I'm sure most of you have seen the tv show The Biggest Loser. If you have, then you know how at the very beginning of the season, one of the most dramatic times is the initial starting weigh in. It's a real tear fest every time.
If I had my choice, I would not step foot on a scale. Ever. However, since I have had so many doctor's appointments lately, "the big reveal" has been unavoidable. I also don't usually let pictures of myself make it public. So in this post I'm going to kick two fears in the teeth at the same time.
I said "no shame" in my last post, but yet the very thought of telling you how much I weigh terrifies and embarrasses me. I figured out what was actually at the root of my fear. You know what it was? It was that people would think less of me if they knew. I fear the eyebrows going up and the "wow" that may shortly follow your new found knowledge. That's it. What I realize now though is that if you think less of me for my weight then I don't need your approval anyway. No offense.
So time to put my money where my mouth is. First fear - the picture. That's me up there in the blue shirt. That was taken about a month ago. Second fear - I currently weigh 370 lbs.
OK...that's done. I don't feel liberated or relieved yet. Let's hope that I don't have sharer's remorse in the morning.
The other day a friend of mine asked me if putting all of this weight loss stuff online was liberating. I told him no. More than anything, it feels embarrassing. It's embarrassing to admit that you are fat - even if everyone else knows it.
It's embarrassing when you've finished a plate of food with no problem and the person next to you (who has ordered the same thing) exclaims, "I couldn't eat another bite! I'm stuffed!" and they still have 1/2 of the food left on their plate.
It's embarrassing when you go out to eat and have to ask for a table because you never know how much room there will be if you get a booth.
It's embarrassing when your shoe comes untied in a public place and in order to tie it, you have to hold your breath and contort your body into unnatural positions to fix it.
It's embarrassing when you are working out at the gym or with friends and trying to hide how out of breath you really are.
It's embarrassing to put your weight on your driver's license.
It's embarrassing the first time a child, who doesn't know any better, comes up to you and says "You're fat!" in front of other people.
It's embarrassing when someone asks you what size you wear.
There is a lot of shame and embarrassment that comes along with being overweight. And I'm sure there are a hundred things that I haven't listed that others could add as well.
Feeling that sense of shame and guilt over your weight is something that you can't understand unless you've been there. That's why people sneak food. It's why people try to wear clothes to make them look smaller. It's why people lie about their weight.
Society has made people who are overweight feel that we are not good people. There is this underlying implication that secretly we all sit on the couch all day eating hamburgers and ice cream and yelling at our children to fetch us our stuff while we mindlessly flip through the channels in our pajamas.
We are lazy and unmotivated. We have less worth.
And somewhere deep down, I believe this about myself - which is why losing weight "for myself" has never been motivation enough to do it. I felt like I needed do it for other people.
But you know what? I am not lazy. I am not dumb. I am not less of a person. I may have some health issues that I need to address, but my weight alone does not define who I am.
On one hand this all seems very "duh" to me. But on the other hand, I feel like I am just now really allowing this truth to sink in. I don't need to apologize for who I am - I need to celebrate my strengths and hand over my weaknesses to Someone Else who thought enough of me to die for me.
"He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when the Lord Jesus Christ returns." 1 Corinthians 1:8
There are a few types of eaters. There are those who eat out of necessity (boooring). There are those who use food as a reward. Then there are those who use food as their own anti-anxiety medication. I am a combination of the last two, so today is going to be a rough day for me.
I am taking Quinton and Micah up to my parent’s house for the weekend by myself. It’s only a three hour car ride you may say. But three hours in the car with a 4 month old who loathes the very idea of his car seat combined with a seven year old that has recently developed brain damage and an obsession with whistling poorly, and you’ve got the perfect storm. I am going to have to strap my hands to the steering wheel to prevent myself from self-medicating with Reese Cups and French fries.
If you happen to be driving on I-71 North anytime this afternoon and see a woman in a silver Taurus twitching uncontrollably and covered in chocolate on the side of the highway, please pull over to help me. And give me some carrot sticks
I have some friends who just dropped their son off at rehab. He is 21 and has a severe addiction to heroin. Because of his addiction and some of the behaviors surrounding it, his body is paying the price. It was because of these physical problems that the straw on the camel’s back was finally broken and he agreed to get help.
With tears in his eyes, the dad stood and poured out his own fears, revelations, and hopes surrounding this new journey that he and his family were beginning with his son. But as he stood there talking about this hardcore drug user that so many people would have the tendency to look down on, one thought popped in my head and it temporarily stopped me in my tracks: He uses a needle, I use a fork. As I let that sink in, the similarities began to really set in.
I sometimes sneak food because I don’t want people to know how much I really eat. I’ve even gone through the drive-thru on my way to dinner at someone else’s house (just in case they didn’t have enough food or had something I didn’t like). That’s not so different from the person that sneaks off to the bathroom to get their drug fix, is it?
When I deny myself certain foods, I get moody and sometimes even feel physical symptoms. Ever been around a drug addict when they weren’t able to get drugs? They aren’t pleasant.
I’ve lost control over my drug use. Even though I don’t want to overeat or eat things that are bad for me, I find myself in situations where the temptation or desire to consume those things become overwhelming and I give in. Then I feel guilty which will sometimes cause me to turn to more food for comfort. That’s classic addict behavior.
My food addiction negatively impacts relationships with people around me. I can’t play with my 7 year old the way that he would like me to. My body image issues prevent me from being fully open with my husband physically. My lap isn’t big enough to comfortably hold my newborn son. These may not be significant to other people, but to me they are glaring reminders of my inabilities.
I’m not saying that everyone who has a slight weight problem suffers from food addiction. As a matter of fact, I would say that most don’t. But for myself, this truth is becoming more and more evident.
In Alcoholics Anonymous, the first of the twelve steps is admitting that you are powerless over alcohol and that your life has become unmanageable because of it. The second step is believing that a power greater than yourself can restore you to sanity.
Today I prayed to God like I usually do. But today I admitted that I feel powerless over this aspect of my life. And I asked Him to come into the places in my brain and heart that are broken and to fix them and to show me what I need to do next. If you are so inclined, please say a prayer for me today as well.
Sometimes the truth is ugly.
* I currently weigh more than Shaquille O’Neal.
* Medically speaking, I could l
lose the weight of an average sized person’s whole body and still be considered overweight.
* When faced with the task of losing 100+ pounds, the odds of success are so low that if you actually succeed, you have a decent chance of making the cover of a magazine somewhere.
* I sometimes can’t find clothes that fit - even in a plus sized store.
* I got this way because of my own choices.
* I could die. I could die and leave my husband and children without a wife and a mom.
* Even having this knowledge, I still have a hard time making the right decisions when it comes to my health.
It’s heavy stuff. (no pun intended). And to be honest, I often find myself overwhelmed with the truth of it all.
But sometimes, the truth is beautiful.
“And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.” 2 Peter 1:4
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
“He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Now I just need to BELIEVE these promises with my heart…not just with my head.
“Since I am starting my new diet tomorrow, I’m really going to live it up today.”
“I’ll just throw this stuff in the closet. I‘ll clean it out and deal with it tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow I am going to sit down and come up with a Bible reading schedule for myself and the kids.”
Whether it be getting started with an exercise plan, starting new eating habits, tackling that closet full of junk, calling that friend who I haven’t seen in a long time, or sitting down to spend some time with God through study and prayer, tomorrow has always been my downfall. I am the queen of tomorrow. My intentions are good (and sometimes I actually do follow through) but too often, I put off things for later that need to be started right away - leaving me with a task bigger than it was to begin with.
All of those last meals have turned into an extra ten pounds. Those few items thrown into the closet, when done often enough, turn into a closet full of stuff that has no place. And in my efforts to come up with the “perfect” plan for Bible study, I pass up a million opportunities to learn and teach in the moment.
Practically speaking, to overcome procrastination you first need to examine your reasons. Is the task too hard? Break it up into smaller segments. Do you think you’re going to fail? Change your self talk from “I don’t want to do this now” to “I can do this.” Are you not a good manager of time? Make lists and prioritize them according to importance to you. Take breaks and reward yourself for your efforts - it’s hard work establishing new habits!
Here is a scripture to meditate on as well: “The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.” Proverbs 13:4
Now go and do something.
For two days now I have been looking through blog templates. My eyes no longer have the ability to focus or distinguish between vertical or horizontal menu tabs and I have discovered a whole new world of font styles and sidebar options. But I do not have the patience for such things so I decided to look for the most simple template I could find and just start writing. Everything else will just have to be a work in progress.
Initially my goal with this blog was going to be to chronicle my weight loss efforts. Then I realized that the issues surrounding my own circumstances go far deeper than JUST diet and exercise (although that will be a major part of my journey). So I am just going to write. One day it may be about cheeseburgers and the next it might be about my daddy issues. Who knows. We'll see where it goes. In the meantime, if you notice that my page doesn't look right or has some weird link that doesn't fit, just keep it to yourself. The last thing I need is for you to point out my flaws. Be careful, I may end up blogging about you!