December 31, 2010

Giving God My Year

"Where did the year go?" How many times have you heard that said this week! I am baffled by the question more than ever this year. I can't even explain to myself what just happened in 2010. My life was changed forever and I didn't see it coming at all!

When I look back on the past 365 days, what I see is a series of falls. Which is not much different from any other year in my life. What is different about 2010 is that right after the falls, I see my strength being renewed time after time. I see myself being raised up on wings like eagles. I was able to run and not grow weary.

Isaiah 40:28-31

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

I just know that at the beginning of 2010 I was at the end of me. I was tired, scared, and desperate so I let go of everyting I was holding onto and reached out for Hope. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.

The comparison photos are quite dramatic proof of my physical transformation. If I could only show you a before and after of my heart...

Dear Lord,

I know there is someone out there who is just like I was. They might be reading this right now. Will you just let them know that you are here? Will you let them know that you see them? I know that you can make something out of absolutely nothing; my life is proof. So it is my prayer that this person who feels like nothing can believe that you want to make them into SOMETHING for your glory.

You know everything about each one of us and you give us permission to come to you with our guard down and our hearts completely torn open. Indeed, this is how you most desire to receive us. Take our hands, our hearts, our every thought captive now. Conform them to your will. Take our lives that we, on our own, can not willingly give. Lord we are not willing, but make us willing to BE willing. Help us overcome our disbelief.

I thank you for your unmatched grace and mercy in my life. I don't know why you do the things you do. But I trust you. I trust you with my 2011. I trust you with my days and even my moments. I love you, Lord.


December 21, 2010


This is a verse from one of my favorite "newer" Christmas songs:

Follow the star to a place unexpected
Would you believe, after all we've projected,
A child in a manger?
Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in his mother's shawl
Just a child --Is this who we've waited for?

How Many Kings, Down Here

I find myself focused on the "unlikeliness" of God's plans this Christmas. It's hard to ignore. Today my 5 year old son even asked me, "Mommy, how can a baby be a King?" Hmm.


CS Lewis said that "The Son of God became man so that men could become the sons of God." There is a song that describes this as "a strange way to save the world." That song has always made me a little defensive. Someone calling my God's plans strange? No you didn't...

But the truth of the matter is--it is strange. Strange to us because His ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts.

Last year at this time I was on the brink of an emotional meltdown. I was in the deepest pit I have ever been in. For that darkness to be made light seemed very unlikely to me. It seemed very unlikely that I would ever be who am now. And I certainly wouldn't have chosen the path God did to get me out of the pit. All of it was...unlikely, to say the least.

What is amazing is that when His plans and purpose are revealed to us, we see the Glory of God. We gain some small understanding of His infinite wisdom and we know that it is okay to trust Him. Because even though they may seem strange, His ways are impossibly perfect. Time after time.

God's ways are not mine. They are the unlikeliest ways and He is the unlikeliest hero. But he is MY hero and I take comfort in knowing that He is in control and I am not. I celebrate His presence! I celebrate The Word becoming flesh, knowing suffering and dying so that I could be set free. (He didn't stay in the manger, ya know!)

He has given me so much, taught me so much, healed me so much, loved me SO much. He sacrificed everything...for you and me. What do I possibly have to offer as a gift to this Savior? What do you have to offer? For that answer we need only look in the mirror.

John 1:4-5
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Merry Christmas!

December 14, 2010

Should I Stay or Should I Go

This is the song my pounds 172-177 are singing right now. It's been pretty confusing on all of us. I get rid of 'em, I bring 'em back. One day I wake up ready to run a marathon, the next I wake up thinking of Chick-fil-a and my old usual: 12 nuggets, a CFA sandwich, large fries and large sweet tea. YES! That is what I used to order at Chick-fil-a.

Thankfully I have not done that in the year 2010 and do not plan on it. For11 months I haven't even considered ordering that meal and the fact that I have now scares the living waffle fry out of me.

I set a goal for myself right before Thanksgiving. I want to weigh less on January 1 than I did at that point (172.5). So far, it's not looking too optimistic. There is always hope, though. I've been doing a lot of analyzing and contemplating and I was able to pinpoint the moment I lost sight of my goal.

It was the afternoon I got back from a trip to New Mexico. I was so proud of myself for how wonderfully I had prepared meals and stuck to eating them. I just knew I had lost 5 pounds in 3 days. What in the world?

Much to my dismay, when I stepped on the scale that afternoon and saw that I had not lost one single pound (in fact I was up one) it just ticked me off. And to be honest, I've been ticked off ever since.

So what have I done to rectify the situation? I have eaten. And look where it has gotten me. The rational part of my brain, if I had chosen to use it, would have reminded me that by the next morning the scale might have shown a significant drop. I let emotions take over and when I do that they multiply until that rational part of the brain? Well, it's all covered in a big WAD of emotion and thoughts of fast food and chips, etc.

I've got 17 days to turn this ship around. I know that the power I have been given is greater than any emotion or feeling of defeat that I have:

1 John 4:4
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Another fitting verse to remember this season:

1 Corinthians 15:57
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!

The Baby that came to earth is the very REASON I will celebrate and I will succeed.

So, YES! 177, 176, 175, 174, 173 and 172: you can definitely go now. Not to be rude, but I am SO over you.

December 8, 2010

Out of the Closet

Confession: Last night at midnight I went in the kitchen and ate a bunch of food. I didn't want to but I did. It felt gross and strange. Like an out of body experience. It happened super fast. When I was done I was so disgusted with myself.

After I went back to bed something clicked in my head and I began to wonder... I grabbed my phone and Googled "binge eating." The first link was to the Mayo Clinic website and I clicked on it. This is what I read:

"Binge-eating disorder is a serious eating disorder in which you frequently consume unusually large amounts of food. Almost everyone overeats on occasion, such as having seconds or thirds of a holiday meal. But for some people, overeating crosses the line to binge-eating disorder and it becomes a regular occurrence, shrouded in secrecy."

Boom. I'm a binge eater.

You're not going to believe this, but I never thought of myself as "a binge eater." In the past, I recall describing some of my eating experiences as "a binge," but I didn't consider myself a person with a disorder. Why has it taken me 30 years to find this out when I've been doing it since I was about 7 or 8 years old? Because I'm ready to deal with it now? Because I'm ignorant? Probably a combination of both.

I went on reading this article. Here are some of the symptoms they listed for Binge Eating Disorder:

  • Eating large amounts of food

  • Eating even when you're full

  • Eating rapidly during binge episodes

  • Feeling that your eating behavior is out of control

  • Eating a lot even though you're not hungry

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Frequent dieting, possibly without weight loss

  • Frequently eating alone

  • Feeling depressed, disgusted or upset about your eating

So I could be the poster child for binge eating disorder, apparently. I guess I never really thought about it before. Because I used to eat so much all the time, episodes of frantic, mindless eating didn't seem too out of the ordinary. But last night when I was perfectly full and for the life of me I COULD NOT STOP MYSELF from eating I felt completely out of control. My mind and heart were both screaming for me to stop, but in all honesty--I couldn't stop.

At some point it may be necessary for me to receive some cognitive behavioral therapy. I am not opposed to that. I would like to keep trusting in the Lord to deliver me from this very disturbing disorder, but at some point we may decide together that a little therapy could help. Until then, I am going to really examine the circumstances and times that the binges are happening and try to prevent it as much as possible.

For instance, last night my binge was at midnight. I should have been asleep for several hours when it happened. Something as simple as turning off the TV at a decent hour would have very likely prevented what happened. That is definitely something I can do.

Here are the Mayo Clinic's suggestions for binge eaters (My thoughts in parentheses):

Stick to your treatment. Don't skip therapy sessions. If you have meal plans, do your best to stick to them and don't let setbacks derail your overall efforts. (For now I will equate this to my First Place 4 Health meeting, which I can't skip because I lead. Although it has crossed my mind a couple of times when I have had a bad week to call in sick. I haven't though.)

Avoid dieting. Trying to diet can trigger more binge episodes, leading to a vicious cycle that's hard to break. (I do not consider what I am doing a diet. My goal is simply eating a healthy, balanced diet. I think this means don't do something extreme like eat 500 calories a day, etc.)

Eat breakfast. Many people with binge-eating disorder skip breakfast. But, if you eat breakfast, you may be less prone to eating higher calorie meals later in the day.

Don't stock up. Keep less food in your home than you normally do. That may mean more-frequent trips to the grocery store, but it may also take away the temptation and ability to binge eat. (Love it! Although I am pretty creative and can usually come up with something if I get to the point of a binge--no matter how bare the pantry is.)

Get the right nutrients. Just because you may be eating a lot during binges doesn't mean you're eating the kinds of food that supply all of your essential nutrients. Talk to your doctor about vitamin and mineral supplements. (I have had a couple of mineral supplements suggested to me to help with cravings. I may try them. I need to start taking a multi-vitamin again.)

Stay connected. Don't isolate yourself from caring family members and friends who want to see you get healthy. Understand that they have your best interests at heart. (This one is SO important!)

Get active. Talk to your health care providers about what kind of exercise is appropriate for you, especially if you have health problems related to being overweight. (I am hoping this is really going to help me. Setting physical goals and achieving them has been one of the most uplifting things I have done. I just have to remember that on the days I'd rather gnaw my arm off than exercise.)

I absolutely did not want to do this post. It is embarrassing!! I know ya'll are all picturing me sitting at a table eating a big cold turkey leg right now. Ughh. That's not what I ate but it just seems like something a binge eater would eat. And I'm not going to tell you what I actually did eat because the last time I did it just made people hungry. ((Sigh))

I didn't want to post this, but I had to. Once this truth was revealed to me, and I definitely believe it was revealed to me last night for a specific reason, I had to come clean with it.

John 8:32
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

This is the verse that has been at the heart of any point of major deliverance in my life. When I am in doubt or confused or worried or discouraged or even hopeless--this is the one. The truth is what sets us free. We were not made to hold on to dirty little secrets. We were not made to bear our burdens alone. That is why this entire blog is based on being "real." It's the only thing that's ever worked for me.

So I just had to tell you, I'm a binge eater and I'm not ashamed. The Lord did not bring me this far only to put an unmovable road block in my way. There is purpose in it and I'll be danged if I am going to let such a disgusting thing keep me from moving closer to where I am meant to be. Photobucket

December 6, 2010

Funky, A Bunch

I loathe this picture, but I can't stop using it

Do you see this misfit? This was a 216 lb. person who had not done any physical activity in about 10 years, aside from lifting fork to mouth pretty religiously. But something began to happen to this person. Her body was not working so well.

Do you know what happens to the body when you don't exercise? (And by exercise, I do not mean parking a little farther away at the grocery store or taking the stairs a couple of times a week.) When you don't exercise, your body gets decrepit, for lack of a better word.

I believed that I was so big and my joints and everything hurt so much that I could not do much exercise. But one day it hit me that there were near 500 pound people on the Biggest Loser and they were running miles and not dying. You know the other neat thing about them? They were losing weight.


I started off slowly. I didn't have any big plans. Just walked a mile at first. Added a little jogging here and there. Then one day, about a month into working out, I decided to attempt jogging a mile. It was very difficult, but I did it.

The next time I went back and tried again. This time it seemed harder and I really wanted to quit. As my hand reached for the stop button, I had one of my key "aha moments." That right there was what I always did. I never pushed myself beyond me and my assumed capabilities. So that day, I did what seemed very unnatural and was very painful. I kept going.

211 lbs--Ran my first mile

A few weeks later, I put the treadmill on the 5K setting and went for it. The taste of achieving what seemed so far out of reach was addictive. I ran 5K without stopping for the first time when I weighed 203 lbs.

I continue to exercise and push for new goals. Some days are easier than others. Some days I don't feel like doing anything and to be honest, I might not. It takes a lot of prayer, focus and accountability to continue on.

My buddy Norma, whom I have mentioned before, recently had to drag me out of my house to exercise. It was last Saturday, the day before I was to run the longest distance I have ever run in a Marathon Relay. It was after dark, in the freezing cold and she did it because we had made a pact to exercise 6 out of 7 days a week and she knew I wasn't. I made several excuses, and really each of them was extremely legit, but she wasn't taking no for an answer. She met me up there, walked with me in her regular clothes while her family was waiting on her to get home from a long day--just to make sure I did it. Now that's true blue.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, everybody needs a Norma. You have to have someone to help snap you out of the funk. The funk is one thing that I can always count on. It's like death and taxes. (Isn't that what they say?) It creeps into my mind and it doesn't want to leave. I try not to always be a downer on the blog and I hate to say that because the last thing I want to do is discourage anyone. It's true though. The longer you stick with it, the funkier it gets. (Someone quote me on that, please!?) The only thing is, once I get through a funk, I come out stronger. So I am even more prepared to get through it the next time

Good news--I think I am out of my latest funk. I ran yesterday in a 5-person marathon relay. It was really COLD and a lot of waiting, but all day today I can not stop thinking of how much fun it was! Here I am after I finished my leg of the race (4.5 miles):

Okay, so maybe I'm still a misfit but at least I'm a FIT misfit.
Shoot for a Half in 2011, perhaps? I mean, I gotta keep going--it's what I do.

It's never too late to be what you might have been. --George Eliot