Before and After Pictures
I don't have many before pictures.
For as long as I can remember, I was always felt big. The first thoughts were formed in grade school and continued through junior high and high school. I grew up in a family that ate healthy meals at the dinner table and we enjoyed a wide variety of vegetables from our garden. We only at out once a week as a family. When I went to college, I remained consitent in my weight and my battle with eating more than I should and struggling with the feeling that I was big. After giving birth to two children, I returned to my pre-pregnancy weight. Over the years, I tried every diet and form of controlling the food that there was out there from Weight Watchers, to Jenny Craig, to NutriSystem, the Mayo Clinic diet, the cabbage soup diet, etc. Nothing worked. I would lose the weight and then I would find it again.
It was in some difficult years when the children were young and The Salesman worked long days and the enemy worked even longer on my heart and mind that I went to food when I should have been seeking the LORD. A hundred plus pounds of weight is what I gained. At night when the children were asleep, I'd drown my sorrows in a bag of potato chips or other foods. I thought I could find comfort and peace with the food. However, it became a vicious cycle of regret and shame. Eating became my past-time. I went through a season of professional counseling to deal with some of my issues and hurts from my past, and then in the 90's I was introduced to a Bible study that forever changed my life. It sounds so pie-in-the-sky; but the study shared a simple precept, and well, it worked.
When your stomach growled, eat. The study taught me that the stomach growl is your GOD given clue that your body needs fuel. When you want to eat at other times that your stomach is not growling, go to GOD and pray and read HIS Word. Ask GOD to fill you...And, it worked!
I've intentionally gotten rid of 100 plus pounds of flesh. Praise YOU JESUS! I don't like to say that I lost my weight, because to me, lost indicates that you may find it again. And in every other way of dieting, I had found the weight again. I had been a yo-yo dieter and controller. I will not find the weight again. I intentionally got rid of the excess. It was a choice. And it continues to be a choice to chose GOD over the food.
For a couple years during the journey, I stayed at the weight I was at when I got married almost 28 years ago; but I still had that feeling of being big. I struggled with balance. I had been so far to one extreme and did not want to go to the other extreme; but I didn't want to live my life always feeling big. I had lost weight before by controlling and I knew it wasn't a long term solution. JESUS was my long term solution!
So at the encouragement of accountability partners, I ate less food. And as I ate less food, the last 30 pounds came off. It was a struggle for me at first to let go of the extra food for the last 30 pounds. I thought that I didn't eat that much! I found that I had greed for more food. GOD had to deal with my heart. I had to let go of the greed for more food and go to GOD to fill me. A friend started sharing her pictures of what she ate and when I saw the smaller amounts, it made sense - I knew I needed to eat less food than what I'd been eating. As a visual person, the pictures really helped me. I'd been around big dinner plates, super sized meals and big everything. Godly accountability helped and encouraged me in my journey. The Scriptures gave, and continue to give, so much encouragement. GOD wants me to care for my earthly temple. I am apart of several different Facebook groups that encourage and build each other up in this arena.
In my journey, a real relationship with GOD was, and is, key for me. GOD so wants access to every part of our lives. HE is concerned with who and what I go to when I have problems. HE wants me to come to HIM. HE desires a real relationship with HIM. I can honestly say, the food never gave back to me. Any time I spread peanut butter on something, all I got was guilt and shame and a repeating cycle. JESUS, on the other hand, loves when I come to HIM and loves when I seek HIM and encourages me when I'm down, HE strengthens me when I'm weak and HE helps me fight the battles, when the food, to me, speaks!
I also wanted to share that exercise was not apart of my "getting rid of" phase of the journey. Because of the excess weight, anytime I started to exercise, I'd hurt somewhere - my knees, joints, etc. But six months ago, The Salesman and I started back to the gym and I have started exercising to tone my arms and stomach and to strengthen my core. I feel so much better after I exercise! I enjoy walking. And I love visiting with old and new friends at the gym. As I got closer to the weight I am now, healthier foods began to taste good to me. I enjoy all foods in moderation. No food or food group is off limits to me, or was it ever during the intentional getting rid of the weight process.
Praise HIS Name!
I thank you for a before and an after.
You turn sorrow into laughter.
In the sin of greed, I was found;
Thank YOU for turning me around.