Sunday, January 24, 2010

NEVER say never

Things I never thought I would say or do -

1. I never thought I'd be exercising every day!
2. I never thought I would wish that Zumba was more often.
3. I never thought I'd actually TELL people how much I weigh.
4. I never believed I could do more than 1 minute on the elliptical.
5. I never knew that vegetables actually had a good taste.
6. I never knew that I wouldn't miss chocolate.
7. I never thought that I'd dream of the day when I can participate in a Breast Cancer awareness walk. (This is one of my future goals!)
8. I never knew that my life could inspire other people.
9. I NEVER thought I'd confess my sins, struggles, and concerns in a public forum.
10. I never thought I would enjoy munching on broccoli, spinach and sunflower seeds during the Playoff games.
11. I never knew that reading a fitness magazine would actually be interesting instead of really annoying.
12. I never knew how much my girls are really watching what I do (and my attitude).
13. I never believed I would plan my activities around my time at the gym.
14. I never thought I'd exercise while watching football instead of just sitting and eating.
15. I never knew that I'd enjoy weighing my food.
16. I never thought I'd keep a food journal (Although I need to do better!)
17. I never thought I'd look forward to meeting with my coach Peg at Ladies Workout Express.
18. I never thought I'd be able to zip up my jeans and not have to hold my breath in the process.
19. I never believed that I'd be able to exercise for 45 minutes. The first day I did a mile on the exercise bike and felt faint!
20. My biggest surprise was when I went to the doctor a few weeks ago and I ASKED to be weighed! I NEVER EVER thought I'd do that! It just goes to show that we should NEVER say never!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wait vs Weight

As my health journey continues, I keep trying to convey to my girls that it isn't about my weight. I'm not as concerned about how I look but more about how I feel. It was my attempt to try to convey a positive body image. I don't want them to be burdened with thinking they are fat in any way. As women, we go through enough of that and I don't need to start my girls on that anytime soon. We spend so much of our lives comparing ourselves to other women. I want them to see themselves as cherished and loved no matter what their outward appearance. However, I do want them to exercise and eat healthy so that they can have a full life as God intended.

While the message I was sending them had good intentions behind it I realized I was not fully honest with them. I also wasn't being honest with myself. I was beginning to get consumed with my weight loss. Why won't the scale budge? What am I doing wrong? Is it my exercise routine? Is it my nutrition? WHAT is the problem? Yesterday I was challenged while talking with a friend. She confessed that at times she reaches for food to fill a void and not hunger. I know I do that quite a bit and quite frequently. I also realized that I was trying to find my value in my weight loss. After all, isn't that the true measure of success? If you exercise and eat right then losing weight is the most natural outcome, right? Well for me the weight loss has been very slow. It has been very frustrating and quite annoying. I felt like a failure! It was as if all those that I have inspired would be disappointed in me. I also didn't want to admit that I was struggling but it was really obvious.

I also realized that I didn't want to turn this over to God. I didn't want to face the fact that I was placing my self worth in my weight. I also didn't want to wait on Him and serve Him through this process. I want results and I want them NOW! I don't want to have to wait for anything. I can blame our microwave/drive-thru society but it is the condition of my own heart. Right now I am still lazy and I don't want to work for the results.

This morning I felt a bit convicted about it all. Am I really going to be happy if I never lose another ounce? Am I willing to trust God in this journey? Am I going to seek Him as the lover of my soul (and body)? Well I wish I could say I screamed a resounding "YES!". My answer was quite wimpy as I asked God to help me with my unbelief. I believe He was just waiting for me to turn to Him and ask for help. Today at the gym I reached a new personal best. I worked out for 1 1/2 hours and returned tonight for Zumba dance class. I am tired and yet I feel alive!

As you can see this journey has many ups and downs and I'm glad I'm not alone through it all. I am so thankful for each of you that take time to pray for me or encourage me. It is making all the difference. Plus I am thrilled to report that I've lost about 1/2 an inch all over. Plus my weight last week was 224.8 lbs and now I am 222.6 lbs! Hooray!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

May I Have This Dance?

About 15 years ago (maybe longer) every Friday and Saturday night was spent out on the dance floor. My friends, Dana, Kim and I would have many drinks and many dances. It was a wild time! I don't miss the drinking but I miss the excitement of being out on the dance floor. I used to have great rhythm!

Tonight that passion was rekindled in a strange way. I went to the gym to workout and found ladies gathering for a Zumba class. I peeked in on a class last week and thought "I'd never do that!" I was immediately confronted with my feelings of inadequacy and feeling left out. The same old song playing in my head "You aren't good enough. You aren't able to do it. You'll look stupid. Everyone will laugh at you. They won't want you in the class with them". ARGH! I had to take a deep breath and started talking to one of the ladies in the class. Krista was very encouraging and she introduced me to some other gals. Soon the five of them were encouraging me and before I knew it I was meeting the instructor. My head was swimming and I don't remember his name. He told me to just take it easy and do the best that I could. He would provide options throughout the dances for beginners.

I wish I could say that my confidence level was high and I danced my heart out. Well, I stood in the back row and just focused on my breathing. My heart rate was high before the music even started! Once the Latin beat began I decided to just have fun. Of course watching myself in the HUGE mirror made that a bit difficult! I was surprised to find myself keeping up with some of the steps. I was also surprised because many of the other ladies couldn't keep up with everything either but they were having fun. As the instructor kept telling us were were 'hot mamas' and the laughter roared it was so much easier. As the hour flew by I realized I am a lot stronger than I give myself credit. I sweat and I'm very sore but I DID IT!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

STOP The Insanity!

Hitting a major roadblock tonight. I still haven't figured out the underlying trigger. Basically, I want to quit! I'm done! Get me off of this merry go round because I can't take it anymore!!!

Ok, glad to get that off of my chest. I have been expecting to hit this emotional wall. In the past this is where discouragement gets the best of me and I run away and hide. Some of you have experienced this hiding process and cringe at the thought of it happening again. Others have never seen me go into hiding because I'm quite good at covering it up. I am good at putting on my game face when it is necessary. However, I vowed to be honest so here I am.

I've been exercising every day and the scale is not moving hardly at all. I am so frustrated! What in the world am I doing wrong? It has to be my food but I've cut my portions. I stay away from obvious fat and sugar choices. The only thing I haven't really watched is my sodium intake. I'm keeping up with at least 6-8 glasses daily. So why or why is that scale not moving?! Ugh!! I think I may need professional help. Maybe a priest with anointing oil like in the '70s movie The Exorcist. All kidding aside, I am really down about this and I'm sure the stress isn't helping. I am still waiting for the endorphins to kick in that are supposed to help my mood. So far I'm not any chipper than I was before. As a matter of fact I think I'm having more emotional ups and downs since this process started.

So where do I go from here? Well the old me would say "to the candy jar, FatMan". I'm glad to say that I don't listen to that anymore (at least not today). I'm not giving up! For once in my life I am digging down deeper than I ever have in my entire life. Tonight I took the girls to the gym with me. I did 20 minutes on the circuit. I would have done more but they had a class tonight so I had to move. I did 30 minutes on the recumbent bike which translates into 6.5 miles (personal best!). I also came home and did another 4 miles on my stationary bike because I was so mad at the scale. This is the first time I chose to do more exercise instead of eating. Amazing!

Am I still frustrated even after venting here? Of course! Am I going to give up? No way! I have way too much invested in this journey. I think this was a mini pop quiz tonight to see if I am in it for the long haul. Well, I am thrilled to report that Yes I AM!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Calories, Carbs and Fat....Oh My!

My head is swimming with information regarding calories, carbs and fat. Keeping track of sugar, protein and sodium is a close second. No wonder I'm fat! It is SO MUCH EASIER to eat processed food with ingredients I can't pronounce. I don't have to think about a thing. Now that I am really trying to watch what I eat I am getting a bit frustrated and almost paranoid. I don't want to over eat yet I want to enjoy what I am eating. Where is the balance? If anyone has a good suggestion please let me know. For a moment I was starting to get a bit depressed about it. I realized I'm losing my focus. This journey isn't just about weight loss it is about surrendering myself to the Lord. Although that sounds so cliche it is the truth. My deepest desire is to turn to Him long before I turn to food for satisfaction, validation or comfort.

I have to continuously remind myself to focus on the current step I am on. I don't want to worry about the million steps I have yet to take. All I am responsible for is today! So how did I do today? It is Sunday which, in the fall , has always meant church and then hours and hours of football and snacks. The girls and I interact very little and lately Michael has been at work. Well, we changed things up a little bit. All of us went to church but then the girls and I went to the gym. I worked out for almost an hour. I treated myself to 30 minutes in the infrared sauna. It was amazing! I am noticing that I am able to stand for longer periods of time. I'm also not completely fatigued when we get home from the gym. Progress, progress, progress!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I don't wanna!

"I don't wanna!" Those were the words Victoria cried out to me when she didn't want to review her spelling words. The freshly fallen snow was calling her name. I tried to convey to her that if we got her work done quickly then she'd have the rest of the day to play. She was only focusing on what she was missing out on and the work load in front of her. I admit that I was beginning to get frustrated. I was also sad because she was sad. However, I realized that life is full of things we have to do that aren't always fun. We can't always avoid things but we can control our attitude.

I got to thinking about my health journey. I really don't like going to the gym. I don't like exercising. I don't like sharing in a public forum. I don't like counting calories and measuring my food intake. Was this going to be my life forever? Just like Victoria had to review her spelling words when she didn't want to I also have things to do that I don't want to do. Is it going to be forever? In her case it took just 20 minutes. If I adjust my attitude it won't feel like forever in the negative way. In time my body will begin to crave the healthier things. I can't see that right now but I don't have to see it to believe it. (Hmm...that sounds like a Bible verse!) It only seems like forever because my goal seems unattainable. As my coach, Peg, suggested I need to work on long AND short term goals. I need to be able to see progress or I will get discouraged. I have a few things in mind but the immediate goal is to get a journal. I have to write down my goals and set a target date. When I used to sell Tupperware one of the mottos was "a goal without a date is just a dream." I don't want to dream about a healthy life I want to LIVE a healthy life.

For those that are curious right now I weight 224.8 lbs :) Over the holidays I got rid of 5 lbs! I dropped 2 inches off of my waist. My tight jeans are no longer tight anymore. My next goal is to be out of the 220's by my mother's birthday on January 28th. Keep praying because it is obviously working!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Did *I* do that?

Harsh reality stared me in the face the other day. I'm addicted to food. I believe this is no different than anyone addicted to alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, or pornography. The addiction is strong and the excuses are lengthy. My upbringing, environment, genetics, blah blah blah. The truth is I obsessively desire food and turn to it for personal fulfillment and satisfaction.

Years ago I had a friend that was/is an alcoholic. He'd wake up with bottles around him and he'd have no memory of drinking that much. He denied that he had a real problem even though the evidence was clear. I used to sit on my judgement seat and wonder how he could do that to himself. Well, apparently I'm no different! The other day I was cleaning my room. I was vacuuming under the bed and by my nightstand I found a variety of food wrappers. I was shocked and my first instinct was that it must have been my girls. Surely it couldn't be ME?! Right? Well I'm sad to report it was me. As I sat and cried for quite some time I realized that I have tremendous willpower when I'm with people. However, my addiction is strong and it has overpowered me when I'm alone. So what does this mean? Am I never to be left alone again? Of course not! It means that I refuse to allow myself to feel alone. By opening myself up on this blog, on Facebook, and in person I am finally using the resources that God has had in place for me all along.

I am SLOWLY learning that God has never intended for me to lead an isolated life. He has put amazing people in my path to learn from them and be encouraged. I have chosen to hide as best I can and I really thought that by hiding I'd be safe. Little did I realize how much danger there is in the darkness. Shame, guilt, fear of rejection, self loathing, and fear kept me shackled. It is amazing how in just a few short days my mind is being renewed. By exposing my sin, struggles, fears and my victories I feel lighter than I have in years. Obviously I'd love to hit my goal weight but it is far more important to me that my heart and mind be healed first. In the meantime though...."HI, My name is Marcie and I'm a food-aholic"

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

2010? Wow! A brand new year. Filled with hope, promise and a certain level of excitement. I'm not fully sure why I always feel like I've been given a second chance. It feels like the slate is clean again. Maybe this year will be different. This could be the year that I finally ..... (fill in the blank). In my case the issue closest to my heart is weight loss. Before I continue, as you read this please pray for me. Sharing these issues is not easy for me at all! I also know I'm in the toughest battle of my life. I can't do it alone and firmly believe that the only way I'm going to have a breakthrough is through prayer. So, anytime I come to your mind please just take a moment.

My journey began in my childhood. I was always chubby and quickly became the fat girl of the class. The years passed and the pounds kept piling on. I have been on quite a variety of diets and exercise plans. I've never had the follow through to keep up with any of them. In 2003, reality hit me in the face like a Mack truck! I calculated my BMI (body mass index) and I was 44 which classified me as severely morbidly obese. Those words rang in my head over and over again. I knew I was fat, but obese? Not only obese but severely morbidly?!! WHAT?!!! How in the world did that happen? How had I gotten so out of control? Was I secretly hoping to die? I had always hidden behind my weight but I had never gotten lost in the process. Well, I was wrong I was completely lost and needed serious help. In July 2003 I had a gastric bypass. I was a size 26 and the day of my surgery I was 312 lbs.

I lost weight quickly and thought it would resolve all the emotional issues I had hidden. I really thought this was the answer to all my prayers. God had finally heard me and I'd receive peace! I believed that joy would finally come and be mine. By the time I reached my 1 year surgery anniversary I weighed 175 lbs. Unfortunately I didn't maintain that weight. I started gaining weight again because I had made weight loss my new god. As long as I was losing weight I had joy and fulfillment. My food intake was easy because the surgery had forced me to eat smart and eat less. Due to joint pain and many excuses I didn't exercise like I should have and didn't have lasting results.

Honestly, I had given up and I figured this was my true destiny. I'm glad to report that God never gives up on us! I'm sure that He spoke to me many times but on June 23, 2009 I was finally ready to listen. I woke up and had the thought "Get up and exercise". Anyone that knows me well knows this would have to be a God given thought! Yet, the thought wouldn't go away and I got up and used my stationary bike. Up until that point it had become a clothes hanger/dryer. I got on and felt like I was going to throw up and could barely do a mile. I ached all over and wondered why in the world I was purposely causing myself pain. The next day, the thought came again. For several months I was exercising about 4-6 times a week. I joined Ladies Workout Express and continued to feel motivated to MOVE.

Back in September I attended the MOPS International Convention in Nashville, TN. In the past Convention always meant a lot of walking and a LOT of pain. I consumed Tylenol like they were breath mints. However, this time was completely different! I was able to walk and not get out of breath. A few times I opted to use the stairs instead of the elevator. I was beginning to feel a bit more energy. My clothes were feeling a bit better and my smile was a bit bigger. I honestly wish I could say I had mastered the beast of lethargy, overeating and depression. At that time I had just scraped the surface. I didn't realize that I had so many hidden issues buried within my heart. I always knew that I'm an emotional eater but I didn't realize what triggers me. In October I could feel depression kicking in but I didn't have the tools to stop it. This coincided with my having opportunities to share my life story at Hearts in Touch and at a MOPS group. My biggest enemy was and is silence which is why I'm opening up now. I want to expose my struggles, fears, and needs. I have proven time and time again that I can't do this alone! I still don't have a grasp on what my emotional triggers are but I'm willing to work on finding out.

I'm getting a bit better at exercising but my frustration continues to grow. The scale has not moved much since June. I started at 236 lbs and now weigh 229 lbs. I was on some medications and that was part of the cause. Now that I now longer take that medicine I was hoping to see some weight loss and I haven't yet. It is very difficult to continue on the journey which seems to have no rewards. Thankfully, Cristina and Victoria have supported me since Day 1. They constantly ask me to exercise, or they will bring me another glass of water, or smile if I reach for a piece of candy. Sometimes they will even exercise with me and cheer me on. I am very grateful for them!

I happened to hear David Venable, a QVC host, say "Throw out your New Year's resolutions and let us stop focusing on what we have to lose and focus on what we have to gain this year." I have no idea what he was promoting but his words struck me! I want to focus on what God has in store for me and all that He wants me to gain through this process.