Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Do the Works You Did at First

"Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first..." Revelation 2:5

You may be wondering where I have been lately and what the Bible verse has to do with it. The truth is, I haven't blogged in a while because I just didn't know what to say. My last several posts have been about my struggle in the recent months. I hit a plateau around the end of December and haven't been able to conquer it. I understand that reading about my struggles can be just as helpful as reading about my victories. My failures can be as inspiring as my advice but I didn't feel there was much  more to say than what I had already said.

Before I get to my use of the scripture above let me give you a brief recap of the changes I've made in my life over the last year:

* At the beginning of 2011, I decided to make a change towards a healthier lifestyle as I was overweight (obese, actually) and unhappy.

* I started slowly instead of making drastic changes all at once. I added fresh fruits and vegetables to my diet, cut way back on fast food, began to cook more at home, and did some low-impact exercises.

* I lost around 15 pounds by the end of April 2011.

* On Mother's Day 2011 I started The Couch to 5K running plan and began making more changes to my diet, and increased my level of exercise.

* I ran my first 5K in July 2011.

* By December 2011, I had lost a total of 50 pounds.

In December I set another goal for myself to lose another 30 pounds by my 29th birthday at the end of April...AND THEN I GOT STUCK. I hit a brick wall, a plateau, whatever you want to call it. The scale fluctuated every once in a while, up a pound or so, down a pound or so, but mostly it stayed at one weight. I came to terms that I probably would not reach my weight loss goal of 30 pounds in time but I was OK with that. I just never expected to still be ramming my head up against that brick wall in April. The first of April came and I STILL hadn't lost any more weight since December.

I kept making excuses but I knew the truth. I had become comfortable with the weight I was at. I looked better in the clothes that I wore so instead of giving it everything I had, I sort of coasted along. I ate healthy enough most of the week and kept a semi-consistent workout schedule so that when I indulged the other parts of the week, it didn't really affect my weight. I, however, noticed changes in my body, for the worse, even though the scale didn't register any weight gain.

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with my mother and I told her that I knew what it would take to get past this plateau but I just wasn't ready to commit to it. Even though I knew the answer, I wasn't mentally ready to do what it was going to take. But something changed for me right before Easter. My parent's were visiting us in Louisiana and we had gone shopping. This was the first time in a really LONG time that I tried on clothes and felt confident. It was the first time in a really LONG time that I didn't look in a mirror and feel huge or wish that I was just a little smaller so that the dress I liked would fit me. I bought an amazing Easter dress (first one in 3 years) and I felt good. I also bought the smallest size that I have worn in over 4 years...a 12! That is 6 sizes down from where I started! This confidence boost gave me what I needed mentally to keep going. Although I didn't really get started with my new plan until after Easter since I had decided to spend Easter with my family in Florida.

You're probably still wondering about the Bible verse. Today, I was marveling over the weight loss that I have been experiencing in the last week. Yes, I said weight LOSS! And this verse kept coming to my mind. I realize that this scripture is dealing with something else entirely but the truth of it resonates with what's been going on with me this week.

"Remember therefore from where you have fallen..." - last year, I was actively losing weight, changing my lifestyle, and getting healthier. So far this year, I've been coasting along, with my heart not really in it.

"repent..." - I had to take a serious look at what was going on in my mind and my heart concerning my health and weight loss and make a choice.

"and do the works you did at first..." - this was the key. I had to go back to the beginning of when I started this journey. I knew it was going to take serious commitment and serious changes in my eating and exercise habits...AGAIN!

When I first started out of this quest for a healthier lifestyle and a smaller waistline, I was eating extremely healthy...little to no processed foods, lots of lean meats and seafood, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and I was drinking a LOT of water. As of late, I hadn't been doing very much of that. There was a lot of eating out, making poor decisions, eating processed junk and snack foods. But last Friday, I started anew. This week, I have been doing the works that I did at first, eating clean, drinking lots of water, and exercising more. I also haven't had a Diet Coke since last Thursday and if you know me, you know that is huge. I have also upped my green tea consumption again.

I am so happy to share with you that I have torn down that brick wall and I'm moving forward. Since Friday,  I have lost 4 pounds and it feels GOOD!

I'm definitely no where near my goal for April but that's OK. I have less than two week until my birthday, so let's see how much I can lose (safely) til then!

Peace, Love, and Healthy Living,