Thursday, August 16, 2012

Body by Vi 90 Day Fitness Challenge

I haven't blogged in a long time because I got tired of sharing my thoughts and emotions.  All of that has COMPLETELY changed.  I've gone extremely public with one of the most intimate parts of my heart and life.  On June 25, 2012 I began the most challenging journey of my life.  I joined a 90 day fitness challenge with Body by Vi.  Two shakes a day, sensible meal and snacks in between seemed easy enough.  I have amazing friends on the challenge and felt that if they could do it so could I, right?  I wanted to lose some weight and felt I'd have support and encouragement.  It seemed like a "good" thing to do at the time.  I had no idea this would become my job, my ministry and my mission. 

I began by telling a few people my story.  Sharing some weight loss victories and a few struggles with anyone willing to listen.  I thought I was being transparent and I didn't think too much about it.  I was getting fairly comfortable when everything changed dramatically.  As if the occasional Facebook and Twitter posts weren't public enough I entered a Showdown Challenge.  I need to make weekly videos of my transformation.  Sharing victories, struggles, favorite shake recipe, day to day life while making it as real as possible.  Now the true challenge begins!

I have come face to face with the fact that I'm a food addict.  I have always been overweight so this really shouldn't be a big surprise.  I am coming to realize that I am obsessive.  I think about food all the time.  I eat whenever I'm bored, frustrated, in a group, by myself or whenever something delicious is available.  I could snack all day long.  Sometimes I have found food wrappers by my bed and have no recollection of how they got there.  A few times I've gone through one fast food drive through ordered a small meal and gone to a different location and done the same thing.  By going to different locations and getting rid of the trash  nobody can see how much I've eaten.  I have fooled myself for years thinking that there are no real consequences.  I really don't even know why I do it because it doesn't make sense to me.  I have gotten sick from the amount of food I've eaten but that doesn't seem to stop me.  I don't make myself throw up but the result and effect is the same.

Now through these video diaries the fear has crept up.  What am I afraid of exactly?  Everything!  Are people judging me?  Is the "food police" out there with guns drawn ready to make an arrest?  Ok ok so I watch too many crime shows!  Am I exercising enough?  Will the scale reflect my efforts?  How do I think thin?  I have no idea what that looks or feels like so I can't embrace it in full.  Even though I am losing weight I haven't hit that burst of energy that a lot of people talk about.  Plus I find myself trying to sabotage my progress.  I feel like a failure so I react like a failure. 

Even though I am terrified I know this is what God has called me to do.  God has been challenging me to be transparent.  I am seeing physical results but I also have to work on the mental obstacles.  I just didn't realize it would be so difficult so I am begging for your prayers.  I can't do this alone and honestly I don't even want to try. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sinking Ship

Time has gone by and medicines have changed but I'm not sure if I'm doing any better. Of course that is my perspective based on how I feel today. For a while I was doing great and feeling positive. But somehow in the last week I've been losing ground again. I correlate it to a sinking ship that I don't realize is truly sinking. I see a hole and try to patch it up. I see another burst of water and try to repair that hole as well. Instead of trying to get help or getting into another boat I just keep patching holes. I work and work and get nowhere. It is no wonder I'm tired.

The obvious question would be "Why don't you just get help?". Well, that is easier said than done. I'm not sure what I need help with or who to ask. I have a lot of friends that are willing to pitch in, but if I can't find a voice to the need within me then I'm unable to get help. Thankfully writing things down in my journal or blog do help quite a bit. Unfortunately I don't do it often enough. I still try to pretend and deceive myself in hopes that what I'm feeling isn't the truth. I still falsely believe that I should be over this by now. It has been several months so I should be able to move on. I've already been given the diagnosis, I'm receiving treatment and I'm on medication so what is taking so long?

One of the keys to keeping up hope is to think of what I would tell a friend. Would I be this hard on her? Would I give her no room to recover? Would I sit in judgement of her just because I don't understand? Would I lovingly sit by her side? Would I talk to her when she needed a friend? Would I be content to listen when she was silent? I need to treat myself as a friend. Plus one of the biggest keys is to keep in mind that my Best Friend knows my true needs before I ask and supplies for them each and every time! It isn't always easy to remember that but it is the Truth!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Last year I began my "Journey to Health" blog thinking it would be about my weight loss journey. I never would have guessed it would have included my journey to mental health and stability. I believed I would share my struggles regarding diet and exercise. I never would have chosen this change in direction. There are many times when I am embarrassed to share my weaknesses. I'm still deathly afraid of people's opinions. What if someone doesn't like what I have to say? What if they reject me because of it? Yet, at the same time I have not much left to lose. At any time if you have any questions feel free to bring them on. I'd rather be transparent and free to tell the truth than be afraid and hiding from it.

As for my weight loss not too much has changed. It has been frustrating but at least I have maintained my weight. Some clothes are looser than they were last year. Some days I have more stamina. Yet, overall, I haven't even thought of giving up which is surprising. I'm still trying to exercise but I admit I'd rather watch TV instead!

For this next year I predict that the current God whisper is "balance". I never realized how much of an extremist I am. I live on both sides of the scale. It doesn't matter if I'm referring to my mood, weight, exercise, thought life, Bible reading or any other basic life decision. For example, I'm either cleaning like crazy and irritated when I can't finish or I just sit and stare at the piles. I've gone weeks exercising every day only to go weeks without even thinking about it. There are times when I can't get enough of my Bible and there are other times when I can't even find it. Living on the extremes is exhausting! It wears me out physically, mentally and emotionally. So I think God is trying to get my attention by using the recent events of my life. Speaking to my heart through various people and situations that I need "balance". Even my WiiFit instructor tells me the same thing! How do I achieve it though? I honestly have no idea! I guess it is a learning process just like anything else. One step, one moment, even one breath at a time!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Clean Sweep!

When we had cable "Clean Sweep" was one show that I loved watching. I was always amazed at how much clutter people could accumulate. I always scoffed at how some people struggled to throw things away. It is just stuff so what is the big deal? Well, today I got a taste of my own judgmental medicine. I had four fabulous friends help me do a mini clean sweep of my home. In fast forward mode they sorted piles and hauled out trash. Every time they asked me where something went or what purpose it had all I kept thinking is "I want to keep it even if I don't know what it is right now." Thankfully they didn't let me keep too much. The whole point was to declutter not to justify my clutter. I just wish the process would go a lot faster because I am really tired.

I feel the same in the spiritual sense. I have so much emotional baggage and scars. I don't even know what they are from but I want to hang on to them. Why? Well...I don't know, but they've been with me for so long it seems scary to let them go. What if the issues that I hang onto somehow define me. If I get rid of them then who am I really? Who am I becoming? Who do I want to become? God is currently transforming me but the process is so painful at times. I am still being so impatient. I'm tired of anxiety, tears, and feeling afraid for no good reason. Yet I'm also scared to be healthy.

I feel like a walking contradiction. I want a clean home but I don't want to go through the work of sorting through things. I want a clean heart and sound mind but I don't want God to remove any old idols, hurts, or sin. I want the easy way out but that is obviously not possible. However, I am so thankful for my sisters....that are helping me see that the purging process is only a season. The clean calm home and heart is just around the corner. I just got to keep going one step at a time. I'll get there and will be so glad I didn't quit!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I'm Overwhelmed - Part II

Tonight my emotions betray me. I know the truth of God which says that I'm victorious, healed, and whole. Yet my heart still aches and cries out. There is a part of me that wants to go back to the hospital. That lonely, isolated, artificial environment seems so much easier. Daily tasks seem so complicated to me. Sometimes my daughters will ask a simple question but I have trouble formulating a response. The words come out but there is no real emotion behind them. I still feel rather vacant inside. It isn't that I don't have any emotions at all. It just seems that I have a lot all at the same time then there is none left.

The reality of a diagnosis seems far heavier than the liberty God provides. I'm having flashbacks to some of the things I witnessed while in the hospital. My body is on high alert and anxiety pulses through every nerve. I'm even contemplating applying for disability so that I am able to lessen the financial burden. I was reading through the FAQs regarding the application process. One site said that "a person is considered disabled when they have a severe impairment that has lasted, or is projected to last, twelve months." I freaked out when I saw that and I'm not totally sure why. I know part of the reason is my pride. I don't want this to continue. Yet there is a part of me that does! No wonder my body is in turmoil. I am actually afraid to get better. Why?? Well, because right now I'm clinging to the Word, my family and friends. As I get better will I begin to let go of that lifeline? How many people are too busy for the Word? How many are so stressed out and busy they forget about spending time with family? Am I going to be like that too? I was before all this happened so have I really changed? I hope so but in the meantime I feel very overwhelmed.

Somehow I still hang on to the hope that God is using this too for His glory. He has already shown me countless times that He is with me. I suppose I shouldn't see the struggle as failure but rather just some rocky terrain on the healing journey.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I'm overwhelmed!

"How are you doing?" would think this would have an easy answer. It is obvious to me that lately I just don't even know how to answer it. If I give too many details I don't want people to think I just want to hear "Wow! Marcie you are amazing!" Although I obviously love praise I truly want God to get the glory and not myself. However, if I don't share details I feel fake. I don't want to just go around saying "I'm fine", when I'm not. How many of us use that simple answer meanwhile our heart is broken inside? I want to be totally transparent before God and those around me. I know I'm not alone in this struggle and if my pain can help even one person then it is worth it. So, if you are willing sit back....get yourself some coffee (yep that's my new addiction!) and settle in for story time. May God bless you for being supportive and for praying for me.

Depression...seems so simple. A sad mood or a sad feeling. Well in my case it was an oppression of the spirit. It almost felt like a tangible force holding me down. No matter what good thoughts I tried to focus on I couldn't shake the hopelessness. I could see myself slipping away but not really caring to do anything about it. I know for a fact that if I had reached out to one person I could have gotten help a lot sooner. For some reason I was convinced that I was stronger than my emotions. After all I had been a MOPS leader, a Bible study teacher and a prayer warrior. I even had memorized some Scripture and went to church regularly. I had it all together, right? LOL I don't know if I thought I had it all together I just knew I didn't want to bother anyone. Most of my friends lead such busy lives. Surely they wouldn't have time to hear me whine and complain about my petty problems. My life struggles seemed so meaningless and insignificant.

On Monday, November 30th, I could feel that something wasn't right. I thought I could shake it and "get over it". That night Michael had to go out and I don't even remember why. The girls were tucked into bed (I think) and I was going to take my sleep aid medicine. The pills spilled into my hand and I just stared at them. I counted 20 pills and the thought lingered "How many pills would it take for me to go to sleep for a while?" I didn't want to die but I just wanted to go away. I wanted sleep. I wanted to hide. I wanted peace of mind and heart! Thankfully, Michael found me as I was crying. I assured him that I was fine. Yes...I lied!

On Tuesday, December 1st, I was in worse shape. I don't remember eating anything. I don't remember feeding the girls. I was dressed but don't remember doing it. The whole day I was in a dark cloud. The moment of truth came when I didn't want to be around my girls anymore. At that time my marriage was heading down a very dark and destructive path. I had always said that if it came down to it the girls and I would go to TX to be with my sister. Well that day I didn't even care if Michael kept the girls. Actually I knew they'd be better off with him. Yet, I still thought this mood would pass. I called my doctor hoping that I just needed some more antidepressants. Well after quite a few phone calls I went to see my doctor's associate. He recommended an ER visit. I was numb! I didn't need an ER visit I needed more medicine. I was still in control, right? After an ER visit they recommended a stay at a facility in W. Burlington. I couldn't believe it!! How did things get so out of control?!

In the hospital I was so angry. I felt completely betrayed. The first day I didn't stop crying all day. I was completely miserable. I had lost my children, my husband, my friends, my job, my reputation, and obviously my mind. I had nothing left. Yet somehow God met me there! Oh I wish I was more eloquent to share just how I felt the hand of God healing my heart. I borrowed a Bible and began reading and reading. Scripture after Scripture JUMPED off of the page. I was able to take communion and I can honestly say I have never tasted such sweet bread and juice. God took my broken heart, my sin, my illness and wrapped himself around me very gently. He just accepted me and it was amazing! After that amazing experience God gave me peace in the ugliest place I've ever been. Despite the other patients, the lack of color, the lock down facility, the lack of freedom, and lack of regular contact with my friends and family, God still gave me peace. Nurses asked me what I was doing because I seemed so different. I don't know a lot of Bible history. I don't have a lot of Scripture memorized. I don't understand why sometimes the Bible seems confusing and outdated. All I could say is a simple message "God is real and Jesus loves me...and you".

Now I'm crying all the time because I'm so overwhelmed with God's outpouring of love and blessings. In a short time He has performed miracle after miracle. There is no logical explanation for the heart surgery that has occurred in me. I have discovered I have more friends than I even knew I had! My support network had doubled in size. I'm also realizing I'm not alone in the pain. Woman after woman has shared from their heart. They've struggled in similar areas and now we can lock arms and fight together.

Just as you know there is a LOT more to this story but in writing I'm only willing to share so much. Feel free to call or stop by and visit and I can fill you in on the rest. God is good and I'd love to tell you about Him! After all, God is real and Jesus loves YOU!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Babysitter needed

Well, yesterday was very difficult for me. I don't know what caused it! I just had massive anxiety. My dear friend, Krista, prayed for me over the phone and that helped a LOT. I put on some good music and that calmed me. My hands were very jittery and I kept pacing. The only good thing that is coming from that is that I've already lost four pounds! Unfortunately, I made the mistake of taking my bedtime medicine a bit early and it knocked me out!! Michael wasn't home and the girls had to care for me. It scares me because I'm not sure if they got themselves into bed or if Michael did it.

I'm trying not to be impatient with my recovery but it isn't working. I'm frustrated that I'm not ALL better right NOW! So, if anyone has an hour or two to kill during the day and wants to come over or has time for a quick phone call feel free. Apparently I am in need of a babysitter for myself not the girls. My beautiful nurse, Becky, reminded me daily to ask for what I need. Not necessarily what I want...but what I need. So I'm asking :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Broken beyond repair?

Thank you for your prayers. God is still in the miracle working business! I have gone through a DEEP depression and am out more victorious than ever! Is the journey over? Am I done struggling? I doubt it because I'm not dead yet! As long as I'm living on this earth I have an enemy that would like nothing more than to steal, kill or destroy me. The victories that God is bringing about I'm sure are making the enemy very unhappy.

I was recently hospitalized for depression. It was a "beautiful" facility in West Burlington, IA. I just re-read that in October I had wanted to be hospitalized. I was crying out for help even then. Yet God's timing is PERFECT! Even though I know that His best is not to send me to the hospital He has used this situation for His glory! I hesitate sharing details only because I'm still emotionally raw from the experience. I want to have clarity of speech but I'm sure details will pour forth soon. All I can say is that God is real and that Jesus loves me (and YOU!). The message is simple yet so profound.

If you want to know the details now and can't wait for the next blog entry just let me know. I'll be glad to share but I'd prefer to do it in person if possible. God continues to hold me and I hope that *I* have finally learned to not let go of Him!!! After all right now I am broken...but not broken beyond repair. If anything I'm finally fixable and victorious. Like a skilled surgeon God had to make a deep cut so that He could get to the source of the disease within my heart. I'm still a bit shaken from the whole experience but looking forward to see what God does next!