I hope that my friends' lives have been filled with crafts, fun events, pictures galore, vacations, memories, family time, and love that I may not have seen fill the pages of blogs but that filled your hearts! I know mine has and I can't guarantee that I'll ever get back in the habit of documenting it and sharing it here, but I would like to. Poor Charlie is going to think I just gave up when she was born. This is the closest thing to a baby book that any of them will ever have after all.
Today I just want to share with you my frustration and hopefully end in motivation. I made a real new year's resolution this year to seriously take charge of my weight and health. It has been a constant struggle for me most of my life. Yes, that's the same story we've all heard it, but when it comes right down to it, we're in charge of what we do and what we put in our bodies. That's a hard reality to deal with. So are pictures. They don't lie, the camera isn't adding enough lbs to make me look like I just gave up...I actually did that. After Charlie was born I once again rebelled against my body's need for healthy food, exercise, and attention to portions. I just let it all go. It felt good for a month or two or three. I just enjoyed what I was eating, cooked what I wanted, ate where I wanted, never slept (newborn and all), never exercised, stayed in maternity clothes, and just sat. I gained 25lbs in the six months after Charlie was born. I weighed more in January than I did the day I went into labor with Charlie. Talk about a reality check. It was awful but I let it happen. When it comes to weight, I just tell myself that I wish I could be one of those normal people who can eat what they want, exercise a little, and their metabolism takes care of the rest. Um, those aren't normal people! I know some of those folks, but weight is hardly the only indicator of health. It's just a public announcement of your values regarding your body. How terrible it felt y'all, to realize that I was outwardly telling people that I didn't care, that I was weak, that I didn't value my health, my body, my self. Let's take it big picture, I was telling the world and my family that I wasn't so concerned with them either. How can I expect to play with my kids, chase and frolic, um, stay alive at all when I was packing around a 43 BMI.
Ok, so all that shocked me into the fact that I had to change. I've changed before, lost weight before, exercised before, ran a 5K before, ate low-carb before, on and on. It just never stuck and I found another reason to just give in. This time just felt different though. Maybe it's because I had just turned 29 and realized that I had spent all but about a year or so of my twenties in the severely obese category. Maybe it was that I had a good friend encouraging me...that was certainly a big help. Jason joined in, we took pictures, we made a plan, we wrote down goals for the year, a weightloss competition started at work, and everyone was just ready. It started out so great. I lost about 12lbs in the first month, woohoo! Within two months I was down 18lbs and then by six months I had lost 35. I started a running clinic in March and kept it up, finished another 5K all running this time in May. Sodas, all sodas were out of my diet for five entire months. Man, it was feeling great. I had high energy, motivation, excitement, encouragement, all the ingredients for success. My goal of losing 60lbs this year seemed attainable.
Then summer came, vacation came, four ten hour work days, kids at home all day, laziness, pictures of me in a bathing suit, summer cookouts, birthday parties, all that good stuff came and laid me out. It's now been 9 months and I've still just lost about 35lbs, some days it's closer to 38-40 but I just can't get or keep the next five pounds off of my body. I look a lot better, I feel so much better, I'm still running about 6-7 miles a week, trying to find the time to exercise at home, and recommitted myself to my lower carb healthy eating for the 3rd or 4th time in the past several months. Something is just not gelling. Something is missing. I am frustrated. The only way to combat frustration is motivation.
My sweet friend, Rachel, is a super encourager and may I mention that she's been making these same changes plus adding yoga and her diet change has been to become VEGAN! She is doing awesome. Her total weightloss is up to more than 50lbs! Her BMI was not nearly as high as mine when she started either, so she is getting so close to her end goal. I could not be more proud or excited and happy for someone even if she were getting married or pregnant, seriously, this is the same level of joy! We talk ourselves up, we sound like complete idiots when we run, "We're awesome, we can do this, come on, up that hill, lean forward, we got this, high five, lookin' good, breathe, woohoo, hooray, wheeee, etc." There are also some, "I f^&%& hate you, why did we turn right??" Some, "Oh, you wanna go 3.5, let's do four then, I've got my second wind heifer, come on!" It is a riot. Then there are times when we just wanna sit, drink a cup of coffee, and chit chat with our running tights on and ignore the road that is definitely NOT calling our names.
All of this to say...I need motivation. It could come from a significant pound loss, inches lost, a new goal reached in my exercise, a size drop (with my current weight, it takes a lot of pounds to see a size drop and so far I've only seen my clothes fit better and I've been able to get into a few pairs of pants that previously didn't fit anymore, but honestly I'm just now actually fitting into the size I was wearing before pregnancy minus the maternity stuff so I have not yet seen a real size drop), or just something, anything. Since my weight loss has been so slow, which is a good and healthy thing, I don't get a lot of compliments. Nobody notices much or says anything encouraging very often. At first there was a lot of that, but now that we're nine months in, I think people are waiting for a much more dramatic change. My motivation needs to be internal though. It's hard. My personal motivation usually honestly comes from my relationship with God. I know it sounds hokey, but it's true. When I needed help with feeling overwhelmed and depressed last winter, Jesus was to the rescue. He'd been there the whole time, but really sinking into that and just giving it up to Him was the answer. This was along with some help from my midwife, taking charge of my health, and lots of crying. Any ideas on how to convince myself that Jesus really cares about what size I wear? It's just that our society has not only convinced me that certain clothes, styles, and sizes are "pretty" but it's also convinced me that caring about those things are vain and petty. In my head, I know that this is much more. I listed those things above, and I "know" it isn't just vanity, but I can't justify in my head to pray and talk to Jesus about my weight, about how far I want to run, and about how I hope I can avoid eating the donuts at tomorrow's meeting. See, this therapy is paying off. I just answered a huge question for myself.
In short, will you all pray to Jesus about those things for me while I'm getting over my sheer embarrassment to ask Him to help me with it? I'm also ashamed that I've taken this beautiful and powerful body that God gave me and turned into what I have. It isn't often that I think of my health habits as something I need to repent for, so maybe I never did and that is a barrier between me and Jesus about this whole weight loss and healthy living thing. Dang, this is revelation at its finest. Thank you for reading and just because I am insane I will share something secret, embarrassing, and hopefully inspiring with all of you.