She’ll be coming around the mountain when she comes, when she comes…

Further to my post of last week, I have become more and more aware of just how much I love my mountain.  Oh, I don’t want to, and I keep talking prose about how to move forward, how to leave it behind, how to grow… yadayadaya…  But, the truth of the matter is this: the problem that I have with eating and anxiety is a relatively easy one to solve.  This is my 40-years of wandering around the desert.  You see, whatever my weight may be, I associate eating and anxiety very strongly together.  So, surely the solution should be this: when I’m feeling anxious, don’t reward that feeling with food.  Wait until the anxiety has passed, and then eat…  I can’t be rewarding my anxiety with delicious, tasty food every time I feel anxious.  Somewhere, deep inside, I am holding onto this issue – perhaps it gives more meaning to my life, or something.  I don’t know – but my prayer (since last week), is this:

Dear Lord, please help me to walk away from the mountain.  To leave it so far behind me that not only does it become a distant memory, but I can’t even see it anymore.  Lord, I humbly ask that I can take your hand, that yo will lead me away from this mountain and lead me to the peace and abundant life you promised me.  Show me where to go, Lord, to leave this firmly in the past.  In your holy name, Amen.

A Food Diary – The Shock

So, last week, I blogged about how I started to keep a food diary.  And although I have not yet received this “lift altering” diet (note the sarcasm), I was shocked (I think) by just how much I was eating.  It wasn’t as much as I thought, but it is still way more than what it needs to be.  If you consider that before falling pregnant, I had maybe one full meal a day with some grazing and snacking in between – now I am having three full meals, with a lot of grazing and snacking in-between.  I can easily say that I am eating maybe three times what I used to eat, which maybe could explain why I am still 10 kg’s heavier than what I was…

The thought that formed in my head that we need to eat just enough to sustain our lives – we don’t live to sustain our eating.

And so far, I have been pleasantly surprised – I am eating a lot more than what I need to.  I can see that.  We have sent my eating diary through to whomever will be giving me a diet to aid my starvation needs.

Do I surrender?

Yesterday, I received a blog post from Sheila Wray Gregoire and basically she was saying that we embrace our sexuality by surrendering to God and trusting in Him.   Everything she wrote about embracing your sexuality and using excuses such as I’m British is just that – an excuse can apply to me and my anxiety.  I can’t ever use the excuse that I can’t lose weight because I am fearful or anxious – because that is just an excuse.  I need to surrender myself to the word of God and to allowing God to change my heart and my mind to being more like Christ.  

And somehow I can’t image Christ being overweight, or obese, or battling eating disorders.

And so, as I persevere, I remember what God’s word says:

Be perfect therefore as your Heavenly Father is perfect.  Matthew 5:48

In God do I trust!

A Food Diary!

Dum, dum, dum!!!

Yes, I am now keeping a food diary.  I have always been totally against keeping a food diary, because my theory has always been to change how one thinks about food and that will show itself out naturally in one’s relationship to food.

Working?  Uh, not much...

My biggest issue isn’t so much wanted to eat as it is scared of not eating.  And yet, there is this thought forming in my head that we need to eat just enough to sustain our lives – we don’t live to sustain our eating (well, at least we shouldn’t live to sustain our eating).  And I am also realising that action, combined with new thinking, is what changes what we do and think.  I can’t just focus on the one side of the coin.

And so far, I have been pleasantly surprised – I am eating a lot more than what I need to.  I can see that.  But, I am also eating a lot less than what I thought I was.  Which may just be a good thing.  Anyway, we (hubby and I) met someone who can work out an eating plan based on what we’re currently eating.  It will be embarrassing to give this to her, because I eat mostly from anxiety and not from hunger, but at least having a plan will mean I have a way to make sure that my body is receiving healthy nutrition and is being sustained effectively.  From there, I have something to work with: i.e. if I’m feeling anxious, but I have eaten according to my eating plan, I can lay my anxiety to rest, because I have eaten according to my eating plan.  Or, if I’m feeling anxious and I haven’t eaten, I have some ideas on what to work with instead of just striking out with toast (and loads of butter and Marmite) and coffee.  She has asked that we keep a food diary for three days, but I am going to do this for a week, because I am far more in control of my eating at work than I am at home.

Am I nervous?

Yes, yes, I am.  I am going to be giving up my control – the control of eating and food that I think I have and learning a new way to relate to food.  And learning something new is never easy.  I worry about how I am going to react, can I control my anxiety and my cravings, what if my sugar drops, or I start to feel sick?  So, the most important thing I will be doing here is surrendering control.  I don’t know if I have it within me to do this.  But, I do know that I have a God who loves me more than anything, who is completely invested in banishing fear from my life and to make me more like Christ and who is completely and totally on my side.  So, yeah, tomorrow I may wake up and decide I can’t do this.  But, somehow, I have to push through.

Where angels fear to tread…

And then I am scared of failure –

What if I am caught in this limbo of fear and anxiety for the rest of my life?  Never really moving beyond this or getting out of it; always stuck in could’ve, would’ve, should’ve…  And never reaching that goal of eating and honouring my body as a temple of the Holy Spirit, or giving my husband what he married, not what I’ve become…

In God do I trust!

Still stepping…

… one foot in front of the other – one step at a time.  Sometimes two steps back, and one forward, but at least – I think – I am facing in the right direction.  Having come from a background of being naturally skinny, and never needing to really go on a diet, I had no idea it would be so difficult to lose weight.  But, the difficulty isn’t so much in dieting – we all know what we should do to lose weight, be healthy and be fit, i.e. focus on what you eat, focus on how much you eat, make sure you exercise.

The difficulty comes in actually doing it.

And that is where changing one’s thinking comes into play.  When you start to think differently, the theory is that you will start to act differently, thereby achieving your desired result.  However, the converse is also true, when you start to act differently – very often your actions cause you to think differently – thereby also achieving your desired result.  In other words, actions needs to accompany thoughts, and vice versa.

And yet, losing weight, maintaining that weight loss and not being paranoid about it isn’t easy.

It’s very, very difficult to do.

And sometimes, when I want to run ahead or I’m getting frustrated that this is taking so long, I remember that when I started running, it took a while before I could run 5km without having to stop to take a breathe…

It takes time!

Rome was not built in a day!

As frustrating as it is, the only thing I can keep doing is to continue working on my actions and my thoughts and almost forget about the results – until the day I do start seeing the results.

Does any of this make sense?

Five Steps to Soul Shifting

So, I have gained all the weight that I lost.  Granted, it wasn’t much to start with, but it’s all back.  Every single last gram of it.  Last night, I felt a bit anxious about a situation coming up, so what did I do?  I ate.  And ate.  And ate.  Going to God with my silly anxiety only occurred to me afterwards.  It’s the devil’s lie: making us forget that we are actually God’s, we belong to Him, and He will comfort us and so we look for comfort in every and anything else.

The idea that I can lose weight without changing my thinking is preposterous.  I can, for a while, lose some weight but if my underlying thinking is that I need food for comfort, I will always go back to food for comfort: resulting in weight gain.  Again.

I have spent years harvesting the thoughts of being too skinny and needing to eat and fearing I was anorexic when I wasn’t and now I am reaping the result of years of wrong thinking.  I had no idea.  My parents – okay, more my mother – drummed it into my head that I was too skinny, I may be anorexic, and that I would choke and die.  And I believed her.  She had no intention to harm me, and she wasn’t lying – she was just operating from her own false sense of need.  But, what that has done is that I am now operating from that belief system: that I need to eat.  So, what do I do when I feel anxious or lonely or sad or bored – I eat.

It doesn’t do anyone any good to diet, lose weight, look amazing if you haven’t challenged your underlying belief system.  Because, quite simply, you’ll just put that weight back on.  And that is why I need a soul shift.  And flip, is it hard.  I have spent 36 years believing a lie, and now for the last four or five years been challenging that lie, but I still resort back to needing to eat (i.e. believing the lie) whenever something crops up that I feel uncomfortable with.

So, I still have a long way to go…

And I’m not quite sure how to get this soul shift, but on deeper reflection, I think that the first step is to make sure what you’re believing is true.  If I had challenged my mother’s wrong thinking initially – had I been old enough – I would not be sitting in this situation today.  If you’re not sure – go to the Bible.  The Bible is full of truth – like, whether I am fat or skinny or somewhere in between – God still loves me, I am still fearfully and wonderfully made, God dances over me in delight, my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit…

No one who truly is looking after their bodies in God’s truth and love will allow themselves to get anorexic or gain excess weight to the point of being unhealthy.  All I really needed to do, was to trust God.  It is all I still really need to do!

Then, I think that the second step is to teach yourself to operate from a position of love, not from fear.  Any time I am overeating to comfort, I am eating from a position of fear.  It doesn’t matter what I am eating; if I am eating out of fear, then I am not eating with the right motives in mind.

The next step then is to challenge the lie.  Every time the lie crops up in my head, I need to remember to challenge that lie.  If I even entertain it for a second, then I am allowing a part of me to still believe it as being true – a “what if” it could be true, when it quite simply isn’t.  And this is the part I am battling with – the constant challenging of the lie.  I wish you could challenge the lie once and then be done with it.  But, sometimes you have to challenge the lie – and replace it with the truth (step 4) – a myriad of times during the day.

But, the final step, I believe is the most important.  You cannot do this alone.  And by alone I’m not referring to Weight Watchers or anything like that – I am referring to being in Christ.  He is the vine and we’re the branches, without Him we can do nothing.  You need His strength to do all things, even eating healthily.

  1. Make sure what you’re believing is true.
  2. Learn to operate your life from a position of love, not fear.
  3. Challenge the lie.
  4. Replace the lie with the truth.
  5. Remain in Christ.

Ephesians 4:22-24 New International Version (NIV):  22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

The Importance of Prayer

Besides for signing up for boot camp last week (and I have received my confirmation email), I don’t really have much else to add.  I am watching what I am eating, and trying my best to eat appropriately.  I am trying to constantly keep in mind what I am trying to achieve:

  1. Work on my marriage;
  2. Work on our financial situation and pray that God provide for us according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus;
  3. A well-balanced, healthy child that is a contributing member to society and our economy;
  4. To eat healthily, lose weight and exercise.

I have realised that to truly achieve what I want to achieve I need to cast my burdens onto Jesus, humble myself so that He will lift me up when the time comes.  There is so much in this life I can’t achieve, but I know the God who can.  So, I cast any concerns about my marriage, our finances, Baby Girl and my weight and health onto God.  As the Blessed Controller, I trust that He will work out His glorious plan to bring me the abundant life He promised.  It is so humbling to know I can’t really do anything – I must do what I can, but I can’t change the outcome anymore than I can change the weather.  But, God can.  And it is in Him I trust.

I am too tired to keep battling on my own; to keep trying in my own strength to make things happen; to keep trying to plan and manipulate and control.  I can’t do it anymore.

So, I am casting my anxieties onto HIm – He is the Blessed Controller and I trust that all things will work for my good and His glory.

The Baby Mama