weight gain

Weight Gain and the First Year of Marriage: HV For Real Post #2

Here's what I knew about weight growing up. I knew I had it and I felt very different because I had it. I felt like everyone would stare at me because I was wearing the pain of dealing with life's struggles all over my body. I truly though that I wasn't "good enough" in the eyes of God as I knew him because I couldn't just get the weight off my body. I thought it was something I had to do myself. I thought he wouldn't love me until I got that weight off, and I couldn't figure out why he didn't love me enough to just take my weight off so I wouldn't feel so bad about myself.

I don't care who you are or what your journey has been with your weight loss, gain or maintenance in your life. I'm a believer that it's got absolutely nothing to do with what someone else sees on the outside or even what we see. Weight - although it may be an outward sign of inner struggles - it is more thank likely in many cases, NOT something you can figure out just by looking at someone. 

So, I'm a big fan of people NOT judging those by how much weight they carry or how little. I can tell you right now - it is NOT an outer thing. It's an inner thing. It's a mind thing. It's a heart thing. It's a spiritual thing. It's about what we're telling ourselves or what we think about our weight, what we feel about our weight, the mental and emotional baggage we carry with our weight, and the spiritual disconnection.

The guy who ran my treatment center used to say, "If you are just doing the food thing, it's a diet. You've got to add in the spiritual aspect. It has to be a spiritual program." I couldn't agree more. Why? Because when my weight or my thoughts about my weight are at the front of my mind? It's because I'm not trusting God for something, and it often shows up in what I'm eating...or my weight as you might see it.

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Flash forward to a few days ago. We're walking around Traverse City. Since I got married I have gained a little over 30 pounds. Can you say? That sucks. Yes, cause it does. I don't feel great in my body and the other day, I felt like others were judging me for my weight. For the first time in a really long time, I didn't want to be out in public. That is NOT a fun feeling. The gift is that I didn't have to RUN from that feeling. I faced it, dealt with it, and in little ways I'm doing something about it.

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But here's the deal - I may need to lose weight but it is STILL not strictly about the weight. I cannot just go jump on some diet. I HAVE to look at the inner stuff while doing something to change the outer stuff.

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In the process of looking at the inner stuff, I've found that I don't completely trust God for the "little things." I try a taste of something here and there. I can find myself mindlessly eating. Throw on top of that it's been 6 months since I've had a normal workout (i.e. a jog, a bike ride, a  spin class, or a yoga class), and you've got a pretty slow metabolism. Not only that, my doc told me I've got till about Christmas to feel completely better. The next 6 weeks? It's when I will just start weight training. I've already been in 12 weeks of physical therapy. This is a process.

Given this is a process, I woke up the other day with this first thought. I like to call these things "God Nudges". It's like he takes that quiet time when I'm just rising in the morning to tell me something. That morning I heard Him send me to a passage that is more about being financially sound in the little things, yet I heard it in reference to my food choices.

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with very much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
— Luke 16:10 NIV

I see why he took me to this verse - not to beat me up and tell me, "You are being bad," but to be reminded that those "little things" are the things where I can lose track. Those are the places I can find myself not paying attention and those are the places he just pointed me to to pay attention.

See, he showed me - what is going on beneath the surface. That stuff that's going on beneath the surface and the circumstances of my surgery recovery - that's all showing up in my weight. But it's up to me to be devoted in the little things, cause that's where I can get stuck. Since I wrote this, I'm not keeping a food journal, but making a note or catching myself I get off track with those little things so each time I can be reminded me that HE is helping me through those little things. Through my attention TO those little things - that weight on the outside changes, and my trust in HIM changes because it's more focused on Him.

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Look, I don't know what you struggle with around your weight, whether it's food or just habit, or some list of excuses, but you need to know, just like I need to be reminded in this Word, that we are loved no matter what we're struggling with. All He wants for us is to recognize our struggle, work through it and rely on Him to help us change. I hope this blog helped you see a little bit of what's going on behind the scenes with my weight struggle.

More importantly, I hope it shows you that yes - I may have gone through treatment, run lots of marathons and more - but I am on a JOURNEY. The weight I lost from treatment was because of the inner work that I did. I am thankful today to know, my worth does NOT rest in my outer appearance with my weight. Although I may struggle with insecurity around it right now, I trust that God's doing whatever He needs to do to show me through this how I can change. Just like yesterday's post, this is for HIM, not for me or my vanity.

 

Acceptance: How Injury Can be Your Teacher (3rd of a series)

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This is the third blog in a series this week called "The 7 Key Elements to Finding Healthy Within."

As the world tells us changing our physical selves for the better is the one thing we should strive for in life, I believe there is a much more powerful message when we can't do anything about it.

It's in these moments that willpower takes a huge backseat, and we're given the opportunity to surrender to acceptance in the moment. Truly, there is no more powerful way to learn this than when we are forced to be still and know.

#ACCEPTANCE

Psalm 46:10 Be Still and KNOW that I am God.

I've learned this lesson before, when I was not yet in recovery, planning to run the NYC marathon and busted my ankle. I could do nothing. I remember depression setting in. It was like the world was coming to an end and I didn't know how I was going to live without being able to run at all, let alone run the race. My self-worth was so low, I thought that race was the only thing I had going for me. That was about a year before I got into recovery. 

Flash forward 7 years to right now. I just got home from a tough session with my physical therapist, Deb, at South Bend Orthopedic. I go three times a week right now and often times it takes up a few hours of my day. I'm grateful for it, because it's getting me better. But, it's a slow process.

I asked her this morning (as she's holding my shoulder in her arms and I'm secretly screaming trying not to focus on it) something I already knew, "So, no working out till maybe end of summer, right?" "Nope." "Got it." It's like I just needed to be reminded -- this is a journey and I'm still on it! There is an end in sight and I do have a God that I know will carry me through this season. 

Right now though? It's a season of physical repair, a time of physical healing.  

Here's why....

On January 3rd, I was asleep and was woken up around 2:30 in the morning by my shoulder dislocating for the 3rd time in about 15 years. My husband had to find a YouTube video to teach him how to put it back into the joint. It is extremely painful and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

A friend told me I should get it checked out, might need surgery. After an MRI, I found out it was pretty bad. When I saw Dr. Balint he told me that I was going to need the surgery and I'd hate him till Christmas.

I was amazed I was so calm. I would not have been calm a few years back. Major moment of gratitude for recovery. I can do this. 

So I went till April with the injury - not working out except a little light workout on the elliptical - no lifting, no running, no yoga, three of things I like to do in variety to keep me balanced.

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6 weeks ago today, I had the surgery. Here's what I've missed...

I have missed being able to put my hair in a ponytail, and being able to put on pants with two hands and a button. Shutting the front door behind me and the car door next to me are a feat.   I miss not having to grab 3 ice-packs every time I sit down. In a weird way, I miss being able to do so much laundry with gusto. Now I can only fold almost a full laundry bin thankfully, but it's tiring. I was trying on clothes the other day in a store and I was literally sweating, almost in tears, not because of my waist, but because there was no way I could get that thing over my head without help. I tried and tried and then got someone to help. But it felt like a defining moment of how I've felt with this injury. A good reminder that I've got a long way to go...but I've improved.

My waist wasn't comfortable either so that just added to it. But the shoulder hurt enough not for me to focus on it. I can tell you that I MISS working out and every emotional, spiritual, physical and mental release it gives me to keep my head on straight and my emotions at bay. It is a tool I use to find peace in life. 

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Flash back to last Wednesday when my husband and I got our checkups for health insurance, I get on a scale - which thankfully I don't give the power anymore. I told her not to share with me but then she flashed the number in my face not realizing I'm someone who used to obsess about that number, and I kinda freaked. That's okay, I wouldn't expect her to know.

The weight gain was there. I knew it. I hadn't felt great in a few weeks. My Mom said to me, "You haven't worked out in 6 weeks Mere, give yourself a break." Then my husband said, "Honey, it's been almost 6 months." That felt better because it's been longer that I've had it, but also a little worse! And all I could think was that I've got another four to seven months to go. 

#ACCEPTANCE

I can tell you I am in one of those places, where there just isn't much I can do to change this. I can go to PT, I can certainly be much more conscious with my food choices, which I am doing, but it can still suck. THIS is that moment where Acceptance is necessary. Like 12-step program says, you do what you have to do and you can do and let God take care of the rest.

I know, my body is going through healing. This is a season in my life. I trust his plan absolutely. I just have to walk the journey and trust the process.

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In just a few hours I'll be going in for my 6-week checkup with the doctor. I'm not going in there expecting anything. He was great in telling me that I wouldn't like him till Christmas because he kept my expectations completely realistic. He must have seen I was a Type A and wanted to prepare me. I am so grateful for his understanding and wonderful bedside manner. Sometimes docs that work on your body don't understand what it's like to be someone who IS interested in maintaining your physical health. They'll say, "Well, no more of that at all!" And I just appreciate that this guy gets it. He gets that I'm physically active. He wants me to get better, and whatever he tells me today I will have to accept, and shockingly I'm okay with that. His words, my program, and my belief in God is what is keeping me going through this season of healing right now.

I hope you'll stop by tomorrow because I'm going to be sharing how this surgery touches on my mental health and how being aware of it is so important. I hope you'll check it out, especially since it's Mental Health Awareness Month!!