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Missed Opportunities

I’ve frequently used my shyness and insecurity as an excuse not to take action, and I’ve missed out on some great opportunities and relationships. There have been times I knew God was telling me to do or say something, but I hesitated and let the moment pass me by. As I’m typing this, I am reminded of Jeremiah who said to the Lord, “I cannot speak.” God said, “I have put My words in your mouth.” Also, when God called Moses, Moses replied, “Who am I that I should do this?” God said, “I will be with you.” The good news is that His mercies are new every day.

Jeremiah 1
Exodus 3:11-12
Lamentations 3:23

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I admit, I have a pretty great life, but I also have dreams and goals I haven’t done much about. I took a small step when I joined Plexus three months ago. I’ve experienced the benefits of the products on my health. I’ve become a part of a team that is passionate about helping others. I’ve also heard about the financial freedom that is possible through Plexus. I joined because I was tired of being unhealthy and overweight, but do you know what else I’m tired of? I’m tired of being in debt. I’m tired of looking at my bank account every day and depending on that next check to get me through til the next one. What about you? What are you tired of? What are your dreams? What if today is the day to act? What if Plexus really could change everything?

Plexus Skeptic

I have felt hopeless about overcoming my struggle with food because, to be honest, I just love unhealthy food so much.  Because I know the power food has had over me, I am skeptical about trying anything that claims to help with cravings or weight loss.  Also, I don’t like to spend a lot of money on myself unless it’s for food or entertainment. I have a hard time buying clothes or shoes that cost over $20.  I don’t spend much on make-up, accessories, or manicures.  I had heard about Plexus before, but thought it was just another fad.  However, after continuing to learn about Plexus products and their health benefits, which go beyond weight loss, and after a friend offered me a deal to try them at wholesale prices, I decided to invest my money and see what happens.

In thirteen days of using Plexus, I have:

  • resisted sugary treats in the break room at work more than once
  • consumed well over 8 cups of water a day
  • preferred water over anything else and actually poured out a carbonated drink I bought
  • experienced no back pain when I get out of bed in the morning, which I had been experiencing constantly for the past 3-4 weeks prior
  • felt more confident and energetic
  • had an easier time going to the bathroom (I know, TMI!)
  • lost 8.6 pounds

I haven’t changed my eating habits entirely.  I’ve had fast food, sweet tea, and diet coke on a few occasions.  What I haven’t done is bought a whole box of Little Debbie snacks to eat at work in one day and I haven’t sat in my car eating in secret.  I haven’t craved Dr. Pepper, which is usually my go-to drink when I’m tired, stressed, or thirsty.

Yes, I’m only 13 days in, and I’m sure I will continue to have struggles and cravings, but I just wanted to share these positive things because I am now a believer!

Starting Over…Again?

I came on to my blog here to copy the link from one of my posts to share on facebook and I realized I haven’t written anything in a while.  The reason is I don’t feel like I’ve made much progress to share about.  In my last post 11 months ago, I stated I was at my heaviest weight of 290 and I was starting over.  How many times have I said I’m starting over? Plenty!  Well just a few weeks ago, I weighed in at my new high of 299.  Yes, I have “started over” again, and I’ve lost 5 pounds since then.  I still don’t know what it’s going to take for me to make changes that are going to last.  Will I ever give up my love for food for a healthier, more enjoyable life?  Food is my downfall for sure.  Or is is lack of self-control?

Instead of continuing to beat myself up, I will share some of the ways I have made progress in the last 11 months.  This blog is not only about physical transformation, but overall transformation.  It’s just that the physical affects other areas of my life so much.

Here are some positives:

  • I joined a Saturday morning run/walk club.
  • I’ve walked 2 5ks since joining the group in addition to the regular Saturday morning walks.
  • I have cut down on sodas in the past few weeks and am drinking lots more water.
  • I stepped out of my comfort zone to take a new position at work.
  • I have spent more time in prayer during times of stress.

I’m reminded of the song by Brandon Heath, “God’s Not Finished With Me Yet”.  I’m so thankful He never gives up on me!

 

 

Pressing On

Here I am today, March 22, 2015, back at my heaviest weight ever… 290 pounds.  I was at this weight 5 years ago, and I was determined not to ever get to 300.  I’ll be there soon if I don’t start taking my health seriously.  I’m here posting this to say I am starting over. I can’t beat myself up or dwell on the last five years.  I have to start right now and move forward.  I’m “forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead”, as Paul said in Philippians 3:13 (NIV).  I know he wasn’t talking about weight loss, but that’s just what came to mind.  I’m also reminded of what Lysa Terkeurst says in her book “Made to Crave”… “I was made for more than being stuck in a vicious cycle of defeat. I am not made to be a victim of my poor choices. I was made to be a victorious child of God.”  I’m done feeling defeated.  “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”  (Philippians 4:13 NASB)

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I’ve posted before about my history with weight and the cycle of losing and gaining over and over.  Another year and a half has passed, and I’m still on the same roller coaster. My weight goes down, then up, then down, then up again. Here’s a glance at what I’m talking about:

Heaviest Weight Jan 1, 2010 – 291.5 
Feb 14, 2011 – 254.5 
Restart Dec 27, 2012 – 277.3 
May 15, 2013 – 257.0 
Restart Again! May 30, 2014 – 283.6 
Most Recent Weight July 3, 2014 – 272.4

There really is no good excuse.  There are two reasons I am in this position:

1. I love food and I haven’t been willing to make sacrifices in this area.  I am talking about lots of food, and mostly unhealthy food. Fast food, sweets, and Dr. Pepper in particular. Food is my comfort, food is my stress reliever, food is my reward.  Food is everywhere and it’s often the center of socializing with friends, at church, and out on dates with my husband.  I know food is not bad.  Eating is a necessity, and even enjoying food is okay.  I also know I have an unhealthy love for food, maybe even an addiction.  I overeat in public, but even worse, I eat more in secret than I would like to admit.  

2. I am lazy.  I’m not being too hard on myself.  It’s true. I hate to take time to prepare food.  I do not enjoy cooking.  I would prefer to go to a drive-thru or order pizza every day. I’m talking mostly about being lazy when it comes to making myself something to eat, although it does carry over into exercise too.  Sometimes I’ll go for a walk or I’ll march around my living room until I get 10,000 steps on my fitbit, but most of the time I am am a couch potato.

I keep wondering what is it going to take for me to truly get serious about changing my lifestyle and taking care of my body.  You would think that the feeling I get when looking in the mirror, or being somewhere in public where I can’t fit in the seats, or not being able to fit into any of my clothes would be enough.  The shame and the sadness should motivate me, right?  Or the thought that my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and I should honor God by taking care of it…that should do it.  My problem is that any motivation I get is only temporary, and so the roller coaster ride continues.  Up and down… sometimes upside down… and it never stops.  

On my profile for MyFitnessPal.com, I wrote this a while back… “Here I am, continuing on, hoping one day, I’ll have the desire and discipline to make lasting changes.”  The only solution I have right now is to stop hoping and to start doing.  When I don’t feel like exercising, do it anyway.  When I’d rather go through the drive-thru, go home and make myself something to eat instead. When I’m craving sweets, eat some fruit.  Pineapple and strawberries are yummy, so enjoy them!

I realize I have the choice about what I put into my body and how I spend my time.  There is no excuse for my obesity.  So that’s what I have to do… make a choice to change my life, one day at a time, one meal at a time.   

One final thought is that I know I cannot do it alone.  As I make choices each day, I need to draw strength from the Holy Spirit.  I have God’s power available to me, but I often ignore it and try to do things on my own.  I also need to rely on the accountability of friends.  I have my husband, and I have my ladies accountability group at church.  I need to be honest with them, ask them for prayer, and listen to their wisdom.  

I’ve never liked roller coasters, so it’s time to get off of this one!

Lonely Girl

I came across a prayer journal of mine from 2003-2004.  It was the darkest time of my life.  It was a time of loneliness, depression, and sin.  I knew the path of destruction that was ahead of me if I continued in my ways, but I kept going anyway.

I read the story of a girl who felt so rejected and unloved that she thought the only answer was to become someone else, to forsake who she was and, above all, forsake God who truly loved and cherished her. 

What gets me is that even during that time, I continued to read my Bible and write in the journal.  Time and time again, my words were “God, save me. I don’t want to live like this anymore”, but I kept slipping farther and farther away. I knew God was with me.  Why didn’t I trust Him? Why did I constantly cry out to Him for help, but then refuse to accept it? As I  sat in my closet reading my words from ten years ago, I began to cry and I  asked myself those questions.  I don’t know the answer, but I do know God NEVER gave up on me.

There was so much pain and sadness written on those pages. If I could go back in time, I would tell that girl that she was loved and that God had great plans for her.  I would tell her not to give up and to cling tightly to Him. 

God still loves me and has great plans for me…of this I’m sure.  I can’t erase what happened, but I can move forward with full assurance that God has redeemed me.

That sad, lonely girl is gone. She sometimes tries to show her face, but I kindly tell her to go away. I remind her that she doesn’t live here anymore.

The Comparison Game

It has been my nature to compare myself to others, to be insecure, and to give myself frequent pity parties.  God has been at work in helping me overcome this. He has shown me that feeling sorry for myself gets me nowhere.  He has challenged me to step out in faith and watch what He can do when I take my eyes off of myself and my inadequacies.

Here’s an example…

Back in January, I attended a ladies retreat with my church. Throughout our time there, for some reason, I just felt so disconnected from everyone.  It didn’t have anything to do with how the other ladies treated me; it was just something I was feeling inside. Sunday morning at church I saw several of the ladies who had met each other hugging, and they seemed so excited to see each other. I felt alone, and so my pity party began… I was thinking things like “I suck at relationships”, “I can’t make friends”, “I’m too quiet”, “I wish I was as fun and outgoing as other people”… and on and on and on.

A few days later, God spoke to me and reminded me of something the speaker said at the retreat…  “If you play the comparison game, you will lose every time.”   That’s what I do…I compare myself to others, I feel insecure, and I withdraw.

This time, however, God told me to do something else.  Instead of feeling sorry for myself, wishing people would reach out to me, I needed to ask Him how He wanted to use me to reach out to others. I spoke to the women’s ministry coordinator at our church and explored options including leading a Bible study or a ladies accountability group.  I am not typically a leader, however I sensed it was something God was calling me to do.  The decision was made to do a short-term Bible study first, and then continue with an accountability group if I still felt led to do so.

The Bible study has come and gone, and I am so thankful for the opportunity.  It helped me to be a little more bold, to meet some amazing women, and reconnect with an old friend.  More importantly, I was able to encourage and pray for one of those amazing women, and I have been blessed to witness God’s work in her life throughout the last few months.

I am grateful that God challenged me to step out of my comfort zone.   Sometimes I still play the comparison game, and I still have my insecurities, but God is breaking through them little by little.  I’m learning that I don’t have to be a powerful speaker or a talented musician or a social butterfly… I just have to be willing to let Him display His power and His love through me.

He can and will do the same through you if you let Him.

A Pound A Week

In 12 weeks, I have lost 12 pounds.  They say a pound a week is a good, safe number.  Of course I’d be happy with more, but I’ll take it.  I know the number on the scale is not the most important thing, but it is one way to measure whether or not I am taking care of my body.   I have a number in mind I’d like to reach, but more than that, I want to be healthy.  Being 5’3″ and over 260 pounds is not healthy, so yes, the scale is one indicator of my progress.

I have increased my activity level.  I am no athlete, but I am moving more than I have most of my adult life.  I have a Fitbit to motivate me to get up and move more, especially at work.  Plus I have been doing some kind of intentional exercise 4-6 days a week.   Some days, it may be a one mile walk.  Other days, it’s a DVD workout.  To those more advanced than me, it may not seem like much, but the important thing is I am moving.

I still struggle with overeating, but instead of daily, it is 2-3 days a week.  I am learning to stop, think, and pray before giving in to my food cravings.  Sometimes I fail, but I can’t dwell on my mistakes for too long or I will just feel defeated and give up.  I have to keep going.

So that’s where I am right now.  As always, a work in progress.  🙂

Beautiful

Beautiful – MercyMe (click link to view video)

I absolutely love this song.  The first verse describes how I felt for much of my life…

Days will come when you don’t have the strength
When all you hear is you’re not worth anything
Wondering if you ever could be loved
And if they truly saw your heart
They’d see too much

Wondering if I ever could be loved… yes, that was me.  I often doubted God’s love, my family’s love, and even the love that so many friends showed me.  Little did I know, not only was I loved by all of the above, but God put someone in my life who loves me like I never thought I could be loved…my husband Josh.  Not only does he love me, but he tells me every day that I am beautiful.

In a previous blog, I wrote about a night I was not feeling beautiful at all.  On the way home from a Dallas Stars game, after circumstances left me feeling sad and insecure, I played this song.  The second verse stood out to me…

Praying that you have the heart to fight
‘Cause you are more than what is hurting you tonight
For all the lies you’ve held inside so long
They are nothing in the shadow of the cross

It reminded me of the healing God had been doing in my life and that Satan wanted to destroy the work of God by filling me with lies that I was ugly and worthless.  So I chose to fight.  I still choose to fight every day.  There are days I don’t have the strength.  There are days I don’t feel beautiful no matter how many times my husband tells me I am.

On those days, I remind myself of this song and of the great love God (and my husband) has for me.

You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You’re beautiful

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PSALM 139:13-18

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.