Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Journey, A Journal

I need to change my opinions about food.  At nearly 300 lbs, I can't go on like this.  I want to live life.  I want to love life.  I want (and need) to draw closer to my Lord.

This is my journey.  To adjust to life that revolves around the Lord.  To adjust to life that revolves around LIVING.  I also post on the Homeschool Lounge (, in the Getting Fit and Healthy group.

Last year, I had begun a journey, utilizing the Wii for exercise, but I was just compensating with exercise, not really putting in the effort to adjust my food intake.  I have learned many lessons, and am learning many lessons. 

Lesson  #1:

Diets Don't Work
You'd think that this would be a "duh".  But honestly, every "quick fix" program I see, I contemplate.  Why?  Why even think about it?  Yes, if you just eat cabbage, you will lose weight.  But how long can you eat cabbage?  Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers is fine and dandy, you get real food, OK, that's good, and make sense, but who can afford $300 to $1,000 per month?!  I budget for $200 for the family for the month, and actually go over, so, there's no way I could afford buying food specially for me at that amount.

Food intake has to be around the food that's available.  Here comes the obvious, but common sense hard part.  If you eat a whole pizza, or a half gallon of ice cream, you will not lose weight.  Me, I love bread.  I can have a lovely, sensible dinner, and on top of that, suck down 5 dinner rolls.  5!  Plus, I eat so fast, that I eat 3 or 4 times the amount of food I need, before my brain can tell my stomach that I need to STOP!  Common sense has to come into play when you are serious about losing weight.  First, I have weighed 349 lbs (while pregnant), after my son was born, I almost immediately came down to 312lbs, and stuck.  Last year, I managed to drop 25 more pounds, but then, again, I didn't change any eating patterns.  I ate when I felt hungry.  Not real hunger (rumble in the tummy), but when I felt emotionally hungry, which was all the time!  Once I stopped exercising twice a day, the weight came back.  So, from my personal best of 274, I climbed right back up to 298.  All my work wasted.  Why?  Because I didn't use any common sense.

To keep my lovely self at 298, I have to consume 3,000 calories.  Sometimes that isn't so hard.  There have been times that I would eat a whole box of macaroni and cheese, which contains over 1,000 calories.  And, when you are grazing thru the kitchen trying to find what you are craving, you eat and eat and eat, but never satisfy that craving.  Why?  If I think about it, I am trying to create a different "feeling".  The emptiness I am trying to fill is in my heart.  You can't eat a piece of cheesecake into your heart.  How do you fill your heart?  You turn to love, and love's name is Jesus Christ.  He can fill your heart, better than anything.  Turning to God shows that you understand that you CAN'T rely on your own understanding.  If you could, why are you fat?  This is question I ask of myself.  People will tell you that being overweight is a willpower issue.  It isn't.  You have the will power to eat a meal that would choke a horse, but not to eat just what you need.

Lesson #2

You Can't Eat Your Feelings
I've tried.  Good or bad.  I celebrate and mourn with food.  Excited about travelling, I want to stop at every restaurant on the road.  If I am bored, and can't get the energy to do anything but sit in front of the idiot box, I want to eat.  If I am happy about whatever, I want to eat.  If I am sad, mad, lonely, fill in your favorite emotion here, I want to eat.  Again, it comes back to trying to fill your heart.  If all you have is food, that's what you turn to.  Instead, leaning on God fills that emptiness.  He wants us to turn to Him.  Not when it's convenient, but at all times.  Yes, He is the Creator of all things.  But, He is also Abba Father (Daddy).  He loves to hear from us in happy times, not just when we are praying to win the lottery.  He wants us to talk to Him about the inconsequential things too!  To laugh and cry with us.  To hear us sing that silly song to our children, tell that bad joke that you can't remember the punch line to.  He desires to be in every facet of our lives, including the kitchen.  The more you turn to food, the less you can hear His voice.

Recap:  I have set on this road 5 days ago, and blogged about it elsewhere, so here's what I have been doing:

I've just added this posting, and thought I would let everyone know what I am doing. Weight is dependent on 2 major things, diet and exercise. There are a gazillion "diets" out there. There are a gazillion "workout programs" too. Many of us have done them all! If they all are guaranteed, and they all work, how come we still have so much extra girth? They take our money, send their "product", and we apply ourselves for a day, a week, maybe even a month, but where are the long lasting results?

I have decided to stop being suckered by the "magic" of weight loss. No more "SlimFast", no more "Hydroxycut", no more "lose 90 pounds in 90 days". Here's what I do know. I live a life of convenience foods. I have to eat more than 3,000 calories to maintain this weight. With the convenience food, it's very easy to maintain that weight. I have started by eating more fruits and vegetables, not just from a can or freezer, but that is a place to start, but fresh foods. I have also been making most of our meals from scratch. My biggest culprit is portion control, always has been. Although one serving of mac-n-cheese is high in calories per serving, a whole box of it is crazy (more than a thousand calories!).

Here's more of what I know, these things are embarrassing to admit. But, there is a type of liberation in coming out of the food closet.

Here's what I am doing, I journal (at least when I remember!), I am spending more time with the Lord and reading His Word, I try to do some sort of exercise everyday, even if the best I can do is stretch out in the morning, and I cut my portions. Just cutting out 1,500 calories a day will have an effect of a pound or so down in a little less than 3 days. Remember, 3,500 calories equals one pound. So, if I am cutting out 1,500 cals a day (more or less), then in 3 days I will have lost one pound and have a reserve of calories reduced for the next pound.

My biggest problem: After 1 pm, I am a snacking machine. The kids are down for a nap, and I am alone, staring at the TV, and I go on auto pilot, wandering around the kitchen, searching for what I want. I have been trying to get a grip on this behaviour, I am not hungry, I listen to my tummy, and it's not rumbly (for all you Pooh fans out there). But, instead of taking my tummy at it's word, I eat anyway. This is a bridge that I need to cross to continue on my journey. Listening to my feelings has given me carte blanche to graze thru my kitchen, I really can't even call it grazing, 'cause I will actually pull out pots and pans and make something/anything that I "think" I am craving, and the mess! I have just finished cleaning the kitchen from lunch, and then I go and mess it up again!!!!

So, that is what is going on right now. I will be posting more to keep everyone up to date on the happenings, mainly 'cause it gives me accountability, and lets others know that they are not alone, not crazy, and not hopeless.

With faith and love in the Lord, Rusty

This morning I was reading in 1Cor. 8-9. Paul spoke of not causing others to stumble. I have been noodling that around in my head. How can I be a good witness for our Lord, if I am tripping around in my own sin. One of our dear ladies here wrote about the sin of gluttony. When I responded to her posting, I wrote that the true sin was placing food and eating above God. The first commandment warns us that we are to have only one God, and when you are putting stuffing your face first and foremost, you are not appreciating the blessings that God Himself has afforded you.

Being physically fit is a visual testimony to the Lord. One of my many faults (and finding more everyday) that I am working on is speaking to the Lord in everything. It's easy to speak to the Lord when you are in formal prayer time, but what about the times you are just going thru life. Driving down the road, or doing the dishes, or in the midst of homeschooling, or even trying to get your kids attention. How many times will, in frustration you mutter, "Oh, Lord", but just leave it there? Doesn't that come down to using the Lord's name in vain? Imagine if your children just walked around saying "oh, mom" and nothing else? If you are going to start the conversation, at least use a complete sentence!

Yesterday, I weighed myself again, and have dropped .4 lbs. I have a Weight Watchers digital scale, and am trying to get it figured out. I will also get weighed on the Wii, but it asks about weight of my clothes, and if I have an opportunity to weigh less, I will grab at it, so I always tell the Wii that I am wearing 4 lbs of clothes, so it subtracts 4 lbs off my weight. I usually wear sweatpants and tee shirt, in all honesty, I don't think that they weigh 4 lbs, even though they are HUGE! I really tried to focus on my pm snacking, to curb it. I didn't do as well as I should have, but did better then before. I snacked on oranges more (I am on a orange kick right now), I also had a Trail Mix snack bar (140 cals), which I do really like, 'cause it's got dark chocolate in it, which gives me my sweet treat, without having to dive into a half gallon of ice cream. I know that I can have ice cream as a snack, but not until I can get a grip on portion size. If I would just get one scoop (1/2 cup), which is one serving, it would only be 150 cals (+/- depending on the flavor, I love rocky road), unfortunately I want 4 scoops, or more, and since I am not in control of these impulses, I just keep the ice cream out!

As far as exercise goes, I put on a movie from Netflix, and did some stepping, while watching the movie. I also spent the afternoon outside with my littles (usually I send my teenager out to watch the babies while I do some housework and snack). Although my house will be a little messier, the payoff is so much bigger! Time out in the fresh air, time with my babies just to have fun, and surprisingly, a little exercise thrown in. We (ok, I) played with the soccer ball, bouncing it off my knee, and actually getting a couple of controlled kicks in! I also hit our little plastic baseball around with the plastic bat! The littles are too small for these things right now, but I am showing them that sports are important, especially for being physically fit!

So, I am trying to pick up new, and beneficial habits, and I am off to a good, if not, great start!

Faithfully, Rusty


Last night, I attended my daughter's graduation, just to make things fun (oy!) I wore my jeans, that just barely fit, and paid dearly, the crotch split! Trying to shove too much into a pair of pants is not a good idea (duh). Just like shoving too much food into your face! I thought about trying to hide this, not just from everyone here, but from my beloved too. I didn't, in all honesty, I couldn't. Life has it's trials, you can be a witness to it, stand up and tell the truth, or be found in contempt! Contempt is easy, I could have just been bummed out, ate tons of food, and followed an emotional vindication. Instead, I raised my hand and told the truth. What was the harm, I just lost a pair of size 26 jeans, when I want to be a size 12, so I haven't really lost anything, except a donation a few months from now, to get rid of all my supersized clothes!

Being overweight (ok, fat) is embarrassing, but it's nothing that can't be overcome. If you have had embarrassing moments, find the humor, take it in stride. Think of it as the rent you pay for the space you take up on the planet. The battle of the bulge is just that, a battle. If you just turn and run away, you won't learn anything, and you can't fight your enemy (ask the French). My enemy is excess fat. I won't run away, I won't lose my faith. God is bigger than anything life or the devil can throw at me. I am safe with Him!

In faithfulness and trust in the Lord, Rusty

OK, dilemma time. I am at a cross road of a sort. Today, my beloved and I were invited to a BBQ at his bosses home. A spur of the moment party for his graduated son. Our daughter also graduated, but I know she won't go because she doesn't like the son. Unfortunately, my beloved feels that he needs to schmooze in a social setting with his boss. They have a "bro-mance" thing going on. In a different situation, they would have been best friends. They are in similar places in their lives, have the same views on most things, etc.

My beloved wants to go, and I will support that. Unfortunately, this throws me into a quandary, because I don't really feel comfortable around these folks. The boss is ok, pushy, but ok. His wife (Lord guide me) doesn't like me and I don't like her. Nothing specific, I pray for her often, because I am very adversarial, and see people as an enemy or an ally. I am trying to be more loving to her, but I have a real hard time with that, because I don't like the way she looks at (and sometimes, down on) me. I know that I have to be the better person, to show the love of Jesus. From the scuttlebutt at the job, she can really use it, so like I said, I do pray for her and her family.

The problem comes in is the stress these little functions put on me, or, I should say, allow myself to feel. I go to these little parties, because my beloved wants to go. He says 'cause it's a work thing, but, he just wants to go and hang with his "friend", and that's important. In fact, before and after we got married, I told him to go out with friends. I trust him. He needs time to be with men, all men do. I feel it's important to have time to be away from the family, and just knowing his family is always here and waiting for "Daddy" to come home, makes it a joy to get a break, and a joy to return!

I don't want to throw my work away. I want to dive into the kitchen and devour everything in sight! Like all battles I face (even if they are my own creation), I will meet this "challenge" head on.

I do like my beloved bosses dad though. He, right off the bat hates me. Why? Because he hates all fat people! He makes really insulting comments. He makes no bones about how he feels. I love it, because at least he is honest. He won't smile in my face, and be pleasant. He looks at me with contempt. Honest. Where I get so amused about it, is that I always make it a point to talk to him. Find out how he's doing. Ask and be interested in him, almost forcing him to relate stories of the "old days" to a new an interested audience. So, I find it funny that he hates me because of what I look like, but he really enjoys talking to me!

I would do the same with the wife, but she just won't bite. I will keep trying though. It's hard, because of the fact all this revolves around the job. She also works at the company. I am put at odds, because her husband (my beloved's boss), will constantly make comments about how great I am for my beloved. He will talk about how I prepare dinner for my beloved, no matter how late. I make homemade bread, I can, I have a garden, I stay home with the kids, I don't go out and spend crazy amounts of money. On and on. Which, looking at what I just wrote, I wouldn't like me either! I always tell my beloved that any idea that comes out of this house is HIS idea. That way, it reflects well on my beloved.

This must be it. Having your husband praise another man's wife, in your face, must be horrid! Thank you ladies for letting me "talk" this out. Praise God, for allowing me to have some insight into the heart of another. I may be wrong, but if I am right, I have another starting point to be loving and Christ-like to another.

So, now it's time to put on my armor, the full armor of God. To face my day in love and admiration of the Lord and His wonderful grace. Pray for me ladies! I will let you know, in all honesty, how everything went. I will (Lord, please) be victorious in this battle and not succumb to my "feelings", but stand firm on the Word, to be a Christ-like as I possibly can!

In Love and Faithfulness, Rusty

Yesterdays little soiree went well. After speaking to my beloved (who just doesn't want to talk "feelings"), I think he really understood my position, and was comfortable with how I was going to behave at the gathering. I mainly hung out with a co-worker of my beloveds (I stuck the the saying: "if you can't say something nice, come sit next to me!"). Although the bosses dad shot a couple of insults across my bow, he just couldn't get anything stronger than a pleasant smile! The bosses wife was very busy hosting, so she was a gracious hostess, and I stayed out of her radar, other than saying "hi" and then thanking her for a lovely time. God is great.

Now, instead of these emotional issues, lets get to the food issues. When the chips, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole were passed around, I took a pass (yea!), but had 2 beers (boo, but light), and had my beloved (my skinny beloved) set up my plate (hamburger, corn on the cob, and potato salad), and I fed the baby off my plate. I also had a special treat, a white chocolate covered strawberry!

After the party, on the way home, since the stress was all gone, I started feeling like that I should make something when I got home. But, checking in with my tummy, turns out that I just wanted to eat, and, of course, I wasn't hungry. In fact, I am not hungry now, at 7:30 am. I am glad I didn't give into the "feeling", and instead thanked the Lord for a lovely evening, and the wherewithal to check in with myself logically, instead of relying on habit to celebrate relief.

We always talk about eating when we feel bored, or lonely, or sad, or stressed. We also eat when we are happy and joyful. Why? Are we trying to share the joy with the food? Our food is an inanimate object, it doesn't feel, it doesn't care. Coming to these realizations really helps in changing food habits. Although we have the illusion that food makes us feel better, it's only that, an illusion. That warm and fuzzy feeling we get for a short time, is that we filled our heart with cheesecake, but wait, our heart didn't get the cheesecake, our stomach did, and our hips, our butt, and those flappy wings under our arms. To fill our hearts, we have to turn to the only One who can fill our hearts, Jesus Christ.

Navigating this road is not easy. I could throw away all that I have learned and all that I am learning in one moment, on one feeling. I am very mindful of that. I was doing so well last year, and just threw it away. I don't want to do that again. Please pray that I stay the course.

In love and faithfulness, Rusty

So, there it is, my journey to the place I am now.  I have a very long road ahead of me, as you can tell by the picture (yikes!).  Taking back myself from the food and giving myself to God is hard.  But, in the end, it will be a win-win situation.

I also have some treats along my journey.  At 10 lbs, I get to dye my hair (which needs it!), at 25 lbs (and every 25 lbs thereafter) I get a Dutch Bros. coffee (I love Cocomos).  On and on.  The best part is once I get to my goal of losing 150 lbs (half my weight!), I get a trip to Hawaii!  Now, I am not big on legalistic, and if I get down to 160, I am running with it.  Mind you, I am 5'9" tall, I may look like a string bean at 175 (it could happen!), I don't want to be a stick figure, I want to be healthy.  I want to live life!  I want to do things that everyone else does with out worrying about getting stuck in something, sinking a canoe, breaking an amusement park ride, and just fitting into some nice clothes without being ashamed or spliting the crotch of my pants!  Life should be lived and loved, not eaten!