Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Learning Curve

If you've stopped by today, thanks for reading.  I am praying for you.  You, the readers that happen into my little space here in cyber space.  I'm not sure who reads this or if anyone really does, but my prayer is that my journey to being refined might bring glory to God.

When I started this process, I began thinking: "Ok.  The things I have tried before and am currently doing ARE NOT WORKING.  So, how can I shift my thinking completely?"  Here are some things I'm learning along the way:

  • I have to drink tons of water.  I'm learning to like it.  Especially when I had the realization that, duh, like I could buy lemons, slice them and put them in the water.  Wait for it...  Get this:  AT HOME.  Huge revelation.  Never occurred to me before.  
  • I have to drink less Diet Coke.  Drastic measures, I'm telling you.  There is a body of research that is showing that the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas actually are not helping me at all!  In fact, they may be working against any efforts at weight loss.  The research shows that our bodies respond to the sweetener just like regular sugars and can create more of a craving for sweets.  That explains a lot.  I still drink some, but am trying to choose water {with lemon, 'cause I'm smart like that}
  • I have to exercise HARD.  As my dear friend gently reminded me, it is so easy to put the extra pounds on.  It is another thing entirely to work to get them off.  I've always thought I should be able to talk and exercise at the same time.  I like to talk.  The exercise I'm trying to do now brings my heart rate up so much I can't get too many words in... you know, for trying to breathe.  I'm also learning to like this.
  • I need lots of lean protein and fewer carbohydrates.  Y'all. Did you read that statement?  Have I ever told you how much I love bread?  And potatoes?  And pasta?  Well, it's true.  And while I don't make a list of off-limit foods, my intake of these sorts of carbs has to be decreased.  My body type and hormonal condition, PCOS, also comes along with some metabolic issues.  I hope to not have Type II Diabetes when I'm 35.  
  • I have lost some weight.  Thankfully.  But mainly, I feel better.  I feel stronger.  I like moving my body more.  I like putting good things into my body.  I also really like Dewey's cake squares...  I am learning that the number on the scale or in the tag of my jeans doesn't define who I am.  God took care of that on the cross when Christ died for me!  I am no longer a prisoner held captive by the sin of this world but His beloved child.
  • I have to examine my heart all. the. time.  I am learning to understand my motivations for eating and turn my cravings towards God.  I'm learning that craving anything else more than Him is really not good for me.   There's a word for that.  It's called idolatry, and I'm so guilty of it.  I'm learning giving myself tons of grace {thank you, Patrice, for that reminder!} and looking at each new day as a new start at life!  
  • I am using a fantastic tool to help me understand the depravity of my heart.  Lysa Terkeurst's book, Made to Crave is wonderful.  So many applications for this book, in my opinion, not just food and weight.  
  • I have a long way to go, both physically and spiritually.  I fall back into sin, if even in my thinking, so often.  But I know this process is refining me to be the woman God's called me to be and giving me His strength to carryout the purposes for my life.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Food diaries aren't the debil.

Food diaries aren't the debil. {anybody remember Waterboy?  Except, I think they were talking about foosball.} I digress.  Anyhow.  Weight Watchers had a food journal and I hated it.  I didn't do it everyday.  Weighdown Workshop had a food diary and I hated it too.  While in PA school, I learned that food journaling is very beneficial.  I didn't keep track.  I still felt constricted by it.

Well, now, I'm food journaling and seeing the many benefits of it.  For one, I feel more accountable when I have to write it down.  Mostly, I decided to give it a try because the thin, healthy sized folks said it was a good idea.  And what I had been doing previously was clearly not working.

Drastic circumstances call for drastic measures, folks.  When I started this journey, I was all about making healthy changes.  Things that I felt were not my style, became my style.  Things that I had previously sworn off because it was not my thing, became my thing.   Food journaling has been one of them.

Thankfully I found a great online tool to help me keep track of my caloric intake and exercise.

Loseit.com is a fantastic, free and easy way to stay focused and motivated.  Check it out!  I'm not getting paid anything to tell you that they are wonderful!  It has just been a wonderful tool for me, I thought I would pass it along!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

More than a Quitter

I really struggled with whether or not to share all of this journey.  Why?

Weight has been such a deeply personal and private subject for me.  I played all sorts of mind games with my weight. "If only I were thinner..."  I have replayed so many scenarios, that in my mind, would have gone more favorably for me had I been thinner.  I have blamed a whole host of hurts on my appearance.  I just tuck these hurts away, wishing for things to be different.

As an adult I have been able to joke about different aspects of my body, but there is a lot of pain behind the humor.  Many of my insecurities are tied into my appearance.  I notice a difference in my self-confidence as my weight has increased.  I shy away from what the Lord's called me to do for fear of being the fat girl.  I can only hide behind so many pairs of forgiving yoga pants for so long!

I don't enjoy exercise. I don't like gasping for air while moving my body!  It boils down to, I don't like feeling the pain of exercise.  While I'm not a lazy person and certainly don't mind hard work, I have never been one of those women.  You know, the ones who love exercise.  I am a very active person, but did not make time for regular exercise.  I've always wanted to be an exerciser, but haven't stuck with a regimen long enough to see results.  

All of these feelings created this inner war going on in my heart.  I knew I was not doing what I needed to be doing.  I even knew how to get there.  I couldn't make myself do it.  {You can ask anyone who has ever struggled with weight.  We KNOW what we should be doing.}  But it is a struggle, just like any other area of sin, to surrender my wants and desires to His will for my life.   More than looking better, this journey is about coming to crave Jesus and His purposes in my life more than any food or anything else .  

So, why did I wrestle with sharing this journey?  Mainly for fear of failure.  I've tried so many times before and failed.  I don't want to fail publicly at something so private and personal to me.  I didn't want to share what the Lord's asking of me.  I don't want to give anyone more reasons to see me as a quitter.

A friend of mine, in a completely unrelated circumstance, told me one time that when things got tough, my style is to give up.  I haven't forgotten that.  I've pondered it quite a bit.  I've played scenarios over and over in my mind, asking myself if I'm a quitter.  I've laid it before the Lord asking what truth is there.  When it comes to weight loss and exercise, I know it's true.  Well, that and every other thing you can think of yucky to say about me is true.   Truth is, I'm a sinner.  I'm a glutton.  I'm a quitter.

BUT GOD.  He doesn't give up.  He doesn't fail or quit.  He is faithful to complete what He has started.  He has called me and I am His.  Because of Christ and His sacrifice for me, I am much more than this battle.  I am made for more than this.

This time is different.  This time I'm not doing it in my own strength.

31 "What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
   “For your sake we face death all day long;
   we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:31-39

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  ~Heb.10:23

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Somewhere to go

I began this journey to a healthier lifestyle and weight on February 2.  I went to my annual exam and wept at the sight of my weight on the scale.   I was appalled at that number on the scale.  I had seen it before at the end of my last pregnancy.  But, this time, there was no baby, placenta and amniotic fluid to blame.  I was ashamed at where I had allowed my body to go.  I was scared of the ramifications of my unhealthy choices.  I was deeply grieved that the temple of God, that is my body, looked like this.

My Ob/Gyn was very helpful and considerate.  He is a very thin, small framed man, so how he got to be so sensitive to women and their weight issues is beyond me!  I was grateful for his real life suggestions of adding exercise to an already busy schedule.  He offered suggestions that seemed easy enough to implement immediately.  I was ready to do something different.

Something had to be done.  This was no new struggle to me.  I had grown up being chubby.  I've known the feelings of being ostracized for not being thin.  I've been the outsider because I wouldn't fit, literally and figuratively, in situations.  I've known the constant battle within of wanting desperately to be thinner, but craving foods that brought comfort.  I've tried all sorts of diet plans and regimes.  I've given in to more temptations while dieting than I can count.  I felt that I had tried it all with very little success.  This process had been painful and wasn't very fruitful.

But that day was different.  I felt the gentle but firm presence of the Holy Spirit saying, "now is the time."  I prayed and prayed. I confessed of my putting food and other things in the place of God.  I was on my face ashamed of the choices I had made.  I pleaded with the Lord to take this from me.  Miraculously, make it just go away!  I got on my knees and begged the Lord's forgiveness for what I had done to this gift of my body He's given me.

I felt a sweet forgiveness pour over me and then these words,
"I forgive you.  I love you very much.  
You're beautiful and you're mine.  
Now, get up.  
'Cause, Baby, we've got somewhere to go, and we can't take that with us."