Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thinking Thin

I must tell you that I do this with a great deal of trepidation. I wouldn't know where to begin to start talking about my journey with weight and health in a way that would capture my story without making this post 8 thousand words. Suffice it to say, it has been an up and down, back and forth, success then failure road that has found me today, at 181 lbs, the heaviest I have probably ever been, or very close to it, after having gotten down to 138 only less than two years ago. Each time I have made a truly earnest attempt at weight loss, and have been successful, I have blogged about it. There are now two dead fitness blogs floating out there in the E-cosmos like satellites-turned-space junk orbiting the planet.

I have not mentioned weight or fitness or eating or dieting on this blog yet, largely because I want the blog to be about homemaking, but also because I am so reticent to discuss it publicly. When you have had success and then failure, and it has been known by those you know, you get to a rather deep point of embarrassment where you are not only ashamed of having fallen off the wagon you once tried to get others to join you on, but you also become wary of telling anyone when you have thoughts of giving it another try. You figure surely people will think, "sure... sure you're going to lose weight.. like the three other times before you tried and then gained it back." And while that's probably being paranoid and not giving people credit for being supportive and hopeful, if they did think that, thy would not be outside the truth. And if they aren't thinking it, I am: each time I fail it makes it all the more difficult to believe I could ever be successful again, and makes the belief that I could ever have total victory in this area even tinier.

And yet as a follower of Christ I know that in my weakness, God's strength is perfected. And I know that the power to change is there for the taking, that the Holy Spirit is ready and willing to help me put aside the old man and put on the newness of my creation in Christ. But the thing is... I have to reach out and take it. I have to stop cherishing the sins of laziness and overindulgence, and desire God's will in my life more than my own comfort and convenience. I have to accept that God disciplines those he loves, and that trials are there for the purpose of our learning and getting closer to the Lord, and to realize that this body is His temple and if I don't even feel like living it in most of the time, imagine how the Lord of Heaven and Earth must feel.

And this is where I am today. One thing I have definitely learned from my past experiences with weight loss and fitness is that I always, always without fail set way too high goals and expectations for myself from the start. I have read every book on nutrition, exercise, and health out there (or it sure feels like it), and I know from education and from experience what works and what makes me lose weight. And because I know what it takes and because I know what having a truly healthy lifestyle looks like, once I get determined to make a change I tell myself I have to go from stagnation to sprinting, and from feasting to famine. I would tell myself if I wasn't at the gym 5 days a week for an hour or more, and if I didn't give up ever bit of "bad food", I wasn't really "doing it". And this has not worked. I am so terribly self-critical when I don't meet the goals I set for myself, and this only leads to further discouragement and defeat.

This time the very first goal I am setting myself it to make realistic goals. In the past this idea would have sounded weak to me, like making an excuse, like I really wasn't committed to changing. But now I see that, ifI make myself realistic goals, and can meet them, then I will only feel encouraged and excited to continue and keep going.

In this vein, the first two weight loss goals I am setting myself are as follows:

1. Workout (at least) 3 times a week, for 40 minutes or more

2. Memorize and meditate on the following verses:

Matthew 4:4- But He answered, "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."

Pslam 73:26- My flesh and my heart may fail, but the Lord is the rock of my heart and my portion forever.

And I am glad to say that, as of today, I am on my way to keeping this goal for the week. I have gone to the gym twice now, first thing in the morning, and I have memorized those two verses (I typed them out from memory just now). My start date for this week was Monday, the 12th, and I want to keep these two goals, and these two goals alone, for a month. After the middle of February, if I am feeling strong in these goals, I will add two more.

This was a long post, and one I really didn't have time to write, because I am SO up to my eyeballs in work right now, and have little freetime with the housesitting responsibilites we have, but I just had to get this down in writing. Thank you to every single one of you who actually read this all the way through, and if you are in the same place I am, feeling like you don't dare give it another shot but you know you can't keep living the way you have, join in with this MeMe and just be honest, with yourself and with others.

God bless you and may the Lord give us all the strength we need to obey Him this week.


sandy said...

You CAN do it! Making mini goals works because you're not trying to do it all at once. I wish you luck:)

Mary Jane Liegl said...

It is smart that you are setting realistic goals. My husband is always telling me…it’s lifestyle. I need to listen to him. I hope this works out well for you…good eating!

Lianne said...

You go, girl! I'll tell you what works for me:

It's a free website that tracks your food--calories, portion sizes, carbs, etc. It has recipes, meal plans, and shopping lists that it will auto-generate. You can keep up with your exercise on there, too. I lost 51 lbs doing sparkpeople last year. Did I mention FREE????? Yeah, that was my favorite part.

Check it out...look me up. I'm Bamagirl61299. Good luck! Remind me and I will share some Bible verses that I have put on my fridge to keep me motivated!

The Graves' House said...

i was so inspired by your post. i love that you are looking at this with christ centered eyes! we all need to be realistic when it comes to weight loss, i think that is why most people fail bc it is just too much, too fast. slow and gradual is always better. good luck to you and i'm so glad you joined ttt with us. can't wait to hear about your progress!

Priscilla said...

Hi I am also just joining the Journey, I wanted to wish you luck, and say starting slowly is the best way to go, as I am also doing. Then I can stick to my weeks goal...

See you again soon
Priscilla x

Nana 2 four said...

You can do it! I will keep praying for you because I know it is hard. I see so many people struggle with it and my heart just goes out to you. You are a beautiful child of God! Just keep it one day at a time.

Joyfully His,

Bridgette said...

What an excellent post! You have a great outlook that will make you successful!

Welcome to Think Thin Thursdays!

Armchair Housewife said...

Thank you all so much, ladies, for your encouraging words and taking the TIME to READ that long post! Haha... I don't usually have the time or patience to read long posts, so you guys are the best.

Walking on Sunshine... said...

Yes, I finally had time to come back and read your post on weight loss. I have been struggling lately as well. I have gained weight due to my back problems and losing is so hard because I can't work out. I love the scripture you posted, Psalms 73:26. I'm going to use it today on my blog. The one thing I can say is when I deny myself food, it never works. I need to be able to eat sensibly. And allow myself the occasional piece of pizza and chocolate! Have a blessed day and remember...nothing tastes as good as feeling thin!

Anonymous said...

I too know how difficult it is to pull away from habits and indulgences that make life harder for yourself. I will keep you in my prayers. Find the demons. I just saw a show where a lady put every bite she was going to sneak in in a baggie. It was very large. She said that they were the calories she really didn't want just within reach, kids plates ect. I have every confidance that you can do it. But mostly I hope its through you workouts cause your beautiful and worry more about your heart health that anything else.
I feel your pain. Be strong. Mine is cigs.

Stephanie said...

Way to go girly! You got it all out there! I love the versus you have too! Good Luck!