September 1, 2014

Defining the It

There are countless motivational snippets using the word "it" as the subject. Some examples:

Just do it.
Whatever it takes.
It always seems impossible until it's done.
How bad do you want it?
You got to work for it.
It's not easy but it's worth it.
No one's going to do it for you.
Make it happen!

So, I've been thinking. What is this allusive "it"? 
Is it whatever I want it to be that day? That month? That year? Do I even know what it is that I want? And more importantly, whatever it is, is it worth wanting? Experience tells me that there is really only one it that is worth wanting. Worth working for. 

"The destined end of man is not happiness, nor health, but holiness." Oswald Chambers

Holiness. This is the it that I want dangling in front of me. A bikini? No. Ability to run miles unwinded? No. Ab muscles that are visible? No. A certain number on the scale? No. To feel comfortable in my own skin? No. To be healthy? No. Not even that.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't want these things. But these things can't be the it. They can't! They aren't required of me. They aren't promised to me. They aren't things that can fullfill me. They aren't its that will last. Perhaps for a time, but not forever. 

...train yourself for godliness. For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 1 Timithy 4:7-8

Maybe there are lots of different its in my life. But there is one It that transcends them all--drives all that I do--in any and every situation. All the other its must fall in line with that one, ultimate IT. Godliness. Holiness. To be like Christ.

Everyday I gotta wake up and remind myself what it is that I'm living for. And the Bible says that I have to train for it. It won't just happen. I need a plan to train for godliness. Time set aside to be in God's word. A regimen for daily talks with God. Goals for hiding His word in my heart. Accountability to then live it out! In other words...

Just do it.
Whatever it takes.
It always seems impossible until it's done.
How bad do you want it?
You got to work for it.
It's not easy but it's worth it.
No ones going to do it for you.

Defining the it makes all the difference! We must do our part to train for godliness and then pray for God to "Make it happen!"

July 23, 2014

Progress Pics & More

So the sugar diaries kinda went by the wayside. I don't know why I always try to do things like that. You know, things that require consistency.

I decided several days into no sugar/no wheat that I just wanted to eat whatever but track it. So I did. And I felt miserable. So now I'm back to no sugar/no wheat but I'm not going to diary about it everyday on this blog. Most likely.

Cleaning out pics on my phone today, I ran across these January come-to-Jesus photos. Thank goodness I stopped and turned from the path I was on. I could easily be back up to my highest weight by now if I'd kept going. Instead I've made slow and steady progress. Currently hovering slightly over 180. In Jan I believe I was up to 200+.

Life is good. God is teaching me so much about myself, stuff I probably couldn't have even handled knowing before right now. I'm learning to appreciate and live in every moment. Not like I'm crossing off bucket list items left and right. I'm just taking each day, each moment in stride and trying to confide in God first when I come to a bump in the road. God first, people second. I feel lighter in a way that has nothing to do with my weight.

Below is a shot I took while on lake vacation with the family last week. I can't even express how perfect it was. For me, it was ideal. Breezy, cloudy, 70 degree weather everyday. I think some sun would have been appreciated by the more lively of the bunch who were there for the water! But for me, perfect. The slow-paced time with family was lovely.

I've slipped back into a good eating and cooking routine. I go through phases where even thinking about healthy food (read: vegetables) just makes me want to barf. I'm kind of learning to go with the flow of those phases and eat what I want in moderation and just capitalize on the phases where I get in a healthy groove like I am right now. Maybe this feast/fast mentality will work for me. Praying God will lead the way.

Currently I'm eating 3 meals and two snacks focusing on healthy fats, lots of veggies, some fruit and a bit of dairy each day. Some weeks I may plan ahead and others I may need to track each day on My Fitness Pal. 

I'm figuring out what is black and white and what is more grey. 
Black and White: I have to have a plan.
Grey: There are different plans that can work for me at different times.

These are some recent posts on my REALFATPICS Instagram account. This morning was my week 2 da y2 for Couch to 5K. I went early while there was a breeze and it was nice. I'm really determined to complete this because I want to be easily running 3-4 miles by fall.

One thing I love about walking/jogging is how God speaks to me. I think because I want to talk to God but I can't really because I'm out of breath and focused on not DYING so instead I have to listen. He always speaks. Yesterday was an interesting one. We were talking about how it is just me and Him now. My focus needs only to be on Him. All of a sudden a scene from the movie Dirty Dancing came to my mind. I haven't seen that movie in years and I couldn't even really remember what the scene was other than Patrick Swayze was pointing at Jennifer Grey to look into his eyes. I kind of laughed it off, God couldn't possibly want to speak to me through an old movie that has the word "dirty" in the title could he?


I found the clip later on yesterday and when I watched I just smiled and felt so loved. We've been dancing for a long time, me and God.

July 8, 2014

The Sugar Diaries: Day 4 & 5

Does chocolate chip cookie dough have sugar in it? 
Yeah. That's what I thought.

July 5, 2014

The Sugar Diaries: Day 3

One of the reasons I love doing the 21 Day Sugar Detox ( ) are the bowel benefits. By Day 2 I am moving from Type 4 into Type 5, which is ideal.

Yesterday I did have a moment of serious sugar craving. There was nothing that sounded good but something sweet. I crunched on salty almonds until the moment passed. 

I'm not monitoring quantity this week. I just want to avoid sugar temptation and next week I will track and look at calories. 

July 4, 2014

The Sugar Diaries: Day 2

Today I'm calling good. Although I did have a bite of baked beans and one slight sip of a chocolate milk shake, today was the Fourth of July and I kind of jumped into the detox with very little prep or planning. I think I did good considering my mental state and all the business going on around me. 

My goal for tomorrow is to exercise. Some way, somehow.

July 3, 2014

The Sugar Diaries: Day 1

Note to self: 

Why am I doing this?

My Utmost for His Highest, June 29

If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell —Matthew 5:30

Jesus did not say that everyone must cut off his right hand, but that “if your right hand causes you to sin” in your walk with Him, then it is better to “cut it off.” There are many things that are perfectly legitimate, but if you are going to concentrate on God you cannot do them. Your right hand is one of the best things you have, but Jesus says that if it hinders you in following His precepts, then “cut it off.” The principle taught here is the strictest discipline or lesson that ever hit humankind.

I have long struggled with food. This is "my story." Food is a gift from God. Sugar is a good thing. It's a good thing that I must cut off. Praise God that many of his children may enjoy it to His glory. This has not been my experience. 

I continue to desire sugar. It's more than a good thing to me. It's a friend, a comfort, an analgesic when I choose this inanimate substance over the Living God. It is permissible for me to eat sugar. But not beneficial.

So when someone questions me...when I begin to question myself...let this note stand to gently but confidently remind me that I'm not running aimlessly or as one beating air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:27). This is for Gods glory. Get behind me Satan.

April 5, 2014

About that Bikini...

This morning I was thinking about a blog post I did a long time ago. I had been about 3 months into my journey and decided to do a video post about swimsuits. I confidently proclaimed that I would be wearing a two piece bathing suit that summer on a beach somewhere. Never would I wear one of those granny suits again, I promised.

Well here we are  about 4 years later and suffice it to say, granny suits aren't getting such a bad wrap from me these days. Am I where I wanted to be back then, right now? No. But that's honestly a wonderful thing. What if God just gave us everything we wanted right when we wanted it? Oh man.

In place of a two-piece body I have received some things I wouldn't have ever even dreamed of asking for.

A love for honesty and facing reality.
Desire to deal with conflict.
Experience in perseverance.
Acceptance of my body as God made it.
A truly free spirit that has almost stopped making plans of her own.
Understanding of why I weighed nearly 230 pounds (and it's not because "I just love food.")
Guidance on how to be really beautiful. (See 1 Pet.3)
Grace and compassion for others who suffer from addictions, bad habits & hurts.
A deeper relationship with Jesus.

Basically, I asked for scraps and God provided  a feast.


March 4, 2014

A Nail-Biter

Took a counseling course a couple years ago and one of the projects was a "sin" project. Fun times. I had to write a whole paper that was focused specially on a personal sin. It was actually very liberating believe it or not.

We were instructed to focus on something we might consider "not a big deal," something as seemingly insignificant as say...biting your nails.

Huh? Biting nails is a sin? 

Well not exactly, but the roots of why a person might bite their nails can reveal deeper sin struggles. I did not use that for my project but it has been something I think about a lot. Because I have been biting my nails for as long as I can remember.

When do I bite my nails? Why?

When I am afraid, overwhelmed, worried. I usually don't even realize Im doing it until one starts bleeding.  Is there any connection between putting nails in my mouth and putting food in my mouth when I am afraid, overwhelmed, worried? I imagine there is. 

Will-power has never been a sustainable method for me to change things like these. Hot pepper juice can't even keep my nails out of my mouth! The hope of a cute bikini bod can't even make me eat less. There is no man-made way or incentive for me to be made whole.

But turning to The Sustainer, the God who holds me...for peace, comfort and wisdom will--in the long run--change me. Change everything about me, right down to the state of my fingernails.

The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:9-10

For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Col 1:19-20

I have not had finger nails in my mouth for over a month. Also down 15 lbs since Jan. Thx Jesus.

January 14, 2014

Heart, Mind & Soul

"What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." A.W. Tozer

I used to believe that God was was waiting on me to get my stuff together. That he would really love me and accept me if I could just do everything the way I was supposed to. That was my spiritual belief, deep down. Even if I said stuff like God has forgiven me, God loves me, etc...I didn't truly believe it deep deep down. Spiritually I was striving to attain favor with God. 

Mentally, I thought constantly about how often I fell short. I thought that I was not doing something that I was supposed to be because I could never stick to anything. I thought that just like many people treated me differently because of being overweight, that God must also see me as an outcast and someone not worthy of Him. I thought that I was not adding up to the expectations God had for me.

Emotionally, I was miserable. I felt sad and like a failure every time I fell in my attempts to get healthy. I was failing to make myself "acceptable." I was emotionally ashamed, bitter, and hopeless. 

Physically, this all led to doing nothing. Since I felt hopeless, I just didn't want to try. Since I had tried so many times to get it right and hadn't, what was the point of doing anything like trying to eat right. Trying to move more.

This paints a pretty decent picture of how our spiritual beliefs inform our thought life, which directs our emotions which determine our actions.

But when my idea of God changed, so did everything else about me.

When I began to understand and truly believe in the GOSPEL message that God loves me as a failure. In fact that he never expected anything other than a failure from me apart from Him, well...that changed things.

When I let that truth that it wasn't up to me to get it right to be accepted by God, it was like a healing balm to my mind. The thoughts of falling short were paired with the knowledge that Jesus covers that shortcoming with his blood shed on the cross. The thought of an angry God tapping his foot waiting on me to improve was replaced with the thought of a God running toward me in my sin ready to clean up the mess. The thought of a God who died for sinners, outcasts, obese people who are lost and trapped...that thought changed me.

Those thoughts come into my heart like a rushing river that washes away the emotions of bitterness, shame and hopelessness and replaces them with gratitude, confidence and hope. Why would he save me to leave me in the filth? Why would He die for me and then turn his back on me? He doesn't. And so it slowly became okay to get up again. Day after day is a "do-over" and I am okay with that. I feel safe to be honest with others about the darkest parts of who I am because God knows all of that and he has accepted me.

It's not that I now have it all together physically but I do have hope. And without hope it's pretty hard to even get out of bed in the morning.

The Bible says the TRUTH will set you free. It also says that Jesus is the TRUTH. So let the TRUTH invade your soul and see what happens to your mind, heart and body.

"We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope." Tim Keller

January 9, 2014

More To It Than "Just Do It"

I've seen this floating around a lot and while I do understand and agree with the principle (you have to eat right to make the workout worth it), I believe it can be misleading and even discouraging to some people. 

Nutrition and exercise are the two major physical factors in weight loss, however, for many people, weight loss is much more than a purely physical obstacle to tackle.This visual does little to help those people lose the weight. Why? Isn't knowledge power? Yes, to an extent. But for a person who is carrying a significant amount of extra weight, it likely didn't get there because they are uneducated. 

This 80/20 principle of fitness is only one piece of the weight loss puzzle...a piece upon which most of us have a fairly decent grasp. There are 3 more "pieces" if you will, that don't get much airtime: the Mental piece, the Emotional piece and the Spiritual piece.The reason I don't think these get much airtime is that they don't really "sell." People don't want to address all these pieces because it's hard work. It can be painful, inconvenient and even costly. Maybe it just seems silly or "not for me." Maybe it seems too complicated. After all, Just don't eat when you're hungry. Keep your appetite under control. Eat less, move more! It's that simple, right? Well, it seems a lot less complicated in January than it does in December, I'll tell you that much.

I know there are people who have lost large amounts of weight and have even kept it off for many years by merely changing their diet and exercise. Perhaps they just needed some education, a form of exercise that was fun for them and time. I am thrilled to no end for these people! I wish that was me. But it's not.

If you can't figure out how to "stick to it", then tell me, how much good does knowing about the 80/20 principle do you? How helpful are the hours of reading, research and physical exertion if you can't be honest about what you are putting in your mouth? How fun is losing 100 pounds if you still feel lost on the inside.

Someone has focused on that physical piece for so long and so diligently, year after year, book after book, gym after gym... never to make progress and can not figure out why. Someone is frustrated, defeated and tired. Someone is starting to wonder if there's more to it than "just do it."

If that's you then I am telling you, you're on to something! The physical piece alone is not enough. The 80 and the 20, while important, are not the only players here. There is more. Dig deeper. Don't settle for a surface change without getting to the root. Keep doing what you need to do physically, utilize all the knowledge you have, but start examining the other pieces as well. What you begin to find might just be what's been missing all along.

A starting point for each piece:
Mental-- memorize scripture
Emotional--tell someone trusted and close about your deepest struggle (email me if you'd like:
Spiritual--Pray and admit your need for help.

Sometimes a simple reminder that there is more to life than eating well and working out can be encouraging. This is how I see it:

I know, I know-- I'm bad at math! But I really did mean to have four 100 percents here. More to come in the following days on picking up the pieces of total wellness!

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." Mark 12:30

Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." Mark 10:27

January 7, 2014

Asking the Right Questions

NOT: How long is this going to take?
BUT: What have I learned so far?

NOT: Why is the scale so stupid? 
BUT: Why do I put so much emphasis on the scale?

NOT: How much more food can I eat today? 
BUT: What is my body telling me it needs? 

NOT: What are some healthier midnight snacks that I can have?
BUT: Why am I eating midnight snacks?

NOT: Why can't I be perfect?
BUT: Why do I want to be perfect?

NOT: Who is responsible for my being overweight?
BUT: What is my role in being overweight?

NOT: What is working for everyone else?
BUT: What works for me?

NOT: Why am I such a loser?
BUT: What factors caused me to give up in the past?

NOT: How much can I get away with?
BUT: What boundaries are helpful to me?

NOT: Why is it so easy for some people?
BUT: How is God using this difficulty to refine me?

NOT: Why do I have to struggle with this? 
BUT: Who else is struggling that I can encourage and possibly help?

NOT: Why does my family/friend sabotage me?
BUT: Why do I let them?

NOT: Why is exercise so boring and hard!? 
BUT: Am I using this amazing body God made to it's full capacity?

NOT: What are people thinking?
BUT: Why am I so concerned about what people think?

NOT: What if I quit? 
BUT: What if I keep going?

January 3, 2014

Walk On

My life has changed drastically in the past 4 years. 

Physically I lost (forever gone) 30 lbs. I have been, though not currently, in the best shape of my life, completing multiple 5Ks as well as a Half Marathon. I am no longer one to sit and rarely watch TV anymore. I have learned more about nutrition than I even thought possible and continue to learn more. I now know what being healthy "feels" like and crave that feeling when I'm not.

Mentally I learned that I can do hard things, as well as things that aren't fun to me just because sometimes those things need to be done. Sometimes they have to be done. I learned that many deep-seeded lies have directed my thinking for years and by replacing those lies with the truth of God's Word I think about all things in a different way today.

Emotionally I have learned that relationships with other people aren't optional and they are really hard but thats ok. Relationship is something God created to conform me to His Son. Love others. Not "easy others" or "likeable others" or "stable others" or "drama-free others." Just love others. I am able to love for no other reason than the glorious fact God loves me.  Difficult, unlikeable, unstable, drama-filled me. Yes, I learned those things about myself, too. I know that I need to be loved and to accept love when it's given, however it's given, even if its not the way I imagined it should be.

And finally the spiritual aspect of my journey. This whole real fat deal has been completely spiritual. I had no idea what I started when I posted this silly picture in January of 2009:

I just felt "something "(it was the Holy Spirit of Christ) compelling me to be brutally honest. Honest about my thoughts, my feelings, and yes, even my weight. God's Word assured me that it would be okay to be REAL because He loved the real me. And others need to know he loves the real them. 

It seems now that He carried me that year. Completely--I don't remember being discouraged or wanting to quit or even thinking that what I was doing to improve  my health was difficult. Then satan busted in with lies. New lies that I hadn't heard before and had trouble discerning. Was I being too rigid? Was I trying too hard to be obedient? Was I being silly putting all of this out there for the world to see? I began to lose heart.

I took a step back for a couple of years. During that time I have learned lots but the most important is this: No matter what, I have got to walk on. When doubt haunts me, when human voices taunt me, I can't be shaken! I can't retreat or pout or give up. I must Keep Calm and Walk On.

So here we are in 2014. Let's walk, people!

{Oh yes, Proverbs 3 is my "scripture of 2014." Gonna memorize that baby, hopefully with the fam.}