Sunday, April 1, 2012

I've Stopped Calling It A Battle

About 4 years ago, my doctor told me I probably would not be able see my children graduate high school if I continue down the road I was on. Truth! I was a walking stroke just waiting to happen. My cholesterol was 383, my triglyceride levels were 830 (I am not kidding..I have the blood work paper still here). My blood pressure never knew numbers below 140/90 and at times it was much higher. I was well over 80 lbs overweight and I couldn't hardly walk a mile. It is so hard to see me like this, but just to give you a peek into my past...this was me about 5 years ago.
Unfortunately, when you have a real weight problem, you have a tendency to see yourself like matter what the mirror shows. I talked about that in last week's post. I've struggled with my weight my whole life. In 2009 I joined Weight Watchers. (I hate admitting this..but this is why I'm writing this). I decided that I really really needed to live, for my children, I needed to honor God with my health, I wanted to teach my children to ride their bikes. 
This was me 9 months after joining Weight Watchers. (I should mention I got off all 8 of my medications...NO diabetes, NO high blood pressure, NO high cholesterol, NO high triglycerides and I ran my first 5K during this year too...yes..that would be 3.1 miles) This was my lowest weight in years. I am not at my goal here. I was only 27 pounds away from my goal. So close. I started to feel confident, a little relaxed because..."I WAS GOING TO DO THIS!!" It was so close, I could...taste it. (poor choice of words, but it works). Oh I haven't gained all the weight back, but I did gain 18 lbs since 2009 to 2012. I am now 36 lbs. away from my goal today. How did this happen to me?

I am serious about personal reflection and I ask the Lord to search me too. Psalm 139 is powerful, the whole chapter. Sometimes I sit and read it back to God during my time with Him.  "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

Here is what I've learned. I have said all along that "I have battled this weight loss thing for years.", "This is an ongoing battle!" "I'll probably have to battle this forever." "Every day is a new battle..faced with" 

Even typing the word battle makes me feel worn out. It's true. Just say it. Oh come one is listening. The term battle comes with a sense of heaviness. (and quite frankly who needs more heaviness..especially with a weight loss issue!!) Think about a battle. Do we look forward to the battle? Probably not. You might feel strong at the beginning of the "battle" like "I AM GOING TO DO THIS!", but then you get weary because a battle wears you out - sometimes it feels like it is taking FOREVER! Eventually you may not even look forward to doing battle. You get out of bed and think...where is that white flag!?!

Well, I've stopped calling it a battle! It's not about winning anymore for me. It's not about defeating the old enemy called food or fat! 

I'm calling it a journey. This is my weight loss journey. Now say it with me...journey. Doesn't it kind of sound a little exciting? Like anticipating an...dare I say...adventure! Yes, it makes me feel invigorated, excited and hopeful. It's a journey. A journey, as my blog defines (go and peek over at the margin to your right) is a traveling from one place to another, usually taking a rather long time. This makes me smile. For me losing weight is a journey. I now look forward to getting up and starting each day. Guess what, its no surprise that it is taking a "rather long time." Oh but my perspective and attitude have changed. I'm excited. It's an adventure. Where once I dreaded going and meeting with my Weight Watchers friends (and it wasn't always like that by the way) and even the scale, now I see it as...hmmm...exciting.

Oddly enough since I've begun training for my 10K, (I only have two more weeks left) I haven't lost more than 1 pound a week and many weeks I've lost less than that. In fact two weeks ago, I gained a pound. (Jaw dropping to the ground!) I've been working my muscles hard...and they are getting stronger and harder and working to help my body burn even better. I'm writing this because I started to get discouraged, until last week in my reflection time I realized, I'm not in a battle, I'm on a journey...and then I found it exciting and positive again!

So this is me last month. Ten pounds from reaching my lowest weight on this particular journey. I am still off all medications (except thyroid..I don't have a I need one little pill a day forever.) Not only can I run a 5K and shave 5 minutes off my best time (I have one coming up in 3 weeks), but I can now run for 45 minutes....without stopping! Eight weeks ago I could only run 8 minutes and had to catch my breath. I'm still 37 pounds overweight, but I'm healthier now than ever and...I'm on a journey!

Finally, will my journey ever end? Will I get to that place where I am free to be me? The answers are NO and YES. This particular journey will never end. However, there will be challenges and rewards and different will always be exciting! I will always have to be conscious of what I eat, and always do my best to make good choices. That is, if I want to enjoy a life of good health. So no, I will not be rewarding myself with a big old chocolate cake when I reach my goal weight! I can never do the things I use to do, or I will end up in the same place I use to be.  However, I will arrive at that place where I'm free to be me. The new me. The me I've been conditioning and training myself to be. The me that really enjoys a strawberry banana smoothie! I'm expecting by the time I've reached my goal weight, I will have changed in some other areas besides my size. My lifestyle will have changed...there is freedom in that. I'm not saying that I will NEVER SLIP UP...I'm saying I am going to do everything to remind myself that this is not a battle & I don't have to GIVE UP (find the white flag or throw in the towel)...because after all...its a journey!


Allison Reynolds said...

Beautiful post. I am on such a similar journey. And besides the awesomeness of losing weight I am most enjoying learning to love my life. I am loving each and ever day...because I feel so much better, healthier. More fit. It is glad to be on this journey.

Anonymous said...

I love this! Thank you so much for reminding me why I do this! And why its important to stay on track. Thal you so much!