I will be using this blog for awhile to encourage us all on the journey to a healthy lifestyle. It took me a long time but I am finally learning that taking care of me is one of the most important things I do each and every day. Like most women, I know how to take care of others, but me? Not so much. For years, I always came last in terms of making my health a priority. But after a breast cancer diagnosis and a new liver diagnosis on top of one I already had, I realized it was time to give my all to trusting God with my body and my health. I hope that this blog will lead you to the grace and strength that comes from God and the desire to surrender to Him your body and your choices. For surely surrender of who we are and all we have is in itself an act of worship. May we worship Him as we make choices that reflect the truth that we are His and our body has been created for Him.
A New Kind of Normal
There is a reason diets don’t work. Diets have a start button and a stopping point. They are all or nothing. Trouble is, the all or nothing life, doesn’t promote good health. We have heard it for years, diets don’t work, but lifestyle change does. It’s true.
The bummer is, lifestyle change truly means that I must change the way I handle myself in regards to what I eat, how I move and how much sleep I get. It takes focus and most of us are so stretched these days that focus is hard to come by. Taking care of ourselves is not the number one thing on our priority list—but friends, it needs to be.
Taking Care of You
No one else can take care of you. No one else can make continued healthy choices for you. No one else can submit to God, surrendering your body for his use—but you. Yes, taking care of ourselves is not only practical, it’s spiritual. It is our spiritual act of worship at base level.
It’s now been ten months since I began the journey to renewed health. Though it was hard, very hard, in the beginning, it became surprisingly routine and easier as time went on. Gone were the cravings for my beloved sugars and favorite processed foods. In their place was an appreciation of all the wonderful colorful things I could eat. And, to my surprise, I began to like the shopping, preparing and cooking that went hand in hand with a healthier lifestyle.
At the eight month mark I had lost 46 lbs and was happy with myself and grateful to God for the strength He had given me every step of the way. When my medical Dr. had suggested I lose 40 lbs, in my denial, I thought it was too much. I soon saw that 40 lbs was not even enough and at eight months was well on my way to a solid 50 lb loss. And, that is where I decided to stop and begin to maintain.
Practicing A New Lifestyle
Being it was the holiday season, my birthday and other noteable events, I decided to work on maintance during the eight weeks from December to February. I started out by practicing moderation while allowing back into my life limited grains, sugars and dairy. Part of the maintance discipline was keeping a daily food journal, something I hadn’t done the entire previous 8 months. This journal helped me not over eat and opened my eyes to what my personal body needed to maintain it’s new weight.
About this time I ended up with a repetitive stress injury in an ankle that I had surgery on 8 years earlier. For months, walking 4 miles each morning, six days a week, had become routine. Though I wasn’t into it at first, it was a discipline I grew to look forward to and love. Now my Dr. was telling me to rest my ankle and as it got better to curtail the daily repetitive activity, finding varied ways to get exercise. At first, that wasn’t a problem, as my ankle pain screamed at me.
Over those two months of trying to maintain my weight loss I learned some valuable lessons that will now take me the full course of this journey.
- I must pay attention to what I eat.
- I can’t just eat anything I want.
- I don’t feel as well with a diet rich in processed foods.
- Breads/ Processed Carbs are not my daily friends, they cause bloat, fogginess and food cravings.
- If I am not active, I can not eat as much. Period.
- A TREAT meal or TREAT day, once a week or every other week is not a deal breaker and helps me keep my focus all the rest of the days. ( I purposely refulse to call it a cheat day or meal as that is negative. It’s rather a treat to be able to have something I have purposely given up, on a daily basis, for health reasons)
In my next post I will address, paying attention.
As I close for today, I pray, for us all.
I pray we will have the courage to take care of ourselves as unto the Lord, resist discouragement when the days don’t go perfect, and refuse to live in bondage but rather grasp for freedom in every choice we make that honors God!