Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Weight Loss Journey (Part 1)

I posted this photo on FB last week - me, 25 pounds lighter and holding a 25 pound bucket o' lard. I have never gotten so many comments on any posting, photo, etc. Obviously it struck a chord.

I've had many people ask, "Oh, what are you doing?" I know I've asked others the same question, hoping they've stumbled upon some magical insight.

Here's my insight: "It's hard work."

I'll be writing this up and my book will be available next year ;)

If I've learned anything in the past 30-odd years, it's that shortcuts seldom work out. I've never been one to eat crazy foods or pop pills in an effort to lose weight, and while I have made half-hearted efforts at altering my diet/lifestyle, I never stuck with it. I had joined Weight Watchers back in 2000 and lost a good chunk, but it crept back on after 2 babies and a variety of other reasons excuses. And while I don't think Weight Watchers is a terrible program, I think that there's too much focus on the whole points system and not enough emphasis on nutrition. I've been using sparkpeople's nutrition tracker, and I've found it to be hugely educational as well as motivating. If you set up a profile and enter your weight goals, it will recommend a calorie range, and you can even use their suggested menus. I pretty much knew where I should be calorically (even though I wasn't actually doing it) but the big thing for me has been seeing actual amounts broken down on carbs, protein, fat & fiber. I know low carb is super trendy and low fat was all the rage 20 years ago, but our bodies are designed to use all those things, and it's so important to provide balance! In one sense, I've actually found it liberating to take control of my food consumption. Let me explain. In the past, if I ate a doughnut I'd usually feel guilty (and of course I'd try to "bury" that guilt by eating more. Sheesh!) Since I've been "dieting" I've eaten 2 doughnuts. Each time I chose to indulge my sweet tooth, but I knew that I was balancing that choice with the other food I was eating that day. Same goes with the occasional fast food burger. I'm making serious, life-long changes... and I'm not about to eat only salad and baked fish every day :)

Another insight: It's not just about the weight. I just finished the Begin With Christ Bible study, and God definitely used that to shake me up. Am I really leaning on Him? Really, truly trusting Him with every aspect of my life? I know God loves me, but for some reason I just felt like He didn't need to be bothered with the physical stuff. I mean, does He really care whether I choose to munch on an apple versus a bag of chips? Can putting down a candy bar be an act of worship? Whose voice am I listening to when I continue eating after I'm no longer hungry? This body may only be a temporary vessel, but I still need to honor Him with it while it's entrusted to me. There are *SO* many verses that I've read in the past couple months that have hit me in a completely different way. The study itself was pretty good, but the time spent discussing it with our group was where I was really encouraged. How awesome to share in the struggles and triumphs with a group of women who are earnestly seeking God! We laughed a lot and shed some tears, too. We've wrapped up this book, but will be starting another in the First Place 4 Health series in January, and I am really looking forward to it. To go along with that, I've had several people remark that they just don't have the willpower. Well, I can unequivocally state that I DON'T EITHER!!! But it's not about me - it's about HIM. I can't do this by myself - but He doesn't expect me to. My Loving Father is there to hold me up when I'm weak, and guide me back when I make a bad decision. I'm so grateful for His grace and mercies that are new every morning...

I have a lot further to go. My clothes are fitting differently, but I don't see a big difference when I look in the mirror. It's not like I've gone from a size 8 to a size 4, know what I mean?! And while I've dropped a substantial amount in the past 12 weeks, I also know that realistically the weight loss will probably not continue at this rate. Logically I'm OK with that, but I know that emotionally it will be a struggle. There will be weeks that the scale doesn't budge; I'm trying not to focus so much on this single number, and think about the bigger picture of health. Every day that I provide proper nutrition for my body means that I'm better equipped for whatever mission God has for me. Every rep with the dumbbells (my mega 2 pound ones!!) means stronger arms to reach out to those around me. The exercise part is still hard for me. I don't like getting all hot and sweaty - I like sitting on the couch and watching TV! Many of the exercises that "experts" recommend for toning involve movements that the orthopedic doctor specifically told me to avoid, but I've managed to find some exercises that I can do. And hey, at least I can now put my pants on without leaning on something for support!

Yes, I still have a long journey ahead of me. I know I've commented before that I don't want to turn this into a weight loss blog, but I do want to share what's going on in my life. Weight is major issue for me, and I know it will be a life-long struggle. Thankfully I am not on this journey alone.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. I Cor 10:31


Ivymamma said...

great explination! and way to go on this journey! You are doing awesome!

Shay said...

I love SparkPeople, thanks for the reminder about them. I need to get back on track myself. Since my surgery I've been pitiful! Congrats again to you Trish, I know how hard this journey is. That book sounds good, I'll have to add it to my read-someday-list. :)

Dave, Krysten, Andrew, and Kira said...

you are my hero!!