I stepped on the scales the morning for the first time in a long time and let me just say this: it wasn’t pretty. I was tempted to go to the cupboard and pull out a box of Little Debbie Caramel Bars (my current cookie obsession) and eat my way through the entire thing. The only thing that kept me from doing this was the fact that I had an obligated myself to take my mother to the doctor. Ever so briefly, I considered taking the box along with me and munching in the waiting room, but I would’ve been too embarrassed.
So, I picked up my copy of Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore and headed out on this dreary, rainy day. The waiting room was packed with sick people waiting to be seen. In fact, it was so crowded that my mother and I couldn’t find two seats together. So, I found one in the corner and opened my book at the bookmark and saw chapter seven’s topic, “Overcoming Addiction.” Great, I thought. I sat for almost ten minutes as I volleyed back and forth between “read the book” and “sit and sulk.” If sitting and sulking hadn’t been such an unattractive alternative, I’d have chosen it. (I already needed to lose weight and get a haircut and color, so I decided to spare everyone and read.) As I read, I felt God‘s Spirit inside me saying, “I had her write this chapter just for you.”
For I can do everything through Christ,who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 (NLT)
I finished the chapter and came to this conclusion: I am addicted to food. It’s not like I haven’t known that I’m over-weight. I’ve just never used the term “addiction” to describe my relationship with food before. Food and I go back a loooooong way. I use it for comfort when I’m sad. I use it as an activity when I’m bored. I use it to reward myself for success. I use food for every reason under the sun when I should be using it simply as nourishment. I know about good nutrition, portion control, and weight loss. It’s not as if I’ve never done it before. (Just call me “Yo-Yo.”) Something about being in the doctor’s office and reading that particular chapter in a book I’ve so enjoyed reading set off a cacophony of bells and whistles. And this was the verse that immediately popped into my mind:
My temple needs a makeover — a lifestyle makeover. I want to live a long life. I want to keep my cholesterol in check. I don’t want diabetes. I don’t want heart disease. And let’s face it — I want to look good when I walk down the aisle for our vow renewal in October. So, I’m putting myself out there. I’m going to be accountable to God for my weight-loss and going public with this decision will help keep me motivated. I want to be truthful with everyone, including myself, because I’ve spent the last ten years covering up with bulky tops, yoga pants, and excuses.
People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. Proverbs 28:13 (NLT)
There are no shortcuts, so I’ve mapped out a five-step plan that I feel I can stick to:
- Eat breakfast daily. I know from past experiences that this keeps me from over-indulging later in the day.
- Set short, simple goals. I need to lose about fifty pounds in all, but that’s just too much to think about at one time. So, my first goal is to lose 10 pounds by Easter. (That’s about 1.5 pounds a week, which is healthy and do-able.) I’ll be doing some research to find where I can substitute lower calorie items for their high-calorie counterparts. An article I read in the doctor’s office this afternoon suggested low-calorie substitutions such as a slice of avocado instead of mayo or leaving cheese off a sandwich, switching to turkey bacon instead of regular bacon, or having a square of dark chocolate instead of a whole candy bar.
- Exercise with a friend. We have this great walking track near my house. I already have friends and family that go there to walk. If I make a point to exercise with someone else, then I’ll be less likely to blow off exercising. (I’ve found I have no problem blowing off exercise when the only person I answer to is me.)
- Stop eating junk. A good way to eliminate junk from my diet would be just not to have it in my house. And that doesn’t mean to eat it all tonight to get rid of it! I love fruit, cheese, yogurt, and cereal. In moderation, those are all good snacks. I’ve also decide that there will be no snacking after 8:00pm at night. Nothing good can come from it.
- Pray. A lot. Not just prayer for self-control but seeking God about everything. I want this journey to lead me closer to the cross and finding what God is purposing in my life. More time spent talking to God and searching for ways to know Him better will satisfy me in ways a half-gallon of Breyer’s Pralines ‘n’ Caramel ice cream never can.
I’ve always loved the song I’ve chosen to share with you today and it perfectly complements this post. God’s strength is the only way I can accomplish anything — even losing weight.
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Video Credit: Amanda Boutchia