I've had every intention of posting recently but my mind and heart have been torn between another, "this is my life" post or an update on my weight loss journey. Even now, I'm not sure which I would benefit from more. This last week without Ryan has been incredibly hard but things are slowly getting better. My healthy lifestyle has been in the toilet, for lack of a better word, in the last month and I'm slowly getting that back on track. So which is it going to be?
I guess most of you found your way to my blog because of my healthy living journey so I guess I'll start there.
Last year I really hit a stride around November. The weight was just falling off and I had my act together. I was eating healthy, working out at the gym, going for daily walks. My running had fallen off by then but I was still doing the things I needed to be doing. Along came December and knocked me on my butt. I survived the holidays without wreaking havoc on my body and lifestyle but the scale wasn't budging. I got up though and set some new goals for a new year. I started off January headed in the right direction when out of nowhere, I ran smack into a brick wall. Over the next few months, I struggled with that wall, sometimes almost making it over before falling back down again. Climbing over it wasn't getting me anywhere so I thought I'd take a shot at going around it but by this time my heart wasn't in it. I was so frustrated and upset with myself. I was making poor choices on a daily basis. I continued to walk everyday but I had stopped going to the gym all together. I started and re-started my healthy lifestyle over and over again trying to get back to that committed girl who started losing all that weight last year. Eventually, I was no longer making any progress but continuously ramming my head against the wall. And most recently, I decided that the wall wasn't worth the effort anymore and just walked away from it.
That's really where this post picks up.
Right now, I could list for you at least 5 valid excuses that I used to walk away. I say valid because as you all know, life is messy and life is hard, and things just come up sometime that get in the way of the goals and plans that we have. The problem with these excuses is that they were excuses that I thought I had already dealt with and put to rest. But even the alcoholic knows, that no matter how long they've been sober, there is always that chance that they can slip up, that life can get in the way and that a drink seems like the only answer to the problems. But in the same token, an alcoholic doesn't have to go to the liquor store and buy it. He has a choice to drive a different direction, to choose not to drink. A food addict doesn't have that luxury. Food is essential to sustain life. I have to eat to live or I'll die. So the temptation to over-indulge, to choose the wrong foods, to allow food to comfort and alleviate stress, is there. Not just once, but multiple times a day. So, I thought that I had conquered that stronghold in my life. I thought I was finally over letting my emotions and stress dictate what I ate and how much. But sin is sneaky like that. And I say sin because I truly believe that it is. This food addiction is a stronghold in my life. I often allow food to try and do the things in my life that I should be giving over to God and letting Him deal with. It's a sin of thinking that I know better than God does. It's a sin of trying to control my own life.
I kind of feel like I'm back at square one again. But maybe that's where God needs me. Maybe I need to be here again so that I can really deal with this sin in my life. Filling my body with junk does not glorify God. Treating my body like a trash can instead of a temple does not honor God. It is a poor witness. All of this is a realization that I've had to come to myself. I know people mean well. I know there are a lot of people out there who care about me. But honestly, the more people tell me when I'm doing things wrong or that I shouldn't be eating certain foods the more my sin nature wants to rebel. As a side note, if you find yourself being one of these people, good intentions or not, please realize that saying things like that can often hurt the person more than help them. Be there with listening ears. Set the example for them in the way you eat and the way you treat your body. If things are really out of control for the other person then a loving, gentle reproach is much better than an off hand comment or snide remark. And remember just because you do things a certain way doesn't make it the gospel on how things should be done. Every person is different, they have different limitations, and their bodies respond differently.
I am so thankful for those people in my life who do encourage me. I recently ran into my friend Clara at the mall. We are living in the same town now but haven't had a chance to get together. While still in the throws of my poor decision making, I was indulging in a fried chicken sandwich and french fries at Chic-Fil-A when I saw her. And instantly I felt guilty as I saw her eating her salad with barely any dressing. When I mentioned it, she encouraged me verbally and that alone was a big push in the right direction for me. Her actions alone was all the "reproach" I needed. If she had of verbally made an off hand comment about my poor choices, I probably would have reacted differently and instead of being nudged in the right direction, I would have probably walked further away from that wall.
Clara also encouraged me to get "real" on my blog. I shared with her my low point over the past month and I'm going to share it with you here today. I've always said that I don't have it figured out but I secretly thought I did. The following scenario should keep me humble for a while...
Because of the stress of moving and my husband getting ready to leave for Basic Combat Training with the Army, I let that be an excuse to eat poorly and not exercise. My choices got worse and worse as the weeks went on. Finally, on the day that we dropped him off at the recruiters office, I hit my low point. When we made it back to Graceville, I went to the local grocery store and bought a pint of Blue Bell ice cream and a bag of Doritos. I had already purchased a Dark Chocolate Snickers bar at a gas station on our way home. I also bought a Coke Zero even though I had most recently been cutting any products with Aspartame out of my diet all together. After my daughter went to bed, I polished off the ice cream, the Snickers, the cola, and half the bag of Doritos, all in the name of a tired, sad, stressed out heart. I wasn't completely finished. When I bought the ice cream, I bought 2 pints. The next day, I polished off two more Coke Zero's, the second pint of ice cream, more Doritos, and a bunch of other food. My week continued in pretty similar fashion although no day was as bad as that Monday night. On Saturday, I ran into Clara. I wish I could say that I was finished eating junk after that but I ate some crap Sunday night before bed.
Before you eat like that, you always think it will make you feel better even though you know differently. Years of living like this has taught me that but for some reason, I have a hard time reminding myself of that when I'm at that point. So I felt bad all week. I was emotional with my husband gone. I was frustrated with my lack of discipline and I was tired. The more I thought about what I had been doing to my body the more I began to see it as sin. You know the saying, "Sin will take you farther than you planned on going, keep you longer than you planned on staying, and cost you more than you planned on paying," or something like that. Well, instead of being right up against that wall, I'm pretty far away. I didn't plan on going that far or staying that long but the longer I've stayed away the harder it is to come back and to get back on track. And of course I payed more than I wanted, I've gained a few pounds back, I feel tired and sluggish, and I'm ashamed of my behavior. I'm not cured. I may never be. This may be a lifelong struggle and I'm going to have to be okay with that. On Monday, I made myself get up and go for a walk. I had a salad for lunch. I still made mistakes. But I recognized them and tried to learn from them and tried harder the next time. Today was 3 days in a row of getting up early and going for a walk. I still struggle with my food choices but most of that comes from being lazy. I have to get back into the routine of making a meal plan and doing the prep work that needs to be done. I also have to remember why I started this journey in the first place...my daughter and setting a good example for her. And most importantly, I have to deal with this sin. I have to confess it, pray about it, turn to God when the temptations arise, and dig into God's word for wisdom and guidance.
So there it is, in all of it's ugliness. This time, there will be no trying to climb over or go around the wall. It's time to tear it down once and for all. I'm not saying that there won't be another wall but at least I'll be better prepared to deal with it.
Peace, Love, and Healthy Living,