Saturday, March 17, 2012

Then and Now

On November 1st of last year I knew I needed to do something. I had hit a weight that was unbelievable for me. It broke my heart and brought me to my knees. I KNEW something had to change. I thought that losing some weight would do the trick. I was WRONG.

For three weeks I held to a popular liquid diet routine and exercised as much as possible. I was looking for results, and I got them. I think I lost about 8 pounds during that time. But, I had this gnawing, aching feeling that this was only the beginning, and it was about to get ugly. It did. God showed me that the diet was not what He was what I wanted. The exercise was not His plan...but mine alone. I was humbled and broken and looking for what God wanted to teach me.

I NEEDED and WANTED to know what God had in store....I've been on a roller coaster of weight loss/weight gain for all of my adult life. I CRAVED God's intervention. Little did I know how hard this would be. To stare my sin face to face and to come to the point of realizing that MY sin was hindering my relationship with the Father was not pretty at all. Some of you may recall the day I wept while I was running calling out to God in repentance for my gluttony, pride, thoughtlessness and selfish ways. He BROKE me.

Three weeks into MY plan, God showed us His ways through a particular plan of eating. I am not necessarily advocating this plan as it doesn't fit everyone. Basically the idea is to eat more veggies, some fruits (before 2), probiotics (my personal favorite) and lean meat. No carbs for a while and then reintroduced every other day but before 2 pm. And, drink lots of water and green tea. It works for us. There seem to be a variety of systems out there that promote the same ideas. And last but not least, get moving....get the heart pumping every day.

I knew I couldn't do this alone, so God prompted ALL of the "big" people around here to join in. The littles (J, Z and E) eat the same things we do, and honestly, they have enjoyed it more than we have. They prefer the veggies and protein...that should've been our first hint that this was a GOOD thing. The day after Thanksgiving of 2011 we all began the journey.

My life has not been an easy one....growing up with a mom in and out of mental institutions, told we would likely never have children biologically, dad convicted of murder in 2002, complete house fire in 2005, RAD of 2 of our adoptive children, 3 international adoptions...but THIS has been the HARDEST battle I have EVER fought. Why? Because it makes me face the root of the problem and realize that this is a SIN issue...MY SIN ISSUE! There's NO ONE else to blame or to take responsibility. It is mine and mine alone. I have found comfort, healing, fellowship, joy, and fulfillment in FOOD...not in the Savior. I have run to food out of boredom, stress, in times of happiness and sadness, and in utter mindlessness instead of running to my Heavenly Father. This was NOT about food or was about my cravings for the things of this world more than I craved God.

I must confess that it has been an UPHILL battle EVERY single day...EVERY really, EVERY day. There have been moments when we have cried around the dinner me, crying in a NOT a beautiful thing. We have had days of whiny attitudes and words - and NOT just the kids! I even had a time when I was counseling myself in the mirror...rebuking myself for being "bored" with the same foods over and over again. How dare I complain after seeing what I have seen around the world! People eat the same things over and over again for their entire lives and I am complaining on day 10...uuggh! At the same time there have been great joys - encouraging one another through times of trials, seeing God's abounding peace, and resting in His provision!

Little by little God has whittled away at my heart until it is focused solely on Him alone. I don't eat a meal without praying about whether God would have me eat it or how much He wants me to eat. I MUST listen to His voice when He says to stop...and I must trust Him! He knows what is best for me, and He has a plan for me. I MUST obey.

We are four months into this journey and it feels like forever...seriously people...forever! But oh the lessons I have learned! Here are a few of the highlights for me:

* I have a struggle just like everyone else. If I can't deal with my struggle in a way that honors God, what makes me think I should ask for a different struggle?

* I must take EVERY thought captive to the glory of Christ. That includes thoughts of food and lazy tendencies.

* I am the teacher of my children. They WILL learn how to eat and exercise from my example.

* I will crave what I eat. If I eat healthy, my body will crave and demand foods that are nutritious. If I eat junk, my body will want more junk.

* I will seek to honor God with my body as His Word instructs. I cannot gloss over, ignore or explain away that Scripture.

* The Body of Christ is truly a beautiful gift that encourages, supports and loves people like me through difficult journeys like this. I am so grateful for friends and family who hold me accountable for my choices!

There has been a by-product of this journey and that is weight that has been lost. Between the 4 of us, we have lost 180 lbs! JT has lost 70 of that and has led our family in this battle against unhealthy eating and apathy. This is NOT a quick is a formula for putting God's ways FIRST.

I have to tell you that I do like the results. Just last night I was trying on capris to take on a trip to Guatemala. Two different ones were WAY too tight on me last summer and I couldn't wear them. But last night they fell off me...literally. My hubby found it funny but I found it glorifying. It was a testimony to God's ways and His plans...not mine.

As I ran a 5K today, I was reminded of the picture at the top of this blog...41 lbs ago. God's mercy and grace and love have been poured out on me. And, I am one grateful servant....


LaRessie said...

GOD is wonderful! And you look AMAZING!!! SO happy you are following HIS plan! :) LOVE YOU!!!

Amy said...

I am so thankful for you and your journey. I've always thought you were a beautiful and amazing person. Now you are just more so:) Thank you for sharing along on this journey. I think of you often on it.