Friday, September 21, 2012

The Wild and Wacky World of Weight Loss

There seem to be moments in life when you decide you are "done".  Sometimes its a moment of frustration, like being "done" with potty training or "done" with people leaving clothes all over the bathroom floor.
This kind of "done" is usually for a fleeting second as the potty training must continue, and in reality, the people you live with are still going to leave clothes on the bathroom floor.
Other times you decide you are done with bad habits and cut something out of your life...coke, sugar, staying up to late.  This kind of "done" you can make stick and it usually works ( at least temporarily) because you are just "done" with one thing.  One thing is attainable.  Easy. Takes a couple days, maybe a week to get it out of your life.  Quick fix.  Rip of the band aid. It will only sting for a minute.

Then there is the big "W" word.


Weight is a lot harder to be done with.
I mean, its easy to be "done" with it, but its not easy to do something about it and really be done with it.
"Done" in quotation marks is a lot different than done-no quotations.
"Done" in quotations is fleeting, very "in the moment", and more about a few minutes of uncomfortableness.
Done-no quotations is a quite literal interpretation and requires lots of change, work, and dedication.

I love the dictionary explanation:
Carried out, or treated in a particular way:
(in response to an offer) Accepted.
Synonyms:made - finished

Being done with weight means you have to accept and carry out the mission of a more disciplined and healthy the finish.

As a Christian, I am called to finish this race.

Phillipians 3:14
"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

I do not want to over spiritualize the issue of weight loss, but I do believe there is a very spiritual aspect to it.
At least for me.
In the past I have used many excuses to not do what it takes to be a healthier version of me.
When it comes right down to it, all of those excuses amount to sin.
Selfishness- Choosing what I want over what I need.
Gluttony- Eating well past the time of being full just because it tastes so good and I WANT it.
Laziness- Not wanting to exercise because it might be hard and it might hurt.
Pride- Thinking that I can keep eating and not exercising and be just fine.
Anger- At people that work hard at being healthy.  (How misplaced is that!)
Envy- At people that work hard at being healthy.

You get the picture. Lack of discipline, lack of dependence on God, dependence on food, self, emotions, living in the flesh instead of dying to it...those are the reasons that on January 1st and many years preceding, I was 5 feet tall and obese.

9 months later I am still five feet tall but instead of obese, I am just overweight and well on my way to that healthy weight and learning to die to my flesh daily as I depend on God through this journey.
Everyday I am thankful that God has given me and continues to give me His grace to achieve my health related goals.  Everyday I pray and ask God to please not remove His grace from me in this area.
God has been faithful to encourage me in this journey and I have been faithful to see it through thus far and hopefully, to the end.
I've also kicked myself a lot and repented of the time I wasted to get here.

How & What?
How have you done it and what are you doing?  
We are quick fix people.  We want to do something and we want it to be done now.  I get impatient when my text doesn't send immediately.  I want that instant communication, I can't wait for 20 seconds while it sends!  Lucky for us, we live in a day and age when we can do many things easily and with a quick fix.
Weight loss is not one of those things.
Its just not.
Gosh how many times do we tire of hearing the whole
"You didn't get fat over night and you're not going to get skinny that way either."
Its cliche yes, but its true.  The quick fix doesn't work here.
It might work temporarily, but not in the long run.
I have done several things over the past few years that have granted me a 20 pound weight loss, but without changing my mindset, those 20, and more, came back pretty quickly.

I have made the statement in the past that "Weight Watchers" works for me.
Not a true statement.
It doesn't work if you don't stick to it and you fall back into the same old traps and patterns.
What works is a reset.
A mindset change and a lifestyle change.
That is what works and what sticks.

I bucked counting calories for a looooong time. I felt like it would be to hard (so what!),
would require too much work (Oh no!),
and I would starve (gasp!).
Guess what?!  None of those things were true.
Is it easy?
Not easy perse', but not hard either.
Is it work?
It is, but its not hard work.
And what is wrong with a little work anyways?
Who says I need to take the easy and most convenient way out of everything I do?
Have I starved?
Not one single day.

What I have done is signed up for a great and free service and logged in to that great and free service everyday since January 6th. has been an amazing help and tool in weight loss.
The key for me at the beginning was doing it with friends.
There were a few of us that sat around a table one evening talking about this myfitnesspal that we all had signed up for and hadn't really done anything with.
I had already talked to one friend about us holding each other accountable to not eating sugar, but this myfitnesspal thing, well that just seemed like to much work to set up.
Gosh the me of January 5th was afraid of work.
But for some reason on January 6th, something inside of me clicked and I logged into the program, added my friends for support, and haven't looked back to January 5th since then.
In the beginning there were days that I would feel so frustrated by this whole weight loss thing, and balancing your calories, and what? I need to exercise too?!
But the encouragement I got from my friends on myfitnesspal was invaluable and kept me going.
Even if it was just an acknowledgement that "Yay, good job on walking for 20 minutes"..or "Woohoo, you've logged in for 10 days in a row!", it made me feel like I was not alone in what I was doing.

Several times friends wrote me nice messages about what I was doing and I kept them because they encouraged my heart and made me remember why I was doing this in the first place.
Other friends were so faithful and encouraging in noticing when 15 pounds, then 20 pounds, then 25 pounds came off.  It meant a lot to know I had the support of people who loved me, not because I was losing weight, but just because they are my friends and love me no matter what.

I really cannot say enough for the myfitnesspal website and app.
I used to think calorie counting was hard and too restrictive.  I can't tell you now how much freedom I have found in the boundary of counting my calories.
I give plenty of boundaries to my kids, we as a society have certain boundaries we live by to maintain order, we as Christians live with in a certain boundary.
None of these boundaries are to make life miserable and no fun, but to make it easier, safer, even more full!  So why can't calorie counting be the same thing?
Instead of looking at it as what I can't eat, I look at what I can eat.
I wake up every morning and set my boundaries for the day.
I log in what I will eat for the day.  Sometimes that changes a little and I have to tweak, but for the most part, I know first thing in the morning, what I can eat for the day.
That is freeing!
The great thing about it is, if something changes, I change it, within my boundaries, and move on.  The phone app makes it all super easy.
Does it require work?
But it really, in the grand scheme of things, is easy.

The thing for me about the calorie counting has been to be proactive.  I can't just sit back and wait for calories to put themselves in or play guessing games on food in the house or even away from the house.
I have to plan ahead, and in planning ahead I need to prepare ahead of time the things I have planned.
I can tell you this, I have not for one day starved.
At the beginning there were days when my stomach was growling so hard and I thought I was starving, and then I saw a great quote
..."Hunger pains is your body eating its own fat..."
That helped me.
It made me realize I didn't have to be afraid of the hunger pains.
I didn't have to be afraid of being hungry.
Myfitnesspal has set me up on a daily calories allowance that is designed to help me have all the nutrients I need for the day and burn fat at the same time.  No way I can starve!
I learned pretty early on that being hungry is ok!  You can lose weight and be hungry.  You can be hungry and satisfy that hunger with a healthy snack and a glass of water and stay within the boundary of your calories for the day.
That was and still is, a good feeling.

Give me an E!
Oh that word that I used to me afraid of.
I've always been the outdoorsy type.  I like to hike, play tennis, play golf, be out in the great outdoors.
I thought that made me a "healthy" person.
It didn't.
When it came to actual exercise, well I was just down right opposed.
Not all the time opposed.
I mean I would try every now and again.
I might walk for a couple days in a row, but my legs hurt, and my knee hurt, and my calves hurt, and well I need a day off...or 287.
That was me and exercise.
I was afraid of the pain. I wanted, deep down, to be an exerciser.
But the truth of the matter was that I didn't discipline myself enough to actually do it. I didn't want to endure the discomfort it would cause.

So I didn't.

In January, when something clicked and I knew what I needed to do as far as the eating goes, I also knew that just getting my eating under control was not enough.
I wanted it to be. I really really wanted it to be.
I even researched the matter to back up my theory that calories in- calories out, was all that mattered.
Well, yeah, that is true too and for a certain extent. And honestly, at the beginning it was enough for me to just focus on the eating part. I felt like I needed to get that under control and focus solely on that.
I don't think that was a bad plan for me to start off with.  I was in bad shape as far as the eating went, and a month to focus on disciplining my hand to my mouth, was a good thing.
But I couldn't go on with just getting the eating under control forever.

In February a friend of mine invited me to her Zumba class.
I went.
I sucked at it.
I left in pain.
I went again.
I sucked some more.
I left in more pain.
I went again.
We laughed a lot because I, some people just can't dance.
I left in pain.
I went again.
And the pain got less and less.
And the feeling of accomplishment got more and more.
And the pounds started really coming off.
And the sweat didn't bother me so much.
And I felt really good when I left.
And I logged it into myfitnesspal and liked seeing that I had burned 600 calories in one hour of fun.
I was finding exercise fun?

Zumba literally changed the way I view exercise. I will forever be grateful to my friend for inviting me, and for our instructor who does not judge, does not laugh, does not degrade.
Zumba made me realize it was ok to be in pain and to sweat and to work hard.
When I first started, I was going 4 days a week.  From February - May I went 4 days a week.
And I lost weight and inches and gained this new sense of myself and what I could do.
It felt good. It still feels good. The class is only 2 days a week, and here of late because of schedules I have only been able to go 1 day a week. But I will, for the rest of my life if I can, go at least once a week, because Zumba is fun and it taught me that I can work hard, and have fun, and sweat.
Those things are all ok!

I wish I could do Zumba 4 days a week, but alas, life gets in the way and you have to learn to do other things that you can fit into your schedule.
Enter running.


I never.  Ever. Ever. In my life. Ever. Thought that I would run.

I am not a fast walker. It has always hurt my shins and my calves and instead of fixing it, I just let it be another excuse not to walk or run or do anything that would be uncomfortable.
Last year when Logan broke his leg, I talked to the nurse about my pains. I saw the Dr, and I started physical therapy for Achilles tendinitis, the source of most of those pains.
I've had to put in a lot of stretches, and endure some painful walks and runs, but FINALLY, I am starting to see the pay off.
Sometimes, I am learning, you have to endure the pain while your muscles build and stretch and get used.

No pain no gain.
So cliche.
And yet so true.

I started walking in February.  I would walk around a little lake near us with a nice path.
Its .83 miles around. It would take me 22 minutes.
2 days ago I RAN around it twice in 22 minutes!
Who knows what I will be able to do in another 7 months?!
Maybe my time for twice around will still be 22 minutes, but the important thing will be that I am still going around.
I can't emphasis enough the fact that I never thought I could do the things I can do now.

Phillipians 4:13 
"For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength".

There is no limit on that. I am not over spiritualizing or making this verse a cliche when I say that "I CAN do everything through Christ, who gives me strength."
As a believer, when I can do everything, when He is the one giving me the strength to do it, He is the one being glorified through my life.  I give Him the glory for the "everything" and for the strength.
Do I feel a sense of pride and satisfaction when I accomplish something I didn't think I could do?
But the glory goes to Him for without Him, I can do nothing.

So to summarize this wild and wacky world of weight loss, I died to myself.
By Gods grace, something clicked inside of me and I knew what needed to be done and what it was going to take to do it.
I'm not done. And quite frankly, sometimes I get discouraged and a little frustrated by that.
I've never been tempted to quit, and for that I am thankful.
I've had to do things a little differently at times. I've had to push harder at times, and I've had to cut myself some slack at times too.
But I haven't and won't quit until I have met the goals that I know needed to be set for my body and my short little height. I will see this thing through, even if it takes another year.
I will still be me.
I will just be a healthier version of me.
I will be able to keep up with my soon to be teenagers.
I will be a more disciplined person.
I will be closer in my walk with the Lord because it is by Him and through Him that I can do this in the first place.

When people ask me "Wow, how do you lose weight?"...the answer is quite simply,
You have to be done.


Beth said...

I'm very proud of you, Missy! I would also like for you to get off my toes now. ;-) Seriously, thanks for the reminders and inspiration!

Christy said...

You are amazing! I'm still living in the land of excuses. Maybe some day I'll be motivated to be done!!
Christy D.

Denise said...

Beyond proud of you.

Marsha said...

So proud of you, Missy! I know you'll see this through because it's a definite lifestyle change for you. I'm so glad we're on this journey together. It's just going much faster for you than me. Love you.

Anonymous said...

One thing I admire most about you Missy is your tenacity about what you want and what you set your mind to do. It is very inspiring. I like how you make a plan, organize your list of "to-do's" and go for it. That attitude rubs off on people. It makes them look at you and say "I want to go to there." I love this blog post. I love you. And I'm thrilled for your weightloss journey.

Diane said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joi Abraham said...

Missy I really enjoyed reading this! Derrick (you haven't net him) also uses my fitness pal and he has lost 20 pounds! I'm glad it worked so well for you too. You look great!

Montgomery Family said...

Missy, you are amazing! I'm so proud of you and inspired!!! You should write a book!!

Crissy said...

Missy, please do not be offended if I tell you that you are not amazing. I think the whole point of this post was when you said that you died to self and you depend on God's grace. God is amazing and I love watching him work in your life. Thank you for the encouragement that I needed. Thank you for being non-judgemental and speaking grace into a difficult subject. Love you sister!

Tiffany Klacik said...

Missy Missy!
It's an amazing thing to have been there from day one to witness what you have gone through this year.I remember being the one who tried to get others motivated and on my bandwagon to work out and eat better, but here you are ministering to me!
I am super proud of you and I cannot wait to see the end result! Doing this with you has been an honor!