Last month I had a self esteem break down. I had steadily been gaining more and more weight since the summer, and the person I saw in the mirror looked more and more uncomfortable in her own skin. I was mad at myself for not having better self control, and frustrated that excess weight always seemed to be my cross to bear. I felt frumpy and unattractive and out of control of even my ability to monitor the food I put in my body. I was beginning to reach a breaking point, I could feel it coming. I sat in Whitney’s office (my counselor), and I just word vomited all my frustrations and sadness and pain. Whitney explained to me that there is a change cycle, which is basically the steps that one takes to change. The first step is pre-contemplation, and this is where there is no intention of changing behavior. Next is contemplation, and this is where we become aware that there is a problem, but we still aren’t committing to changing it. Next is preparation, where you are intent upon taking action and prepare to do so. Then there is the action step, where are you are actively changing your behaviors. Next is maintenance, where there is a sustained change in your behavior. And finally there is relapse, where you fall back into old patterns of behavior. Whitney asked me where I thought I was. I said contemplation. I was fully aware there was a problem, but I wasn’t confident that I was willing to give up what was required for change to happen.
That night I went home and downloaded a book by Lysa Terkeurst called “Made to Crave”. My friend Leigh had raved about it, and so I decided to give it a shot. Y’all, if you are a female, who struggles with food or your relationship with it, YOU NEED TO READ IT! Seriously, it rocked my world and woke me up. That night I moved to the preparation step. I decided that change needed to happen, and that Jesus would give me the strength and power I needed to make that happen. I decided that after Steve and I got home from our anniversary trip I would make some major changes.
Then we went to NY to visit our family for Christmas. My “in laws” are such fabulous and loving and kind people and I was really excited for our trip and to spend some time with some of my favorite people. I was trying to be more conscious of what I was eating… but it was Christmas. Diet and Christmas are enemies, don’t you know? So all of my in laws are rather trim and healthy, and on Christmas morning we were taking photos together and I looked at one of those photos and instantly felt filled with shame. Not because of my family, but because I just felt huge in comparison. My inner dialogue isn’t always very kind, sometimes I am very mean to myself. And that morning was one of those moments. I went into the room Steve and I were staying in to get changed, and Steven was there and I just broke down. “I am fat babe”. Of course he tried to comfort and assure me that I was not fat, and that I was planning on making changes soon, and that he loved me very much. But that moment was the breaking point that I knew was coming my way. I just knew that I knew that I couldn’t keep feeling the way I was feeling, so I decided that when we returned home from NY I was going to make the changes rather than wait until the after our vacation. It needed to happen. And I knew that I needed to understand that this wasn’t going to be a temporary diet, but instead, in a lot of ways a permanent change.
It’s been about 3 weeks and a half weeks since I started this health journey. I have cut out coffee, added sugar and most carbs. I recently added dark chocolate back in, but outside of that the only sugar I consume is what is found in fruit. I have also added 4 days of exercise at the gym, and it’s the strangest thing… I’m actually enjoying it. I’ve made cookies that are added sugar free, dairy free, egg free, oil free, and flour free… and they were actually quite delicious. I made cauliflower pizza crust… and then put too much sauce and cheese on it… but that’s besides the point! 😉 I am learning how to make changes in my life that are manageable the for long term, healthy, AND delicious. Honestly, I haven’t lost a ton of weight at this point in the game, and when I quit coffee and sugar I had such awful headaches and body aches that I felt like I had the flu. But now I feel so much better. I know that I am doing good things for my body and I think that is reflected in the energy levels I’ve been experiencing. I’ve literally never enjoyed the gym before in my life. But right now I actually have been looking forward to those days. I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO I AM ANYMORE!
My goal for this journey is not to be consumed with changing my appearance and losing weight, but instead to honor the Lord by putting healthy food in my body, by exercising so I am in good shape, and to love myself more and better through the act of loving my body more and better. There are some days where it has been very difficult. Those days when I smell magic juice (coffee) brewing in the cubicle across from me, or when I smell delicious fresh baked cookies. But there was a part in Made to Crave that sticks with me, she talks about how the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to us to conquer and be victorious! Anytime I want to reach for a brownie over my carrot sticks I have to think “NO! The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to me to choose that carrot stick!” and it might sound silly to you, but for me it works!
So, I say all of the above to kind of share what’s been going on in my heart/mind/life, but also because I think I’m going to blog about this a little more often, because I doubt I’m the only person that struggles with weight and food. I’ll share the good and the bad and maybe some tasty recipes I discover!
Thanks for reading friends… and sorry this post was so long! But I hope maybe you’ve been able to relate to it in some ways. You are loved… repeat that over and over to yourself.