Happy Blogiversary!!!

Wow! One year ago today I started my get real journey… and my blog! I have had my share of highs and lows over this past year and I would love to share with you just a few of the many things I’ve learned:

God is faithful!
I don’t have to do this alone.
Many people struggle with food, weather visibly or not.
Numbers aren’t everything.
Clothes for thinner people are way more fun!
God answers prayers.
No matter how hard you try, you cannot make celery sticks taste like KitKats.
Running is not for the weak at heart.
When you avoid what you know to be true, there will be consequences.
Support from family and friends make a huge difference.
I can do way more than I think I can.
God will never leave me nor forsake me!
God provides.
It is mind boggling that you can know the right things, but still make the wrong choices.
People do not see me as negatively as I see myself.
Constant searching for answers in the wrong places wears you down.
There is no quick fix.
Weight struggles are more of a spiritual and emotional battle than physical.
Hummus is not so bad… Who knew?
Life is much simpler when you do not focus every second of your day on food.
Just when you think you can’t do one more rep, you can.
You can’t fake success.
Our light shines extraordinarily bright, when we step aside and let God work.
There is strength in accountability.
Victory tastes way sweeter than any cupcake!
God is more concerned with my heart’s desire than my caloric intake.
Excuses are worthless and self-destructive.
There is nothing more peaceful than knowing you are pleasing God with your life and choices.
There is nothing more agonizing than knowing you are not pleasing God with your life and your choices.
The torment of a food issue can take you to a very dark place.
We all make mistakes, we’re human.
It is healthy to sometimes challenge our thoughts and beliefs.
“I just did” feels so much better than “I’m going to.”
There is power in transparency.
The Bible is Way more than a History book, it’s our Owner’s Manuel with answers to every question we have.
An all or nothing approach is destructive.
We never stop learning.

Extant still means the same. By the grace of God, I am not destroyed or lost. One year later, I am still an Extant Woman. 

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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.

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.

Great Conversations

Wow! Last weeks post about pork prompted some great conversations! Clearly, the subject of whether to eat pork or not is quite controversial. As I stated before, this is my own personal conviction based on my studies. You will never see me telling anyone what they should or should not do. This is simply another step in my journey to better health.

One of the things I love about researching the Old Testament is that I feel I am understanding God better and I feel stronger in my Christian walk. It has been so cool to read about the beginning. How it was meant to be early on. Yes, many people say that the New Testament changed all of those initial “laws”. And maybe that is true. But I am fascinated by how God gave us such detailed instructions on how to live and how to take care of our bodies. I am a strong believer that we could benefit from going back to the beginning. Sometimes “progress” is not all it’s cracked up to be. Consider this thought….

Supposes all animals are clean. Knowing what we know about pigs, just because we CAN eat them….should we? Does this animal, in any way, draw us closer to good health? Is it smart to eat meat that reportedly takes 4 days to digest in the bowel instead of 2 days for “clean”meats? I guess for me, it has become more about the negative effects that I have learned about rather than the legalistic ideas of “Old” and “New,” “right” and “wrong,” “clean” and “unclean.”

Again, these are reasons for my decision, but this journey of rediscovering God’s plan for our health, then and now, has sparked a whole new way of thinking for me. If God said it in the Old Testament, then I want to understand. If Muslim dietary laws and Jewish dietary laws still believe eating pork is prohibited, then it makes me want to know why.

At the end of the day, what I have to think about is this: God blessed me with this body, imperfect as it may be, and He asked me to be a good steward of what He gave me. For years, I have failed at this task. I have mistreated my body and I have not respected my temple. The good news….He’s not finished with me yet!

Dear God, It’s me again

Good morning, God

Good to hear from  you, I’ve been expecting you

Sorry it’s been so long

I understand

Here I am again… still messing up

I know

Why do I keep doing this? I feel like such a disappointment to so many

Like your husband said, I am not disappointed in you… I am disappointed for you. It hurts to see you struggle.

I’ve been so disappointed in myself that I have avoided You

I know

Am I this dense that I continue this same struggle day after day…..year after year?

Apparently

My heart and my mind want so desperately to do the right thing, but my flesh is weak…

I’ve heard that before

Can’t you just take this from me? Can’t you just make the struggle go away?

I’ve heard that before too… you sound like Paul….and David… and many others before you… and perhaps many more after you

I have read that struggles keep us close to You …is that what this is all about?

Not necessarily… but that is true, you don’t spend near as much time with me when things are going well, why is that?

Point taken, God. I get it.

But Can’t you just give me a step by step guide… like a “Do 1,2,3 …and this will happen”… That would be so much easier!

Have you seen my Best Seller? There’s some good stuff in there. In fact, if you look close… there is a 1,2, 3… it actually goes all the way to 10. You should check it out.

I know… I know… The Ten Commandments

Do you?

Of course

Remember number one? That seems to be your struggle. Let me refresh your memory…

1 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.

Ouch

Yeah, that’s what seems so confusing… I have already brought you out of bondage, yet you live as if you are still detained.

I do, don’t I…..

Apparently

It sounds so simple

It is simple… not easy… but simple, indeed.

I get so overwhelmed… so anxious… so scared.

I understand

That is when I need to reach for You the most, but that is precisely when I reach for worldly things

I know, you search for Me when you are broken…. when you have already tried the world’s way. How would you feel if Garrett and Madison continually sought comfort from someone other than you, their mother?

Wow… just the thought of that hurts so deeply

Tell me about it… I know all too well

I could think of this like the Prodigal Son coming home… but I do this so often… sometimes DAILY I struggle with choosing the world or coming home to You… don’t you get tired of extending Your grace?

As with the Father of the lost son…. I always celebrate.

Please forgive me…. and help me start anew…

Welcome Home, my child…. again.

Thanks, Dad

Get Real

By 7:30 this morning, I was on my two mile walk/run/walk. I started thinking…..

It has been six months since I started my blog. So many amazing blessings have come into my life since the beginning of Extant Woman. I feel like I have done so much work from the inside out. The very fact that I have been able to bring my “secret” life of bingeing into the light is a huge step. No doubt I still have a long way to go, but I am so far from that self-loathing binger sitting alone in a parking lot eating until I felt sick… and then crying all the way home. I truly feel that God has delivered me from that kind of dark existence. Praise God!

Another great thing that has happened over the past six months is that I have made many new friends who are also on a weight loss journey. It has been so exciting and inspiring to read their stories. Along with the blessings of learning about the journey of others came something quite unexpected. Be it blogs, books, programs, success stories or even failures, I got very caught up in the great big world of weight loss. It’s so easy to lose sight of your own journey when you get so caught up in the “global” efforts to be healthy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of bloggers and I personally know the benefits of writing, but this is what I have discovered:

My blog started out as a place where I could write my earnest prayers. I could record the struggles and victories of my experiences. I could share my intimate thoughts of how I called upon my Heavenly Father to guide me in my daily decisions and lead me to better health. This blog is part of my journey.. and I love it. But I love it the way it started. I don’t want to write with any concerns of who may be reading it or how many times it has been viewed each day. I want to go back to my roots….

I am on a journey to better health and I have asked God to be my Guide. Nothing more, nothing less.

Now…. it’s time to realign my focus and lose some more of this weight!! I will be recording my efforts in more detail over the next few weeks. I need to be accountable and I know if I am writing about it, it will help me to Eat clean and move! God Bless You!

Listening

It has been said that God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason… He wants us to listen twice as much as we speak. I believe that!

Who knew that listening would be such a skill!! There are some of us who feel that we have something to say that’s worth hearing, so we talk…. and we talk… and we talk…. LOL There is so much wisdom in listening. God speaks to us all the time… but so often we are too busy talking instead of listening to hear Him.

In my journey to better health, I have learned that when I listen to my body and the Voice of Truth, I am in a much better place than when I am the one talking. Most of us were born with a God given ability to listen…  to each other, to our bodies, and to Him. But somehow, we learn to tune out the things that we don’t want to hear. We can reprogram ourselves. If I truly listen to what my body needs, I can stop at “just enough.” If I am in tune with my natural design, I know when I need to eat… drink… move. My body would never tell me to overindulge. My mind would..and it does… but not my body. By its very natural design, it knows what I need.

Today, I am going to listen to my body, not a clock or a stopwatch. If I need hydration, I will drink. If I need nutrition, I will eat. If I need to move, I will move according to my capabilities.

Also today, I will love my body. Not for how it looks, but for what it can do!

Thank you God for being such an incredible engineer!

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