I’ve been working for a few years at getting my health back. I’ve been overweight since I had my first child in 1990 and the pounds just continued to stick to me more and more each year, with a few dips while trying to recover from years of bad health and bad eating. Suddenly when I visited a doctor for a bothersome case of bronchitis, one of the few ailments I dont try to treat at home, and he informed me that I had high blood pressure. It wasn’t just borderline, reduce your salt and talk a walk a day, high blood pressure. It was seriously, take these pills, change everything you’re eating and go to a gym every day, high. So I did. I returned to him for a follow up and he said take more medicine and do more changing, because it was still high. I followed his instructions and have lost 50 pounds so far. Thats the good news. The bad news is that this fall because of changes in some of my other medications and an overloaded homeschool, business and life schedule I have gained 20 pounds back. This did not make the doctor happy at my last visit.
I did what any self respecting homeschool mom would do: I spent the Christmas break reading everything I could get my hands on about health, fitness and weight loss. I’m a member of SparkPeople.com, so I started logging my food more faithfully and reading articles there. I have a subscription to Prevention Magazine, so I actually started reading it. My mom loaned me her copy of Jillian Michaels’ new book, Mastering Your Metabolism. I read that and took notes. Much of what I have read I’ve heard before.
I have been dieting since I was twelve years old. As a teenager I was thin and shapely. As a college student I started developing serious problems with allergies but still worked hard to stay thin. During my first pregnancy I gained 50 pounds in 3 months. To this day I do not know why my doctor didn’t say ANYTHING about it. I had a total weight gain of 75 pounds during the pregnancy but lost 30 of it the week I gave birth to my 10 pound son. When I realized how useless the doctors were at helping me with this issue, I began reading and looking for alternative health care options. There was a time when I was spending $300 minimum per month on supplements for the family. Two hundred of that was for me treating allergies to LITERALLY EVERYTHING allergists test for. For all my efforts I still had allergies and I still weighed too much.
After reading all these articles and books I again became convinced that my family must eat only organic foods, and we must avoid all processed foods, and we must eat the exact balance of carbs, proteins, and fats. The good news was that we don’t need to cut out fat. It turns out that a certain amount of the right fats are necessary. I believed the book when it said that our health was worth the extra cost of the organic food. I understood that cancer treatment and heart surgery are much more expensive. I also saw with my own eyes that the economy is hitting hard on my checkbook. I’ve already dropped my gym membership because we can’t afford the dues. Some weeks I don’t have enough money for commercially grown fresh vegetables and fruits, let alone organic. So what’s a girl to do.
Here’s the best part:
At the same time as I have been striving to improve my physical body, I have also been striving to improve my spirit. I worship the Lord more. I read the Bible more. I pray more. I thank God more. The Lord healed me of depression this year. This is something I’ve been battling as long as I’ve been battling my weight. I wasn’t even asking for healing from it anymore. I had just come to accept that this would be a part of my life until it wasn’t anymore. I had faith that God would heal me, I was just not putting any time requirements on Him. God did it! He healed me! He also healed my semi-permanently injured ankles and knees. There have been many, many days where walking to the kitchen was almost unbearable. Now I am able to walk 4 miles per day. The best way I could think of to thank Him was to sing praise songs to Him and to spend time with Him, in prayer and reading the Bible. In my reading one day this week I read the book of Colossians and there is a whole section about Holy living. There is a very interesting passage that says, “Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: ‘Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!’? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” I really thought about that in terms of everything I’ve been reading.
There are a lot of rules in the weight-loss, get healthy, healthy living world out there. Don’t handle food cooked in plastic. Don’t taste anything with High Fructose Corn Syrup. Don’t touch commercially grown foods. Eat only organic. Chew each bite of food 37 times. Take care of you. Be narcissistic about your health. Spend every day with your trainer. The list could go on forever, but just like the scripture said, “they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” Isn’t sensual indulgence really the problem? Didn’t I gain weight because I ate to feel better? Didn’t my indulgences as a teenager bring a whole slew of healthy issues to my body? Didn’t I lose 50 pounds by limiting my portions and exercising an hour 5 days per week? The answers are yes, yes, yes, and yes!
I still believe that the world would be a healthier place if we didn’t cook in plastic, so I don’t. I still believe that organic is better, but I can’t afford it so that will have to wait. I still believe that sugary treats pack too many calories in too little nutrition so I limit them. More importantly I limit them because eating them is an indulgence which does not honor the Lord or take care of my body which is Jesus’ temple. I still believe that daily exercise is the best way to improve my weight and my heart function so I do it. More importantly I do it because it strengthens my body so that I can stand and worship Jesus for and hour at church while playing the bass every week.
I hope to be able to dance for the Lord soon. If I’m going to do that I must continue to following Christ’s principles, don’ be a glutton (eat in moderation), don’t be lazy (be active), be thankful to God for everything!!
Love you all!!