Crave book. I love recognizing the connection to food as a spiritual issue. I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit and I am looking forward to a week of reliance on God to help me reach a healthier me. Have a blessed week, my friends!

“I can do all things through Christ who Strengthens me.” Phil.4:13

Cautiously Optimistic

Cautiously optimistic, I opened my new book and began searching for my “missing link.” Because I am a student, teacher and a researcher, I read with intensity. I highlight, circle, underline, make notes and turn page corners down to revisit when I feel spoken to. Let me just say, within the first chapter, I had marked up my new book quite a bit. Some of the information I am reading, I have known for a while. Some of what the author is talking about, I feel God has has revealed to me over the past year. However, there is definitely something missing in my quest, because I still continue to struggle with this issue. So I continue searching and I continue reading.

As I turned each page, I immediately noticed something was definitely missing. There was no diet plan. No list of do’s and don’ts. How is that supposed to work? What I find is quite unique. This author is not telling you what you should do or even how you should do it. Rather, she is explaining the spiritual aspect of the battle with food. She even starts back at the beginning with the first struggle between a woman and food. Eve gives us the perfect example of what it is like to be tempted to eat when we know it is not what is best for us. Satan knew then and he knows now that women struggle with the desires of the flesh. How very interesting.

I am purposely taking my time reading this book because I want to absorb every word. One thing I know to be true, and that is also suggested in chapter 4, is that a journey such as this is always better with a buddy. No doubt, there is strength in having an accountability partner. To be honest, I have probably maxed out the patience of my accountability partners over the years. There are a few friends and family members that I know will continue this next step with me, but I have decided to add a extra dimension to this study. I am going to use this blog as additional accountability. I will be posting my insights as I continue to read and learn and I will share with you how God is directing my thoughts and decisions.

If you are interested in taking these steps with me, I would love to have your company. The book is called Made to Crave by Lisa Terkeurst. I knew very little about the author before last week. However, since I was so attracted to the title (I absolutely know that I was made to crave… something? anything? everything?) I found her website, her blog, and her facebook page. She is a very inspiring author and an amazing human being. It is evident that God has used her life to minister to so many. So, if you are interest, check it out: http://madetocrave.org/.

Torment

First, we rationalize. Then we make excuses. We tell ourselves it’s ok. We comfort our uneasiness by guiding our thoughts to believing after this one more time, we’ll do better. So we give in. We have…”just a few”… “one more bite” … “only half.”

Then the guilt kicks in. The mental torment of self loathing. Feelings of failure flood our emotions. We experience the physical effects of discomfort and misery. We resolve to do better. We convince ourselves that ….someday…. someday…. we really will change our lives.

Last week I decided to go to the mall to find a new book that I had read about online. This book looked like something that I really needed to read. You guessed it, another weight loss promise. Only I found hope in the fact that this Best Seller linked the physical and the spiritual aspects of weight struggles. After all, that’s what the focus of this entire blog has been about.

So, I get to the mall and was delighted to find my book. As I was walking back through the mall to leave, I began to struggle with the temptations of the food court. I gave in and got some pizza. Moments later, my other big struggles got the best of me and I added a double decker cream filled Nestle cookie to my binge.

So there I sat…in my car… in the mall parking lot…. binging on pizza, coke, and a cookie….

….with my new weight loss Best Seller in the seat next to me.

The painful and vicious cycle of torment continues.

1-1-11

In the spirit of my new blogging approach of only writing about what I’ve done rather than what I am going to do, I would like to share my week with you.

Over the past week or so, I have continued my study of researching God’s Health Plan and I have loved what I am learning. I must admit, studying the Bible for specific issues like food can be challenging. However, it has also been very enlightening. The biggest thing I have learned so far is that most of what we consume in our modern day diets…is not really food. Furthermore…this “non-food” stuff is making us very sick and in many cases, killing us. I am struggling with this somewhat because I happen to really enjoy many of these non-foods. LOL I am still learning and plan to dig deeper and make peace with this monster as I learn about real foods.

Another unsettling aspect of my journey became apparent to me this past week. I am beginning to feel how unhealthy I am. For the first time, my knees have been continually aching each day. It is obvious to me that my body is letting me know…painfully… that I am not meant to carry this extra weight around. Ouch.

As if I needed more motivation …. tonight at dinner, my jeans began to unravel! Yes, you read that right. My jeans (granted they are forever old and super thin and worn out) seperated along the back pocket while I was out to dinner with my family!! No one saw it (I think LOL) and when I told my husband about it, all I could do was bust up laughing. Seriously?!?! Wow…What could be more motivating?!?! LOL

On a an encouraging note, I haven’t had a soda ALL year!!! WooHoo!!

Happy New Year, my friends!! May God richly bless you with the abundant and HEALTHY life He has planned for you and your family!

Up to date

Hello friends! So much has happened since my last update! I have missed my blog. Here’s a quick, facts only, rundown of the past few weeks…

A couple of weeks before our wedding, I started stress eating… I had a plan to really get serious about my work outs and cut way back so that I would feel good in my wedding dress. Well, that did not happen. Quite the opposite, actually. With so much to do, I found myself stress eating and I did not work out even once.

On 10-10-10, regardless of my failed plan of losing more weight…. I felt beautiful. It was a magical day and I did not let any negative thoughts steal my joy. No, I was not a size 2, but I was surrounded by my wonderful family and friends and I married the love of my life. It was perfect =)

After the wedding, I continued the party all the way through our honeymoon cruise. Talk about food! We had an amazing time and were treated like royalty. For all of those days I went without sugar…well, I made up for it…. and then some!

We got home on Monday of this week and I have avoided the scale. I know that I have gained. My clothes tell me that. I set out to get back on track every morning and by the end of the day, I have not only overeaten.. several times this week, I have had an all out binge. It was not pretty.

It is amazing to me how much I change when I fall back in to that toxic routine. I have been extremely sluggish. I have slept soooo much lately. I have no pep and I have been very irritable. I feel horrible guilt and then turn around and do that same thing that made me feel horrible in the first place. I do not like who I become when I am living unhealthy.

Yesterday (Thursday) I got up and decided that I could not go through another day carrying this burden. So, I went for a 2 mile walk and had a little talk with God. All I know to do is get up and try again. So, here we go…starting each day by asking God to be my Guide and help me through these struggles.

Thanks to all of my friends and family who rejoice with my victories and lift me up when I fall.

Pomp and Circumstance

Good evening honored guests, ladies and gentlemen and fellow past and future graduates.

It has been said that Change is inevitable. As we stand on the brink of moving into life beyond obesity, change will be inevitable. It is indeed gratifying to experience a statistical transition such as this. It is inevitable that becoming more proficient in our skills will enable us to tackle this life-long learning process with vigor. It is inevitable that structures, processes and relationships will change in our day-to-day lives. It is inevitable that we will face new challenges and it is inevitable that things may be different in the years ahead. Yes, I would agree, change is inevitable.

To those of you who have supported me with your prayers and encouragement, I thank you. Many of you have been by my side every step of this journey and I am forever grateful. Thank you for being a part of such a monumental milestone in my life!

Ok, in all seriousness, I am ecstatic! Today I have turned a major corner! According to the charts, at my height, over 175 is considered obese. Once I hit 174, I am simply overweight! LOL Since I was 20 years old, I have only been under 175 one time (and it lasted for about three days). Considering that I have been as high as 229, seeing 174 is quite exciting! I have graduated from OBESE to OVERWEIGHT! I have been working toward this goal for a long time and I am excited to see that number, but I’m not stopping there!!

My speech continues…

Furthermore, I would like to thank my Heavenly Father for continued love, support, acceptance and strength. I never dreamed this journey would become what it has…all because I gave up on worldly short term solutions and asked God to be my Guide.

The future is ours to have! It is our choice what kind of future it will be! May God Bless You Extantly!

(Oh, and by the way, I actually do graduate with my BA in 10 months =) LOL


One at a Time

I am one of those people who can be very intense at times. I work hard, I play hard, I study hard, whatever I am doing, I am usually going full force. Guess what I have noticed? It’s the same way when I eat. I can be watching a movie and not even realize how much popcorn I ate as I shoveled in a handful at a time. I used to love eating potato chips. My favorites were the folded ones because it was an extra crunch like having two chips at one time. When I didn’t have the folded ones, I would just stack a few together. The same thing with French fries, I usually take several at a time. Why? Why have I always thought I needed to shove in so much at one time? Maybe it was because my goal was to reach that stuffed, numb feeling. I wasn’t really concerned with flavor or quality, rather, quantity was my focus.

I have learned a new concept! This is brilliant! I can eat finger foods such as popcorn, grapes, nuts or berries… get this!!….One… At…. A… Time!! What an idea! I can take one bite, chew it, taste it, savor the flavor and enjoy it…one bite at a time. There’s no need to try to race to finish it. The taste is the same…actually, eating  slower is better. It’s an entirely different experience when you allow yourself the opportunity to know what your food actually taste like. I guess that’s what happens when you’re eating for fuel instead of eating for recreation! Who knew!! =)

Thank you God for all of the ways You are revealing yourself and your ways to me!

Goin’ Walking after Midnight

So I’ve been thinking…..  I wonder what I could have done differently when I was faced with such challenging temptations last week. It was confusing because I seemed to have a plan before and it was easier when I had certain guidelines. I don’t want to be one of those people who “white-knuckle” every day. I think I need to revise my plan.

I have several friends who are members of AA. I have visited some of the open meetings in support of my friends who have struggled with alcohol addiction and I believe in this program. While praying about a plan for dealing with my weak moments, I remembered one of the principles that I heard about through AA. It s called the “Rule of HALT.”  The idea is that there are moments in our daily lives that we may be more susceptible to our weaknesses. When we are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired, our judgment may be impaired. The goal is that rather than succumb to these conditions, we will HALT, bring to a stop any of these situations that could be a trigger to our self-destructive behavior and choose a different path.

As I pondered that thought, I prayed about a way to make this method work for me in my struggles with weight issues. I was so excited when the scripture and idea came to me….. check this out!

Psalm 121

1I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
2My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
3He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
5The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7The LORD will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
8The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.

Amazing, Huh!!??!?!?!

I began to really think about what is happening in that moment when I am deciding to binge or not. Whether it’s stress, anger, loneliness, exhaustion or whatever the trigger…. ultimately it’s my decision to follow through. So I tried a new approach. I decided to WALK. I have always enjoyed walking, but this new idea has a double meaning. In that moment…. you know the moment…. when I am deciding to choose from a vending machine, ordering from a menu, making my third trip to the kitchen for a “snack” or reaching for the office donut…. I am going to choose to be:

Willing to Acknowledge that the Lord is my Keeper!

I can physically walk if possible or I can take a walk in my thoughts… and go back to Psalm 121. The Lord is my Keeper, my Protector, my Guard. Maybe I can’t get through these moments on my own, but I can WALK back to Him and claim His promises!

Got your walking shoes on? Let’s take a stroll………..

Past, Present and Yet to Come

My Perilous Past

Last week I had a dream, more like a nightmare. I felt as if I had been visited by the “Ghost of Christmas Past,” except it was more like the Ghost of my Painful Past. I dreamed I was at a family gathering… lots of people…children…adults…pets. .. a full house. Full of family, friends, fun…. and food. I dreamed that I walked in and within minutes I was drawn to a table loaded with yummy treats. I walked over and instantly picked up a chocolate chip cookie…. then a brownie…. then rice crispy treats….. before long, I needed a coke….a real coke… and then another. The next thing I knew, it was like my chemical  dependency for sugar and caffeine was unstoppable. We were at a lake house …swimming, fishing, and boating by day and then barbecues and S’mores with lots of chocolate and roasted marshmallows by night. This pattern continued for days.  The dream felt so real. All of my successes felt as if they were slipping away… the lost weight, the positive outlook, the clear skin. It was all being replaced with my former sadness and a magnetic pull that I was too weak to resist. My muscles felt like jello, I was drained of energy, my skin was breaking out, and I felt miserably uncomfortable. It was so frightening. Wake up!! Wake up!! Please wake up!!

But I couldn’t wake up… because it wasn’t a dream.

My Promising Present

My son was spending the night with a friend. Like all mothers, your heart races when you get that late night phone call and the caller ID reflects the number of the home where your child is staying.

It was about 10:30pm and the shaky, crackling voice on the other end was my son, “Mom, I want to come home.”

“What’s wrong, Honey, Are you OK?”

“I don’t feel so good.”

“Did something happen?”

“No.”

“Are you sick? Does your tummy hurt? Do you think you are just tired?”

“Well, we were watching T.V. and we started eating cookies….. I think I ate too many cookies.”

“Oh, Honey, I’m sure you’re just fine. Lay down for a while and you will feel better soon.”

“Mom,” he began to cry…. “I just really want to come home.”

“OK, sweetheart, I will be right there.”

Despite the fact that I was completely exhausted and had just made it home myself at about 10:15 after putting in a 14 hour day, I was getting ready to drive 30 minutes each way to pick up my child…He needed me.

I felt like I was on a roller coaster as I continued this inner battle of trying to get back on track. Darkness came over my thoughts and I felt mocked… “Where is your God now? Didn’t you just write an article about “Victory in Jesus?”  I could almost picture the enemy belly laughing and saying “You don’t even have the strength to stop eating cookies…. And you think your God can use you to do something big? Weak…he scoffed….that’s what you are…weak and pathetic.”

This defeated feeling of struggle, confusion and weakness was so intense. I would wake up each day thinking….Ok, today is the day I will press the Restart button. I will get back to feeling good, believing, trusting. I would start my day with good choices but then the magnetic force of soda, sugar, or salt would overpower my intentions. All the while, I struggled in my thoughts. I felt disappointed in myself. I felt guilty…. Thinking….  if my readers could see me now…

Most days, it was overeating… and of course, eating all of the things that I knew were not such great choices. But then came a day when I did it. I stood in front of the cashier at the Nestle Toll House Cookie Café and my heart sank as I had just ordered a mountain of sugar and the cashier asked, “Would you like your receipt?” A brutal sting of a past reflection…. but it did not stop me. It was a complete and total binge in all of its glory. Heart- breaking.

I began to realize that I had been ignoring my friends. I closed off from the world. Worse than that, rather than run to God as I have been doing for months, I began to run away. I looked past His provision. I distanced myself. I built a wall and ignored my reality. It was way too painful to look in His direction. I felt so ashamed. I thought He had to be mad at me….disappointed in me even more than I was disappointed in myself. I was convinced that He was thinking…”After all of this? After all that I have delivered you through? After all…..?  Seriously?”

Then…it happened. In fact, it happened as I was on my way back to the mall for another well planned and thought out binge. I parked my car. I walked through the mall, making my way to visit my old faithful friend at the Toll House. I was literally stopped in my tracks! As I was walking through the mall, my mind drifted back to my conversation with my son the night before.  His shaky, scared, heartfelt cry was his way of reaching out to his parent. He was sincerely vulnerable and I could tell he needed me….I thought about how I would stop at nothing to rescue my child. It may seem silly to some, he simply had a tummy ache…. but he’s my child…. my very own heart walking around on the outside of my body. When he needs me…I will be there.

I felt as if the air had escaped my lungs when God said….”That’s how I feel about you. I am your Father, You are my child. You are my heart…walking around. If and when you call me, I will stop at nothing to come to your rescue.”

I stopped walking… standing in the middle of the hustle and bustle around me, I put my hand on my head and processed this moment. I turned around, and left the mall. I sat in my car… called on my Father…. and He rescued me.

My Hopeful Yet to Come

When Charles Dickens wrote his classic novel in 1843, A Christmas Carol, it was instantly successful. This timeless story of a transformed life has been a blessing to families year after year. I recognize that it is June, not December, but I love this story. I love how a vision of one’s past, present, and future can  absolutely transform our way of thinking and ultimately our way of living.

It was painful to relive my past by losing my focus, but in a strange way, just as Ebenezer Scrooge was enlightened by his visions, I am grateful to have experienced the 7 day detour in my journey. I know that I do not want to go back. I have tasted the life that God wants for my future. He’s not mad at me. He loves me. When I mess up, He forgives me…. it pains Him to see me in pain. He wants  to protect me the same way I want to protect my children from experiencing and learning pain the hard way.

My Yet to Come is full of hope. He has big plans for me. He told me so in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I may stumble, I may fall, but He’s my Father who will be with me every step of the way.

He’s there for you too!  May God Bless Us…. Every One!

Previous Older Entries