Looking for Love in all the wrong places!

In today’s Made to Crave Bible study, I was struck by the question: “Is it possible we love and rely on food more than we love and rely on God?”

At first glance, I gasp at the thought! By no means do I “love” food more than God!

Or do I? Where do I turn when I need comfort? When I want a reward? When I feel joy? When I experience stress? When I feel sadness? When I feel happiness? When I experience boredom?

Ouch! I continually turn to food before God for all of these emotions and situations. I am reminded of the “romance” conversation. When we love someone/something, we give of our time, energy, thoughts, and desires. Oh how I want to love God that way! I want to crave Him! I want to desire Him above all! I love the thought that we are literally made to crave! It truly is in our DNA to desire and long for….not some thing… but some ONE!

Thank you for making me in this way, God! Please help me as I direct my cravings and desires to You and away from food!

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

I loved how one of our participants in class described her relationship with food as a Romance. I really hadn’t ever thought about it that way, but as she spoke, I could see the correlation. 

Wikipedia defines romance as the pleasurable feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love. In the context of romantic love relationships, romance usually implies an expression of one’s love, or one’s deep emotional desires to connect.

Wow! That could totally define my relationship with food at times: Excitement…mystery…deep emotional desire….love. Does any of this sound familiar to you?

As I continue my study and as I see how my desires are misplaced, I see how dysfunctional this “romance” has become. I realize there is something I must do.

I have to “break up” with Food.

Now, I know it won’t be easy and I cannot completely break up with food, but I will have to be selective about what I allow to be a part of my life. I must create healthy boundaries. Junk food has to go. Overindulgence cannot be my friend any longer.
Unhealthy choices… We can’t have our ongoing rendezvous. Although I have found solace within your familiar embrace, I must sever ties and move on….into a positive, healthy, and uplifting relationship.

So even though breaking up is hard to do, in this case, it’s a matter of victory or defeat. So long, dysfunctional romance! I choose victory. I choose Jesus!

Lovely

February 14th… Valentine’s Day…. a day about Love.

Current Weight ~ 198 …..nothing LOVELY about that.

I am so pissed off. How could I have let this happen??? AGAIN?!?! I am actually up a few pounds from when I started this thing. What the heck?!?! I have been as high as 229 and as low as 171 over the past 20 years. I am so sick and tired of this. I just feel so exhausted from it all. I have gained over 20 pounds within the past 4 months. I guess that’s what happens when you stop making time to exercise and fall (or rather, LEAP) off the wagon. I have been so out of control lately. It’s like I have reignited every addiction I have ever struggled with… Cokes, fast food, junk… you name it…it’s been a free-for-all. One blessing/curse that I have is that I have gusto. When I go for it, I give it all I got. My gusto can be awesome when I am living healthy. Regrettably, my gusto can send me to an early grave when I am living so selfishly.

Friends, please pray for me.

Clever quote

Recently, I read a quote that made me really stop and think. I began to think about my weight loss journey ….my mountains and valleys along the way….and my blog that details these event.

Check this out:

“I just did” feels so much better than “I’m going to.”

Wow… To me, that is profound. As we approach a new year, I can reflect on so many “new beginnings” over this past year. I think about how many times I have had small victories… And how many times I have fallen off the wagon.

That quote has caused me to change my thinking and reconsider the direction of my blog. I don’t want one more single day to be about what “I’m gonna” do…. How cool would it be to be able to report what I’ve done… Rather than what I plan to do? No doubt, it is a process. I have shared my journey and will continue to do so. But in this moment, when everyone is talking about resolutions and goals….quite frankly, I’m sick of hearing it. Even from myself. My goal is still the same. I have made a mess of my health and I have prayed and asked God to help me return to His health plan. This is my prayer for both me and you! Many Blessings, my friend!

Why me, God?

My early life was unstable, to say the least. Because my mother died when I was two years old, and my address changed quite often, I spent a lot of time confused and angry. Outwardly, I think many people thought I was a fairly happy kid… until I attempted to take my own life as a teenager. You see, I could mask my pain with laughter, but inside… I was hurting. I asked many times… “Why me, God? Why did MY mom have to go away? Why couldn’t I have the loving family life that I saw in the homes of my friends? Isn’t there someone…anyone?…..out there who could love me unconditionally?” Out of my desperation and sadness I would ask….Why me, God? Why did you give THIS life to me? 

When I was that troubled teenager in the hospital after trying to take my life, a very special person gave a card to me with the verse Romans 8:28 on it. Because the numbers were 8:28….my birthday, I clung to these words…..

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, those who are the called according to His purpose.” 

I didn’t understand it at the time. It sure did not feel as if anything was “working for good.” Little did I know…. I was among “the called according to His purpose!”

Today is my 37th birthday. This evening my fiancé and his family threw a surprise birthday party for me! All of my friends did an awesome job of keeping the secret! I walked in and could not believe it when I saw my family and friends….even my pastor was there! The birthday music started playing and I felt so much love and gratitude in my heart.

And again, I ask… Why me, God? What did I ever do to deserve THIS life?
Why did you choose to give ME this unbelievably amazing and incredibly happy life? You have blessed me beyond measure! If I could have only seen then, as a mixed up kid, what you had planned for me! The family I never had as a child… I now have as a mother. The example of love between a man and a woman that I did not witness…. I now feel in my heart for my fiancé. The supportive family and deep lifelong friendships that I have, make my life so full. Some of the struggles and experiences I have faced have been challenging, but my God has blessed me abundantly and has worked it all
together for good….unbelievably good! 

Thank you, Father God for THIS life!!!       

A Love Story

Two hours ago, I was upset. I was extremely frustrated and set out for a walk/run to vent. As I started my walk, I was grumbling and complaining to God. “Why is this so hard?”  “Why couldn’t I have been born with good genes, a high metabolism and a dislike for sugar and fried food?” “Why me, God!?!?”

I had my iPod with me but I was too frustrated to even turn it on. However, as I continued down the road huffing and puffing, there was a goofy song hat I couldn’t get out of my head….

“….it’s a love story…. baby just say yes….”

A love story, huh? Is that what this is, God? If so, I am not feeling the “happily ever after.”

As the road continued, my wondering did too…. I started thinking about classic loves stories. I am a huge fan of Western Literature and I loved studying classics such as Jane Eyre, Hamlet, Homer’s Odyssey and yes… Romeo and Juliet. I have actually visited the famous balcony in Verona where Juliet awaits as Romeo proclaims his love for her. A tragic and triumphant love story.

I’m sure the endorphins helped my thinking, but I began to compare this journey to a love story.  Could it be, that like all classic love stories, my journey will have it’s share of tragedy and triumph?

The tragedy comes when I am consumed with discouragement, when I am overtaken by defeat and begin to feel depressed. The triumph comes in the very fact that God doesn’t leave me there. I have way more days that I feel triumphant with my small victories than days that I feel defeated. In fact, in the midst of my frustration this morning, I started looking for something to wear to my friends wedding tonight. I decided on an adorable skirt that I have never worn before. It’s a size 12. A few short months ago, my size 16’s and 18’s were tight and today I will wear a skirt that is a size 12 — and it’s not elastic! LOL We’re talking about an actual zipper! LOL

So yeah, I guess I could call this journey a love story. And this chapter… well, I think I can refer to this part as the Triumphant Chapter 12!!!

Psalm 136:2 says:

Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.”

Let’s chat

Ok friends, I have missed you. I have missed my transparent accountability that I find on my blog… and I need it! Last week was insane. Summer II classes were more challenging for me than any semester I have had this far. I have never written so many papers or spent so many hours on research! It was a wild ride for 5 weeks, but I am happy to report that I got all A’s. =) Now I only have 6 classes and my student teaching and I’m finished! Woo Hoo!

So as good as I feel about my accomplishments with my classes, I’m feeling pretty bummed about my weight loss journey right now. I let the chaos of stress and deadlines get to me and although I tried, there were several days that I threw out my right thinking. I made excuses to hit the drive thru and began that vicious cycle of feeling bad (physically and mentally) and then doing it again anyway. It feels so yuck! Why do I do this to myself? On the one hand, I know I can’t beat myself up for having a bad week. That goes against everything that I have learned on my journey. However, I’m frustrated because I KNOW what makes me feel good physically and I KNOW how sluggish and unmotivated I feel when I get off track.  I just don’t know why I choose to learn this lesson over and over and over again.

The good news is, I had a serious workout yesterday and a great day of food choices. I love how it feels to take a deep breath, reflect on my downfall, then spend some time alone with God. Look what I found!!

Psalm 37:24 says

…”though he stumble, he will not fall,

for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

I am so grateful! I’m going to kick it in gear this week and get back to feeling awesome! I want to continue my journey the way it all started. I asked God to be my Guide. But over the past few weeks, completely unintentional, I let too may things fog my vision. But today…today is a clear day… not a cloud in the sky!

My New Trainer!

This week I have had a new trainer step in to help me along! My 8 year old daughter has decided that she wants to be a part of this process, so she is offering advice and being my cheerleader…LOL It has been so fun watching her participate. She loves Zumba, and now she is taking up running with me. We set out to do a mile and I explained to her that I walk two minutes and run one minute. So she decides to “manage” the stopwatch and the whistle. It was so cute. She would give me updates on the seconds as we ran together and when we hit the one minute mark, she blew that whistle like she was coaching an NFL team. Too cute!

(Since we only went one mile…hey, she’s 8…. I came home and did an additional 20 minutes on the elliptical =) Trainer’s orders!

What I really loved about our run was the fact that we were spending time together, having great conversations, and she was seeing an entirely different example than she has in years… maybe even her entire life. I was always the mom that celebrated with food at every opportunity. When I thought we needed a snack…. we hit a drive-thru and got whatever we wanted..with extra salt and grease… and always a large soda. At the checkout…we got candy… cause you know, Snickers satisfies, right?  On Fridays, we always got ice-cream. Plus I was also the mom that made a dessert with almost every meals. Sugar…sugar…sugar! To top it all off, my kids have watched me sit on the couch and mindlessly eat chips and any other junk I could find for years. All habits that I do not want to pass down.

So in spite of how they have seen me live for years, I am grateful that for the past three months, they have seen a new mom… with new ways!   Gotta Run…I hear my trainer’s whistle blowing!!

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


Financing Available? Really?

I made an unexpected quick trip to Houston this weekend and once again, those billboards have prompted another blog post! Only this time, the feelings stirred up inside are not of anger, but rather sadness. The billboard read “Change your life” with stunning before and after pictures that would make anyone struggling with weight want to pull over the car. What made my heart sink was what was written along the bottom of the sign. In bold and professional lettering, I read “Financing Available.”

To the average person, that sign is no different than any other sign along our highways. For me, not only did it ignite a thought provoking conversation with my co-pilot, but it also took me back to a darker time in my life. I feel sure I am not alone. Using my personal experiences as reflection, I wondered how many people see pictures like that or watch a late night infomercial and are led by their desperation to “finance” a hopeful change in their lives. Weight loss is a multi-billion dollar industry with an ever increasing target audience. I was that person who could be brought to tears with excitement about the possibility of THE diet, or program, or pill, or book etc. that would “change my life.” In that moment, I would have mortgaged my home for the opportunity to lose weight and change my life, so when you offer “financing available,” I feel sure many will do anything possible for the chance.

Because I am now taking a different approach by asking God to be my Guide and seeing real change without the need for “financing,” a sign like that jolts my emotions. Let me say clearly that I am not proclaiming that I have arrived, or that I have the answers. I am simply telling my story. My story that includes a time of desperation, pain, sorrow, and envy that were connected to my bank account. What I have learned is that God’s Plan is so different that what our culture is used to. God’s love has no comparison, God’s personal training skills are impeccable, His Book is the best “How to” manual available. The best part…. no financing necessary…. he offers it all as His free gift to us.

…to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.  Ephesians 1:6

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