I have been thinking about how to get in shape and lose weight for a long time. I’ve tried a variety of things: Curves, Weight Watchers (both online and meetings), various online “bootcamps” and memberships. Over the years I have been a member at a variety of gyms, including Lifetime Fitness and Lady of America Fitness. I have tried the Couch to 5K app, I’ve tried interval work outs, I’ve tried walking the dog every morning, going to a nutritionist, weight loss pills and doctor supervised weight loss. I’ve even tried Wii Fit.
Clearly, nothing has worked – at least, not long term.
I had begun to feel like some sort of anomaly, someone who simply can’t lose weight through the “normal” avenues. Then I read a book last year that caught my eye at Mardel’s. It’s called “Made To Crave” and the author is Lysa Terkeurst. It’s the story of how this woman – a public speaker and head of Proverbs 31 Ministry – tackled her own battle with food addiction and getting healthy. Reading that book made me realize that 1) I’m not an anomaly and 2) the battle is mostly in my head.
I think that’s was where God begin to make some headway in me, in regards to this issue of my weight. Prior to reading that book, I was in some sort of denial. If you could have convinced me to talk about my weight and nutrition (or lack thereof), I would have told you the lie I was telling myself: I’m okay with how I am. It’s my life, it’s my choice and I’m good with that.
Deep down, though, I knew I wasn’t good with that. For one thing, I have always been very judgmental of women and their bodies – which seems strange, I know, coming from me – but it’s true. I have always had a pretty ugly internal dialogue going on with myself in regards to my body. No matter how I tried to suppress it, it was always there. And anyone who judges themselves harshly – no matter how they look on the outside – usually judges others just as harshly.
So at some point – about a month or so ago – I read a blog entry from Lysa Terkeurst in which she challenged her readers to take the time each morning to read one Proverb a day for a month. I decided I could do that much.
Wow! What an eye opener. Day 1, I read this:
(Wisdom is speaking:)
“For the waywardness of the naive will kill them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them.
But he who listens to me shall live securely
And will be at ease from the dread of evil.” Proverbs 1:32-33
I was so moved by this – especially the part about complacency – I wrote it on a piece of paper and taped it on my mirror in my bathroom. I read it every morning, and it says the same thing to me every time – complacency destroys. I have been complacent about my weight my whole life, and it is destroying me. Little by little, it is lowering my life expectancy. It is wearing out my internal organs and destroying the cartilage in my knees and ankles. In time, I will not have the ability to do even the little I do right now, and I’m already impaired.
Plus, my parents are taking all of us on a cruise over Christmas, and having just been on a cruise to Hawaii over Thanksgiving last year, I know a little bit about what to expect. Cruise ships are big and require a LOT of walking. There is a lot to do, and it can be a blast if you have the energy to do it. The beds are already small and uncomfortable, so being big and tired all the time isn’t exactly compatible. The food on our cruise was a disappointment, so if you are going on a cruise to eat, you should just stay home and go out to your favorite restaurant. The best part about a cruise is being with people you love, but if you are tired and feel sick from overeating the whole time, you will not be able to enjoy them, and that will become a huge regret.
Not to mention we are going to a cruise in the Caribbean, so a lot of what we will do will involve swimsuits.
So I am going through a pretty major life change. I’m getting honest with myself about my choices. I’m “breaking up” with food. Food and I have been in a long-term relationship, but it’s been an unhealthy relationship and I’m ending it. It’s not going to be easy, because I love food and food has been my source of comfort for most if not all of my life. But not anymore.
And I’m also taking the health of my muscular system seriously and if that means spending an hour a day pushing myself past where I was the day before, then (deep sigh) that’s what I’m going to do.
Even if it does hurt. A LOT.
Today is Saturday and I decided not to go to the “extra” work out, but I know I can’t go three days and then expect to pick it back up where I left off on Tuesday. I’m going to have to do something besides just watching what I eat between now and then. I’m going to have to (another deep sigh) exercise.
Just thinking about it hurts. Better go start before I change my mind.
The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. Proverbs 13:4
I weighed myself this morning. Thanks to yesterday’s last hurrah (you can add another coke, a plate full of nachos loaded with cheese, a Hershey’s bar and who knows what else to yesterday’s list), I now weigh the most I have ever weighed in my life: 260.5.
I know it’s only a number. I know it doesn’t mean anything except that I’m water logged from all the salt yesterday. I know the fact that I’ve crossed a new weight threshold isn’t significant.
Except it is. It’s significant because I’m still deciding if I’m really “all in” with this Ron Lyon’s Ultimate Body Studio fitness thing.
This morning, I read this:
He who is full loathes honey, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet. Proverbs 27:7
I wrote it down because I was thinking what a great thing for my kids, but really, it’s talking about me. When I’m full of all this unhealthy junk food, nothing tastes good and I’ve filled up all the available space with something that will just leave me feeling empty. But when I eat healthy foods, and refuse to eat anything that isn’t healthy, then I will begin to be satisfied with foods that currently taste bitter to me (like Kale. Ew.).
Anyway, I’ve got to get ready for church, and then tomorrow, school starts. So I probably won’t have much more time for reflection until after I workout tomorrow – and then I may be too tired!!! But I guess the thought that I’m going to keep in mind today is the Proverb about being wise in one’s own eyes. Yesterday I wrote down two Proverbs:
The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who answer discreetly. Proverbs 26:16
Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. Proverbs 26:12
If I’m going to do this, and do it successfully, I’ve got to change my attitude from one of pride to one of humility. I have to be willing to learn. I have to listen to criticism and instead of being offended, just take away what will I need from it. I’ve held this part of my life so close to me for so long, it literally has become a part of my inmost being. But what I weigh is NOT who I am – it is just a reflection of my lack of self-discipline and unhealthy relationship with food. That part of me can change without hurting the good part of who I am. In fact, that part of me changing can only improve the rest of me – if I approach this with humility and not pride.
I’ve been experiencing writer’s block, in case you haven’t noticed.
That’s not entirely true. I’ve had lots of ideas cross my brain but not enough time or energy to create an actual post from them. So, sort of like writer’s block, only not.
But I have fodder, I have time, and I’ve had coffee this morning, so here goes!
Last night, I went to the mall to make some returns and decided to see what was going on in my favorite plus-size store – the Encore part of Nordstrom. It’s pricey, but I only buy a few key pieces and can usually get them on sale. Anyway, what I really needed was jeans, so I took the size 20W and 18W back to try on since I didn’t really know what size I was anymore. Prior to joining UB, I was wearing some 22W, but they were tight, and I probably needed to be in 24W’s. So I tried on the 20W, and they were a little big. I put on the 18W, and voila! They were beautiful!!!! I went ahead and tried the 16W, and they zipped but were pretty tight, so I decided to wait until I was actually there to buy anything in that size. But then I started trying on tops, and to my amazement, I fitted into 16W on top! I am still in shock – I haven’t seen these sizes – anything in the teens – for probably 9 years.
Here are some pictures I took during my shopping session last night – just for comparison’s sake, I’ve included some pictures from Thanksgiving a year ago.
Looking at the old pictures reminds me of the pain – emotional and physical – I felt during that trip. The 8 1/2 hour flight was the most miserable I’ve ever been in my life, mostly because I was squeezed into my seat like a sausage. Everything we did required physical strength I didn’t have, so I was grouchy and exhausted the whole time. But mostly, I was just sad that here I was in Hawaii, and I wasn’t fully enjoying it because of my size.
So today is Thanksgiving, and I want to say that today I am grateful for UB and what they have done for me. I have my life back – and I owe it all to Trish and Corey, the 8:30 class. You know who you are. 🙂
I have no idea if that is the correct spelling of that word or if that is even a word. I just know that I’ve heard my children say it (kind of like the Marines) and Heidi said it to me at the gym this morning. And it is a perfect expression of how we both were feeling after our workout today: BOO-YAH BABY!!!! FOUR WEEKS ARE D-O-N-E!!!!!!!!!
So. Let’s assess the situation.
20-week membership – 4 completed weeks = 16 weeks left. Eh, not so encouraging. Especially since we are probably looking at TWO 20-week memberships in order to lose all the weight I need to lose.
100 pounds to lose – 5 pounds lost = 95 left. Ugh. Not encouraging at all.
Getting dressed after my shower in my old(er) jeans and seeing them fit more loosely. VERY ENCOURAGING.
Having lunch with a friend at Chili’s without blowing my diet. VERY EXCITING.
Feeling my muscles when running errands today. WAY BETTER THAN EVERYTHING ELSE ON THIS LIST.
Because to me, feeling sore means I am pushing myself. And I have not pushed myself physically in a looooooooonnnnngggggg time. So that’s a huge victory. I could feel myself holding my head up higher all day today, and in general, had a better attitude. So to me, that’s the payoff. Yes, I’ve still got a ways to go, but hey, FOUR WEEKS is FOUR WEEKS!!!
We made it! We’ve survived the bicycling through the mud backward, the double-speed crunches, and lower-ab scissors. We’ve crab-walked and run jogged around that building too many times to count. We’ve lifted weights to strengthen our arms, our abs, our legs, and even our shoulders. We’ve done squats, jumping jacks, squats followed by jumps, lunges, push-ups, full sit-ups, crunches, planks, one-handed planks, and more that I’ve forgotten. I’ve never been so exhausted in my whole life. And I’ve never felt so exhilarated. Something is happening. Something is changing in me, and I LIKE IT!!!!
Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox. Proverbs 14:4
So I’ve been complaining a lot lately about how frustrating it is that I can’t seem to keep up with everything, now that I’m working (that should really say WORKING) out and wearing myself out every morning.
But thank you, Lord, for giving us Oxen.
Yes, it’s true – if I had never joined this gym/bootcamp, I would have more time to do laundry and cook and all those other things. But rather than complain about the lack of time, I want to be grateful that we have a house to keep clean, plentiful clothes that require laundry, and indoor plumbing that must be cleaned.
If we had never had children, the house would be so easy to keep clean. Then again, if it wasn’t for the children, we wouldn’t need such a big house.
If we had never gotten a dog, the floors would stay cleaner. But what would be the point of shiny clean floors if I had no one with whom to enjoy them when I’m here alone during the day.
If I had never joined the gym, I would have more hours in the day, but what would be the point if my energy level just continued to decline over time?
Yes, I’m having my butt handed to me on a regular basis. Yesterday was probably the hardest day of cardio yet. However, I’m going to be thankful that I am still young enough to make these types of changes, and my body is able to be handle the calisthenics without (so far) sustaining injury.
So thank you, Jesus, for all the oxen today. Life would be simpler without them, but oh how grateful I am to have them.
I read in a Flylady email tonight that part of every evening routine should be time to reflect on everything we have to be grateful for. Flylady keeps a gratitude journal, and so I thought I would take a few minutes tonight to reflect and journal on what I am grateful for.
There are, of course, too many things to mention in one entry, but tonight, I am especially for Snickers. She is such a sweet puppy. She is curled up next to me on the bed right now (don’t tell Brad – he’s traveling tonight), and just having her close is such a comfort. I know that my ears won’t be the only ears listening for strange sounds in the house, and she hears much better than I do, anyway! She is so pretty and has such a sweet disposition – especially when she’s tired or sleeping – ha! Anyway, she tops my list tonight.
I’m also grateful to the people God has brought alongside me to support me in this journey to lose weight, learn to eat healthy food, and get in shape. Heidi is my new friend who keeps me laughing during our entire hour together. Well, except when we’re in too much pain to laugh. I have told her – and it’s true – that I couldn’t do this without her. She encourages me, and I hope to encourage her – and I think we will be good for each other over the long haul.
My mom has been another source of encouragement, and I appreciate her willingness to indulge me as I talk her ear off about everything I’m learning. She’s one of my very best friends, and I’m excited that she’s making some of the same changes I am at the same time. I think we can learn a lot from each other.
Of course, Brad is the one I have to thank for helping me make the decision, despite the money it is costing us, and he has been nothing but supportive, even choosing to make his own personal changes toward getting more exercise and eating better. I love him for doing that without me even asking.
Finally, I’m grateful for my boys tonight for the way they say little things to encourage me each day. They ask – and actually seem interested – about what we did in class today. They commented on my new outfit this morning (!). And they offer to give me back rubs and let me take naps – they have just been behind me 100%, and that means the world to me.
Those are just a few of the very top of my gratitude list. I have a feeling it’s going to take all 20 weeks for me to get through everything I’m thankful for! But that’s okay – it beats the alternative! I know because I’ve been ungrateful before, and it’s a miserable place to live!!! (more…)