Friday, January 13, 2012

There Are No Shortcuts

There really aren't any shortcuts to losing weight and getting healthy.

We all would much prefer a "magic bullet" to the hard work and discipline required to get in shape.

I would, but I haven't found one.

Oh, I've tried and had limited success with a number of different types of what I will call diet aids--Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, Atkins, low carb, low fat, protein shakes, HCG--but nothing lasting.

Because if it isn't about real change, it isn't sustainable.

So here I am again, down somewhat from where I was before, but not nearly where I should or want to be after so many years of toiling in this struggle.

I think I'm finally accepting that getting to an ideal weight for my height and age, and staying there, requires significant, monumental changes.

I've begun tracking everything I eat using a cool app that my husband introduced me to, MyFitnessPal.  Every morsel.

What I like about this one over other weight loss journaling tools I've used in the past is that it's at my fingertips via my phone; most foods, even brand names, are already in the app so I don't have to guess; and it tells me what my caloric intake should be in a day, another thing that has pretty much been guesswork.

No more guessing.  Guesswork = poor results.

The things that I eat that are pretty healthy, like one egg for breakfast, a half cup of fruit salad, an apple, salad, even chili, have pretty reasonable calorie counts. The things I know I shouldn't eat, like Cheez-its, cookies, potato chips, have pretty enormous calories, even in tiny servings.  Of course, I knew that, but seeing the actual numbers is a huge wake-up call.

I can tell you it is totally possible to eat twice as much as one should in a given day without feeling completely fat and greedy.


Those not-so-great calories really add up.

What will it take for change to become permanent?

I'm doing laundry last night and I'm thinking, as I whisper a prayer, then congratulate myself for bypassing the hard candy, that I've never really trusted God with my weight loss struggle.

Why not?

Then, I read an article in the paper this morning about Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and his incredible discipline for healthy living.  He regularly admonishes his family, especially his mother.  Lewis says, "I stay mad at my mom because she spends so much time with God but doesn't trust God with her body."

Incoming dart.  Right between the eyes.

I would hate for my boys to feel this way.  They could say this to me now, as Lewis did about his mother, and they would be right.
When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?”

“Yes, Lord,” they replied.

Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; and their sight was restored. -- Matthew 9:28-30

Little faith, little success.

Great faith, great success.

I trust God for many things, but somehow not for this.


I don't have an answer for that one.  I'll be pondering it for a while.

Methinks there are no shortcuts to faith either.

Do you trust--truly trust--God with your chronic struggles?  If you (we) did, would the struggle be chronic or would the struggle be over?


Eat Less:  Overall, not so great, but heading in the right direction.  Becoming conscious of everything I'm putting in my mouth.

Move More:  Sometimes life works with you when it seems like it's working against you.  A little car trouble, resulting in the use of public transportation, goes a long way toward moving more.  Walking daily.

Write:  This is my other focus area, the one that contributes to my mental and emotional health.  Made some progress on the daily writing front, not as much as I would like, but definitely trending in the right direction.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Renewal of Mind = Body Transformation

Here's something I've learned:  you have to be careful who you share with.  Because if you share with people what God is speaking into your heart/life, and they don't see what they consider to be concrete the evidence of the blessings God has promised you, according to their chosen measuring stick, they badmouth you.

Who is "they"?

Friends, family, co-workers, neighbors...could be anyone.

Sometimes, it feels like things are to be shared only after they have come into fruition.  But faith is not that way.  We have to believe--and share--the things we cannot see so that when they do come into fruition, God will be glorified.

I feel that way about a lot of things, one of which is my weight loss.  Feels like I've been sharing and making progress, not so obviously evident progress, for years.  Some may wonder why I bother or at least why I keep talking about it.

Because, with God's help, I'm going to make my goal weight.

This year.  

I've got a little extra motivation this year, but I'll keep that to myself.  For now.

Sure, I've talked a lot here about my weight struggles.  Seems like I'm constantly hitting a snag, gaining more than losing and restarting with a newfound zeal.

Truth is, in the past five years, I've lost weight.  I began this new year lighter than I have in a long time.  

Not where I want to be.  Not even close.

But encouraged.

Even with the four lbs I gained over the holidays (the least I can ever remember gaining during this time of the year).

So I'm not restarting because that would mean I'd have to go back to where I was before.

I'm recommitting.

Not a New Year's resolution.  I actually started working on this before Thanksgiving which is how I managed to gain so little.  (I'm usually good for 10+ lbs.)

More like a renewal of the mind.

Romans 12:2 says "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." (NIV, 1984)

Renewing the mind brings about transformation.

I'm going to transform this body.

This year.

And I'm going with the completely simple, fool-proof method:  eat less, move more.

This, believe it or not, has worked well for many, including myself, in the past.

Oh there's more, including the types of foods I choose, how often I eat, and in what quantities, but this simple phrase--"eat less, move more"--succinctly summarizes the plan.  It rings in my head which makes it easier to follow.

Anybody with me?