Perfect love, fear and being sick!

Last week, I wasn’t well.  I had some sort of tummy bug, then went and ran a 15 km road race which caused the tummy bug to become an inflammation of my intestines.  Or something like that.  I have not felt that nauseous or ill in a very long time.

In fact, I felt so bad, and had such bad tummy aches, that I could not sleep.  Now, no self-respecting parent will pass up a night’s sleep for no reason.  I mean, seriously?

Anyway, after going back to the doctor twice, and then getting three lots of meds, I finally mended and could start eating.  There are two things that caught my attention during this time:

  1. I didn’t feel that same sense of panic I would normally feel when I didn’t feel like eating.  Part of me just accepted it – I thought I would panic, but I didn’t.  Growth, right?  Yeah, well, I hope so.  It is this fear that has haunted me for much of my life that has caused me to balloon and put on so much weight.  So the fact that I could go for almost an entire week and not eat, and not panic about it, is probably the growth I am looking for.
  2. However, having said that, I am the only person on the face of this planet who can have a tummy infection for a week, not eat anything the entire week (well, no normal meals anyway) and not lose weight.  Why?  Because I lived on toast.  Toast and marmite – to make sure I was eating.

So, while I didn’t feel the panic I would normally, which is great, I did make sure I was eating.  Toast and marmite.  Which isn’t that great.  I should’ve just let my body be and listen to my body.

Anyway, I just read a quote that I love – I couldn’t see the source, so let’s just say it’s from anonymous:

God loves you more in one mere moment of your life than anyone can love you for an entire lifetime.

Isn’t that awesome?  God loves us so much, and if we could only realise just how safe we are in that love, we wouldn’t allow any fear to control or dominate any part of our lives.

Once you allow fear to control (which is what I have done) it is so hard to crawl your way out of fear, and into love.  But, my prayer is this: to learn to live life from a base of love, and not a base of fear.

1 John 4:18 NLTSuch love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.  If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.

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.

My reasons for wanting to lose weight!

Yesterday, was a tough day for me.  I had sugar lows that I was shaking, but I had eaten.  And I had eaten what I would normally eat – so it wasn’t like I was missing out or anything.  Then, I had a protein shake to help stabilize my blood sugar – then I felt so full, I couldn’t even eat supper last night.  Okay, I did – but it was a small portion.

And once again, I just go despondent, but then I thought of my post from last week.  I can’t tell you how much that helped.

There is a reason why I am on this journey – stinking thinking got me into this mess.

Correct, positive and healthy thinking will go along way to getting me out of this mess.

And one of the ways to correct your thinking is to remind yourself why you’re doing something in the first place.

And I have TEN solid reasons for wanting to lose weight:

  1. I want to lose weight to get back to my true self – before negative thinking and destructive self talk took over.
  2. I want to lose weight to be fit, slim, trim and healthy.
  3. I want to lose weight to run faster and better.
  4. I want to lose weight because I want to look like an athlete – not a wobbly, middle-aged mom wannabe…
  5. I want to lose weight because I want to give my husband who he married -a slender, healthy wife.
  6. I want to lose weight because I don’t want my life to revolve around food, and eating at every opportunity – that’s not how I want to live my life.
  7. I want to lose weight because I don’t want to live my live succumbing to cravings that I seem unable to control.  I am stronger than this!  I am made from sterner stuff – I don’t have to be controlled by my stomach!
  8. I want to lose weight to give glory to God for my victory over negative thinking, and destructive self-talk.
  9. I want to lose weight to give my daughter a healthy concept of what it means to be a woman.
  10. I want to lose weight to prove to myself that I can do this

Even now, just writing these reasons over again, it helps – I still find it quite ironic that before I had Baby Girl, I was wanting to gain weight, believing I was too skinny.  Now, I’m wanting to lose weight.  Whether you want to gain or lose, you need to know the why…  It helps!

What is your reason for wanting to lose weight?

Giving up Sugar… and trying to be an Athlete!

This is not easy…

All I’ve done is give up sweets & chocolates…  And on Saturday I did a new Parkrun (which was very, very tough) and I craved simply everything sugary and sweet in sight.  I mean, I even drank a Fanta Grape and I never, ever drink fizzy cool drinks.  But, the craving was so strong, I actually – quite simply – could not help myself.

Then I had milk.

Then I had a smoothie from Kauai.
Then I had some more Fanta Grape.

Clearly, after running my body is needing something.  But, I have no idea what that something is or what I can give my body that isn’t sugary and sweet and completely unhealthy for you.  After the craving subsided, I have been fine since…

I need to come up with an action plan that I can actually stick to, but I think the one thing that I try to remind myself to do is to list the reasons of why I actually want to lose weight:

  1. I want to lose weight to get back to my true self – before negative thinking and destructive self talk took over.
  2. I want to lose weight to be fit, slim, trim and healthy.
  3. I want to lose weight to run faster and better.
  4. I want to lose weight because I want to look like an athlete – not a wobbly, middle-aged mom wannabe…
  5. I want to lose weight because I want to give my husband who he married -a slender, healthy wife.
  6. I want to lose weight because I don’t want my life to revolve around food, and eating at every opportunity – that’s not how I want to live my life.
  7. I want to lose weight because I don’t want to live my live succumbing to cravings that I seem unable to control.
  8. I want to lose weight to give glory to God for my victory over negative thinking, and destructive self-talk.
  9. I want to lose weight to give my daughter a healthy concept of what it means to be a woman.
  10. I want to lose weight to prove to myself that I can do this…

There we go – 10 reasons to remind myself of why I am doing this whenever the cravings or the anxiety hit…  10 good and solid reasons for wanting to lose weight.  Let’s hope and pray that I can now make this happen.

Giving up Sugar – and battling with my decision!

Oh, man, last week in my quest to quit sugar, I decided to start off slowly and cut out just sweets and chocolates.  Bread, biscuits, donuts, etc can come later.  So, I have not had one sweet or chocolate since last week (basically, the beginning of February).  And last week was okay – I felt strong.

However…

This week has been a battle.  I have craved, completely craved chocolate.  I have managed to hold out and they do say I need to swap out the need for something sweet with something I can have, like an apple.  So, I have had more apples in the last week than in quite a while

But, the taste of chocolate – I am really battling this week.

I have had a few side effects though – a little anxiety, a little sleeplessness (could also be the heat), a little thirst…  But nothing too bad.  Oh, and headaches, and feeling a little faint and light-headed.

But, I have to persevere…  At the moment, I don’t have diabetes or any weight related problems, but if I keep on my current trajectory, then I will definitely develop all of these things (especially considering old age diabetes runs in the family).

Hubby and I have also given up having a glass of wine with dinner during the week (i.e. from Monday to Thursday), but allow ourselves to have a glass on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I read that white wine (my favourite) has a much higher sugar content than red, and if I want to drink wine I need to opt for red.

So, this past week has been tough.

And on Sunday, my brother and his wife came to visit.  My brother has lost 12 kg’s since the beginning of the year.  I’ve been trying to lose weight for the last seven years.  The difference is though all he had to do was give up drinking coke (or any fizzy soft drink) and bread.  I don’t drink coke, and I don’t have sugar with my tea or coffee (he has THREE teaspoons of sugar with his tea).  So, I kinda feel cheated on – my one little enjoyment in life I have had to give up to make headway in the battle of the bulge.  Just doesn’t seem right somehow…  He is looking amazing though!  And I truly believe that any weight loss just helps keep your body healthy and strong.

After this, I hope to give up bread or biscuits!

I’m addicted to sugar…

We all know that we shouldn’t eat too much sugar, and while I have taken great lengths to go from two or three teaspoons of sugar in my coffee to none, I haven’t given up chocolates (I mean, who gives up chocolate), biscuits, sweets and ice-cream.  I guess there’s my weight right there…

Anyway, I have now decided to cut down on my sugar intake and to start eating more sensibly.  I fear my brain may be so fried from all the sugar intake that this may be a more difficult feat than what I realise.

After my lunch at work yesterday, I had a slab of mint chocolate (my favourite).  And I thought I would just have a small block or two.  I finished the entire slab.  The whole thing.  In about five minutes I had flattened the entire slab of chocolate and that’s when I realised that I have a sugar addiction.  I couldn’t get enough of the chocolate and I couldn’t get it fast enough.

It scared me.

I was always the girl who didn’t have a sweet tooth, who probably only ate one meal a day, who was teased for “eating like a bird”, who was the “naturally skinny” one in class – in her group of friends…

Me…

Now wolfing down a slab of chocolate in under five minutes flat.

This is not who I am.

It is only because I had this thought in my head that I have nurtured my entire life that there is something wrong with me, and that I had to start eating as much as I can to “fix” me!  And that thought has grown and grown and now I see myself as this fat person – I feel comfortable where I am.

But, it is not me…

Because it hasn’t resolved any of my issues.  I’m still completely body conscious, shy, insecure and overly analytical.  Picking up weight and eating everything in sight has only caused me to well, pick up weight – I’m still just me.  Well, a rather larger me.

So, now, I have to wean myself off sugar.

My first step is to stop eating chocolates and sweets.  In fact, with Lent coming up, it’s a good thing to quite over the 40 days (and then to maintain it going forward).  I’m also giving up wine from a Monday to a Thursday, and just having a glass over the weekend.

I do believe though that no diet or calorie restriction is going to work until I re-work my mind.

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.

So, while I am reducing my sugar intake by starting off with cutting out sugar in sweets and chocolate, I need to renew my mind to see myself as a new person who weighs less and eats well.

I came across this article in a simple step plan to combat sugar cravings – the idea is to distract yourself:

1. If at All Hungry, Eat a Meal

2. Take a Hot Shower

3. Go For a Walk, Distance Yourself

Here are some other methods you may find useful.

  • Have a glass of water.  Some people say that cravings can be caused by dehydration.  I am quite good with drinking water every day.

  • Eat a fruit. Having a piece of fruit may help satisfy sugar cravings for some people. Bananas, apples, oranges work great.  I am going to try this – just this afternoon I had an apple, which hopefully will help.  It’s not going to help though if I keep dreaming of chocolate so I need to distract myself and focus on something else.

  • Avoid artificial sweeteners.  If you feel that artificial sweeteners trigger cravings for you, then you might want to avoid them.  I have never in my life had artificial sweetener – I can’t stand the taste, and would rather just cut sugar than resorting to using artificial sweetener.

  • Eat more protein.  Protein is great for satiety, may help with cravings as well.  Not always easy to do at work, but I am trying…

  • Talk to a friend.  Call/go meet someone who understands what you’re going through.  Explain that you’re going through a craving and ask for a few words of encouragement.  If this doesn’t help, or if I don’t have anyone to call, I will talk to myself and reinforce the fact that I am not hungry, I have eaten, but I am having a craving that I don’t need to give into, because that is not who I am.

  • Sleep well.  Getting proper, refreshing sleep is important for overall health and can help prevent cravings.  Although I do have Baby Girl who loves to wake me up all the time, I do try sleep a healthy sleep when and where I can.

  • Avoid excess stress.  Same as with sleep, avoiding stress can help prevent cravings.  I find this sad, because stress used to make me not eat.  Now I grab anything and everything.

  • Avoid certain triggers.  Try to avoid specific activities or places that give you cravings, such as walking past McDonald’s.  Once again, I never had any desire for fast food – at all.  It used to make me feel queasy – now, I can quite happily have a burger every day.  How is it my brain has changed so much.

  • Take a multivitamin. This will help prevent any deficiencies.  I don’t like popping pills…

  • Read your list. It can be very helpful to carry with you a list of the reasons you want to eat healthy, because it can be hard to remember such things when you get a craving.  This is important.  Why I am doing this?  Why can’t I just be happy as I am?  Well, firstly, because its’ not me.  If I was going to be overweight, I would’ve been as a child already.  Secondly, the only reason that I am overweight is because I believed a lie – and now I’m paying the price and I want to get back to who God created me to be.  Thirdly, I want to be healthy.  Fourth, I want to be attractive to my husband, and finally, I want to run faster and look like an athlete instead of a blob.

  • Don’t starve yourself. Try to prevent yourself from becoming too hungry between meals.  Nope, I get too hungry to even contemplate this…

I will keep you posted on how my combating the sugar disease is going.

One Foot Forward at a time...

BOOT CAMP!

I did it!

I actually went…

For a moment there I was actually considering bowing out – graciously, of course, but just simply not showing up!  Then I started to feel all nervous, and shy, and my tummy started to hurt, and I started to think of plausible excuses…  I really was very nervous about going.  I had no idea what to expect, and I am so out of shape and so unfit, and have gained so much weight, I didn’t know if I could actually do the exercises.  The last thing I wanted was to embarrass myself by not being able to do the exercise – not because the exercises were complex but because I am so out of shape – or to fall and not be able to get up or something equally silly but just as embarrassing.

But, then I just simply went.

And I loved it.

Okay, I am so sore and so stiff today, I can barely walk (which is testament to the fact that I am completely out of shape), but I loved it.  It is so different from gym and so different from just running.  We ran across the field, skipped back, did planks, squats, jumping jacks, and a lot of other stuff I didn’t know I could do.  Some of the class go every day – for me, I think that’d be a bit insane and a little too much too soon.  So, I’m only going once a week, and I am looking forward to next week.  Even though I can barely walk this morning, I am actually looking forward to next week’s class.

Now, why on earth did I put this off for almost a year???

I haven’t weighed myself yet again – too scared to.  I think I’m just going to focus on exercising and trying not to eat the entire house afterwards (seriously, I was starving when I got home last night) and then see how things go… 😉

Yay, for Boot Camp!