I began my weight loss journey with Julie in March 2018. I knew for a while that I needed to lose weight; I knew the Lord was working in my heart but it took me awhile to listen and obey. There was no major catalyst that led up to my decision to lose weight except maybe timing. I heard that Julie was starting a small group for people to lose weight and several women at work were planning on joining so I thought it might be fun to do it together.
I have a major stumbling block when it comes to losing weight. See, when I turned 32 I had a grand mal seizure and a stroke; very long story I won’t go into now. As a result the doctors found out that I have a hereditary blood disorder and would be on medication, Coumadin, for the rest of my life. This medicine regulates my International Normalized Ratio (INR), which is a big, fancy way of describing whether my blood is “thick or thin” at any given moment. So I have to be extremely careful with how many vegetables I eat because they can mess up my INR score and “thicken” up my blood which could lead to blood clots anywhere in my body; too thin and I could bleed and bleed and bleed if I get cut. So my intake of veggies has to stay consistent. With that in mind, I knew it would be a long journey and I would have to set my mind for small losses and possible gains.
I would like to share with you something that may be ground-breaking for you, that may be able to put you on the path to a healthier, more lively existence. Oswald Chambers said, or rather, wrote it best with one of his devotional book titles, “My Utmost, For His Highest.” I put before you my heart in an attempt to be transparent, with all of my struggles, sins, and pride. He continues to break my strongholds, it is not for my glory, but His alone.
Julie has given you the tools to lose weight, you know to drink your water, you have your meal plan, she inspires to keep you going, and she motivates you to move your body but beyond all of that she ties it in with a Christian life, a discipline found in the Holy Bible of maintaining your body as a temple for God. Maintaining Christian purity, yes, but also FEELING THE BEST YOU CAN, TO SERVE HIM THE BEST YOU CAN.
March, the kids are in school, it is cold, but I am determined to lose weight! I have tried before, on my own, seven pounds in one year…gained it back. Tried again a couple of years later… lose and gain. One of the things Julie said early on that caught my attention was to bring God on this journey. Hello! Of course, why wouldn’t I? But it was something new I hadn’t really thought of before, hum. Well, how do I do that? As I was going through my morning devotions, and listening to Julie something occurred to me. I had created an idol out of eating what I wanted, and when I wanted. An idol can be anything, even good things. I didn’t care what went into my body (if it was good for me or not), I just wanted to eat it. Psalms 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give your the desires of your heart”. Did my heart desire the Lord or food? Now that I recognized that there was a problem. I desired to fix it. The Bible says we are to put off the old man, and put on the new. Ephesians 4:22-24, “That you put off, concerning
your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” I was convicted.
The Lord used Julie to come to my rescue. What were some of my bad habits so I could replace them with new ones, probably the same as yours: eating on the couch, ordering Dominos, another glass of Coke? SURE, why not? Watching TOO much TV. Do I cut TV out entirely? Some people would say yes, instead this is what I did. First, I changed the way I ate. With the right ratios of carbs, proteins, and fats, the need to snack reduced dramatically. However, I still had the desire. Second, I started exercising. Walking in the evening, or even during the day also helped with the bad habit. But, I still had the weak spot, the answer…water! Some days I had to literally hold my water bottle so I wouldn’t have anything else in my hand. If all else fails…I went to bed! I wont deny that I did mess up sometimes, there were times I didn’t care, and ate. Let me tell you, I always cared later, which leads me to point again to an important, indispensable virtue for winning the weight battle…DESIRE.
I think the most important wins are the NON-SCALE wins. For me, it showed me my desire. The first time I didn’t see the scale go down I was shocked! Right then and there I decided I REALLY wanted the weight loss! I was serious about the weight coming off, for me it was another layer of the process that really hit home (Julie always says, “Trust the process” and she is RIGHT). Did I want to lose a few pounds, or did I want a life style change? I wanted the life style change!
Summer comes, school is out and a whole new set of problems arise! I had my routine set, I knew what I was going to do and when I was going to do it. HA! Routine? What routine?! I want summer, Kings Island, picnics, Memorial Day cook-outs, Forth of July fun, vacation etc… One of my very dear friends told me she was going to do a Bible study over the summer with her daughters, and other moms and daughter combos from our small group, did I want to join with my daughters? Why yes, that would be a beautiful and sweet time with my daughters (ages 15 and 10), I would love to join. We did a book called True Beauty by a mom and daughter duo Carolyn Mahoney and Niclole Whitacre. I thought I would be leading my daughters into a deeper relationship with the Lord, and yes, hopefully that happened. What I didn’t expect was the Lord had some things to say to me through this book too. I discovered I was vain. The book describes vanity as this: “To be vain is to take pride in our looks, or an aspect of our appearance, and endeavor to get attention, approval, and affirmation, even in small or subtle ways.” I have done this over and over. God made us for His Glory, not our own, and when we take it for our own we rob God of his glory. They go on to say, “Gazing upon the beauty of the Lord is the antidote to self-glory.” They quote Ed Welch from his book, “Does Thin Equal Beautiful? A Biblical Vision of Beauty”. He says, “Consider what it would be like to be in Revelation chapter 4 where you find yourself in the throne room of God. You know what’s going to happen when you are in the throne room of God? You are not going to be thinking about your personal appearance. We’re not going to be thinking about our hair. We’re not going to be thinking about our weight. Instead, our attention is going to be drawn to the One who is truly beautiful…” Perspective. Balance. “Love the Lord your God with all your Heart, and all your Soul, and with all your Strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5
Summer fades, school begins. New routines, new demands on my time. I continue to struggle, but it feels more like a seasoned struggle. I know I will fall, I am human and sinful. But I serve a mighty God, and I know how to bask in His Glory. He has given me a new perspective through
my weight loss journey and I know I am not at the end, rather, only the beginning of a new chapter. “My Utmost, For His Highest.”