Pieces of Me

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Made to Crave–Chapter 5 “Made for More”

  1. 1. “I was made for more” is a spiritual truth that unlocks great power for Christians.”  In light of my past failures and current struggles with food, this truth is incredibly empowering.  It really is a reminder that I was not made to sit on the couch, watch TV, and eat junk. I was not made to constantly worry about everyone else.  I was made in his glory, to share his love with others and be a reflection of that love in my day to day life.  I’ve been so caught up in loving others that I have forgotten to love myself.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am a Jesus loving gal.  There is nothing I wouldn’t do to share that love with others.  Even my friends who choose to not believe in Him as their Savior.  Even those who question His love.  I still love them.  That love never changes.  And I still pray for them daily.  My prayer is that they will experience His love the way I experience it.  But I cannot always concentrate on everyone else.  I have to take time to love myself as He loves me.  How fair is it to beat myself up every day because I didn’t exercise or I forgot to track my points or I ate too many pieces of chocolate?  Just like Christ wants us to love others and accept them where they are at in their lives, he wants me to love myself.  I was created in his image and for his glory.  I just have to keep reminding myself of it.
  2. When I introduce myself to someone I don’t know, I usually say, “Hi, I’m Rose.. . .” and then proceed to define myself depending on who I’m with or what I’m involved in -  “I’m Cayden’s mom.  I’m Stephen’s wife.  I’m the Music teacher at Preschool.”  Sometimes I just say, “Hi, I’m Rose,” and leave it at that.   Apparently, most of the time I feel like I need to identify myself with my circumstances.  Of course, I don’t ever say, “Hi, I’m Rose, the girl who needs to lose 50 lbs. and is tired of being so unhappy with my body.”  But sometimes, that’s exactly who I believe I am.
  3. Defining myself based on past or current circumstances: Rose, the one constantly compared to her sister while growing up.  Rose, the smart one.  Rose, the girl who can’t do anything fun because she believes in God.  <—All my identity growing up.  Now –> Rose, the girl who lost the weight before but can’t seem to today.
  4. A new identity – I don’t have to be that girl anymore.  I am set free!
      • Rose, the forgiven child of God. (Romans 3:24)
      • Rose, the set-free child of God. (Romans 8:1-2)
      • Rose, the accepted child of God. (1 Corinthians 1:2)
      • Rose, the holy child of God. (1 Corinthians 1:30)
      • Rose, the made-new child of God. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
      • Rose, the loved child of God. (Ephesians 1:4)
      • Rose, the close child of God. (Ephesians 2:13)
      • Rose, the confident child of God. (Ephesians 3:12)
      • Rose, the victorious child of God. (Romans 8:37)

                  5.  Ephesians 1:17-20

    • Be persistent: “I keep asking.”  I have absolutely no reservations about asking God for wisdom and power each day to help me through this new journey.  Persistent prayer will be a constant reminder of how much I really do need to rely on Him.  I cannot do this alone.
    • Embrace a true identity: “Glorious Father.”  Untruths about my identity I have struggled with – I can’t do this alone.  I will always be overweight.  I’m not supposed to be the thin one.  If I can embrace the truth of my identity as a child of God – really embrace it – I know that my life will change completely.  My heavenly father loves me and want me to be a fit and healthy person both physically as well as spiritually.  With the help of the Holy Spirit, I this life is just waiting for me.
    • Find deeper reason: “So that you know him better.”  The Lord will use my journey towards healthy eating as a way I get to know Him better because my strength will rely on Him.  In times of weakness, he will make me strong.  And the Holy Spirit will help me to live my life according to the fruit of the spirit – especially in regards to self control.
    • Discover s hope and power like no other: “That the eyes of your heart might be enlightened.”  In the past I have felt that everything depended on me – my willpower and determination – completely on me.  As I’ve read this book, I’ve realized that the power isn’t going to come from within me.  It will come as I rely on the Lord – the same power that raised Jesus from the dead will help me through this.  I just have to be still and trust.  It won’t always be easy, but as I go through this journey, I know that my relationship with the Lord will strengthen and grow as my waistline gets smaller!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Made to Crave–Chapter 4 “Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat before Thinking”

  1. When a friend experiences success with healthy food choices and losing weight, I usually feel encouraged and inspired by her example.  I guess somewhere deep down I feel a tad envious, but for the most part I am super excited for her!  And I don’t think I’m envious as in jealous, if I do have those feelings.  I’m pretty sure I’m angry at myself for not sticking with something and getting the same results.  I am always super happy and encouraged by others doing well.  It helps me to remember that this is real life, and every day people are successful at losing weight and eating healthy.  It’s a lifestyle change that is exactly that, a LIFESTYLE change.  Not some diet that I can follow 1/2 the time and the other 1/2 expect to get the same results.  It’s about changing within, not just changing my body. 
  2. Complete this sentence “I do/do not want to invite a friend to help me on my journey to healthy eating because two are always better than one when it comes to this type of situation.  It’s important to have someone to rely on and call on when frustrated.  It’s always important to have someone to share joys and success!
  3. I have always thought that accountability was crucial to my weight loss success.  I’ve always had friends to lean on when I would hit my lowest point emotionally.  Of course, those people have changed due to circumstances, relationships, etc.  It’s really hard to have an accountability buddy who although she’s been your best friend since high school, she’s already gone down this road and is still at a healthy and ideal weight.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the support she gives me.  It’s me that feels like she doesn’t understand where I’m at anymore.  And in all honesty, she doesn’t, because she’s not right there with me.  But I still count on her.  I still love her and accept her support.  And I know it’s completely genuine.  As far as making accountability part of my eating plan, I love the fact that at the end of the week, once I’ve weighed in, I can contact C, my cousin who I have decided lives way to far away from me, and just cry out to her in anguish because I really struggled or in celebration because I’m finally understanding.  And the same goes with her.  If she’s had a bad week, it’s much easier for me to say, “Ok, what did you do differently this week?  Where can you make changes?” And the realization come from exactly that – (hypothetically) eating out 4 days of the week and not exercising at all.  Having 2 drinks at happy hour.  Not drinking any water throughout the week.  These choices will cause the scale to fluctuate.  But since this journey began – and I know the end result is to be a fit and healthy person – right now it’s a spiritual journey – and I have to have peace regardless of what the scale says.  And thankfully, I have His grace, because the small gain on the scale, isn’t going to be a huge deal in the long run – as long as I remember to continue to turn to him for strength.
  4. I have accountability buddies, weight loss buddies, and friends.  Their support is what keeps me from just giving up all together.  There are some who are more supportive.  Others who think they are supportive, but they really aren’t, and then even others who are walking right along with me, who come to me when they need encouragement and I know I can continue to come to them as well.  I’m very blessed. What kind of person do I want to be accountable to?  It needs to be someone who will be a consistent rock in my life.  On my good days or bad days, not just someone who want to build me up and say, “Who cares what the scale did this week?  You haven’t really been following the program all that well.”  I need someone (and have someone) who will say, “Okay, so you gained some this week.  Look back at your journal over the week.  What did you do differently?  Did you eat out more?  What did you eat when you ate out?  Were you making good choices?  How about exercise?  Did you find time for that?”  That’s the kind of person I need.  And someone to remember me that I’m not in it alone at all.  And in fact, I cannot do this without Christ.  He’s my rock, my salvation, and will carry me in times when I don’t think I can go any further (like during Sunday’s 5K).  I just have to have open communication lines with Him.  I can’t try and block him out.

Made to Crave–Day 3 “Getting a Plan”

Okay for the record, I started reading this book on Tuesday.  That was the only day that Stephen was actually off work (for Cayden’s PreK Graduation) and able to run to the store to pick it up for me.  In a week, I have ready a ton of chapters.  There may be double posts from me because I am lending the book to a friend once I’m through, but I want to get done with the reflection questions as well before I give it to her.  Of course, my blog may seem a little crazy as I reflect since I’m not copying the questions (pretty sure that’s not allowed, even if I site the source), but all in all, I think everyone will get the gist of what’s going on.  And I’m trying to write in complete sentences reflecting the question like we all learned in school back in the day.

Before I reflect on chapter three, I wanted to share that on Monday I started tracking my food again.  On Tuesday I started reading the book.  And from that day forward I have really paid attention to what I’m putting in my mouth – liquid or solid – and haven’t had a soda all week.  I’m drinking tea, water, and lattes (yes, lattes, but not every day, and it’s the only way I’ll drink coffee, which does give me a couple milk servings).  I’m also stopping to think and/or pray whenever I get a craving.  I haven’t been able to stop eating chocolate completely, but I’m not gorging on it.  In fact, I’ve had a couple chocolate covered almonds in the past few days and that craving seems to subside.  And that is only if I don’t stop to say a prayer.  When I’ve prayed for some self control, the Lord has always just given me something else to worry about or do instead of eating crap.  I have not, however, had a soda at all this week Smile 

And so this week, although I had been up from my lowest weight (this time around), I have managed to bring it back down to where I was when I got the tattoo (which is now a total of 16 lbs.).  And I re-lost 2.9 lbs.  I’m ready for the number to be lower, but I’m not freaking out about it.  I’m not stressing and freaking out about it anymore.  There’s no reason to allow satan to ruin my progress and my plan. 

And that brings me to the reflection questions for Chapter 3.

  1. When I hear the word plan, I immediately think of a list, a calendar, or a chart.  I’m not really a planner.  I’m learning to be one, but when I hear the word plan, I don’t really get all excited and start to create this amazing outline of things to do to get it done.  I’m not really a go with the flow sort of gal, but having a fine tuned plan isn’t something I dig much either.
  2. There are areas in my life where planning does work well for me.  It helps me to plan out our weekly meals.  When I don’t, we tend to overeat or eat all the bad stuff.  It also helps to have a calendar to help me plan for the week.  Plans regarding my particular eating habits are exactly what I need to help me get through each day.
  3. Is there a relationship between food and secrets?  For me, not really.  I don’t really hide my eating habits.  Everyone knows that I’m addicting to Coke and Chocolate.  One day I hope to say I’m addicted to carrots and celery, but that’s doubtful.  As long as I recognize the areas that I need help, I think that I am going to do well. 
  4. I know what eating plan works for me.  I’ve done Weight Watchers in the past and had amazing success.  Of course, I was 100% committed to following the plan to my benefit.  I’m going to continue to follow the WW plan and really stay on top of things.  I know it won’t always be easy, but I do know it will be worth it.
  5. I am 100% certain that if I continue to follow the WW program, and I mean really and truly follow the program, including exercise, I will be successful.  I know it won’t happen right away.  I won’t be at a healthy weight immediately, but I will get there in God’s time.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Made to Crave–Day 2 “Replacing My Cravings”

  1. 1.  Vicious cycles.  In the past, I have to admit that I used to follow the WW program, weigh in, have a loss, follow the WW program, weigh in have a loss, kind of follow the WW program, weigh in, have a gain, not follow the WW program, weigh in, have a gain, follow the WW program, weigh in, have a loss, etc, etc.  Or I would weigh myself every day.  One day I’d have a loss, so I’d go ahead and have that extra cookie.  Weigh the next day and have gained.  Be really strict.  Weigh the next day, lose.  Stray a little.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.  And I’d get frustrated with myself.  I wouldn’t understand.  I just would get angry.  Like I’ve mentioned before, I have mastered the art of maintaining.  Unfortunately, it’s at the wrong weight.  And obviously, I wasn’t 100% committed.  I didn’t have the I WANT to.  I just had the I don’t want to be here anymore.   I certainly don’t fall into those practices anymore.  I know how badly they make me feel.  Now, I really get into an exercise routine and do really well.  But then I get sick, or someone gets sick, or I get busy.  There’s no excuse for my excuses.  I do have to say that I’m trying.  The biggest cycle I get into is not going to the grocery store enough so therefore we don’t have any food and instead of going to the grocery store, we eat out.  That really has to stop.  When I cook at home, I eat better, I feel better, I live better.  I need to get over the convenience of fast food – or eating out.  I just need to plan better, get more organized, and learn to freeze meals!
  2. What reasons motivate me to eat healthier?  Well, for one, I really want to be healthy.  I want to be happy.  And I want to be a role model to my children.  But the truth in the matter?  I’ve decided it’s vanity.  I really want to know that I am at a healthy weight and look good.  Tough words to type.  But it’s true.  I’ve been that fit and healthy person who has a kid and still wears a size 6.  I’ve been that mom.  How do I respond to the statement, “I had to see the purpose of my struggle as something more than wearing smaller sizes and getting compliments from others….It had to be about something more than just me” ?  Well, it certainly makes me think.  And it makes me realize that I really do need to rethink my wanting to lose weight.  It’s not just about me.  It can’t be. 
  3. In the past few weeks have I turned to food for any of these reasons?  Comfort – yes, Reward – yes, Joy – no, Stress – yes, Sadness – yes, Happiness – no.  If I had relied on God instead of turning to food, I know that I’d probably have more peace in my life.  And I’d certainly weigh less Smile 
  4. I think it is a spectacular idea to use my cravings to prompt me to pray.  Never once have I been let down by praying to the Lord.  No matter what the circumstance, I always feel better after I pray. 
  5. I would really like my quick approaches to work when it comes to weight loss, but I know deep in my heart, and because I’ve been there, that slow and steady is the way to go.  This is the beginning of dismantling my “tower of impossibility” one craving at a time.  Time to turn away from food and get on my knees.

Made to Crave–Day 1 “What’s Really Going On Here?”

Personal Reflections

1.  One weight loss company (HMMM, I wonder what company that could be.  This book is a little dated.  LOL  Since they don’t use the Hungry anymore) personifies craving as a little orange monster that chases us around, tempting us to eat unhealthy foods.  Take a moment to reflect on your own experience of craving, recently and over time.

  • My craving isn’t a little orange monster.  I think my craving is a huge can of Coca-Cola and a huge Hershey’s Kiss.  You know, like in the commercials?  I remember a commercial of a can of something that used to run around.  I cannot even remember what the commercial was for. I think it was recycling or not littering, but regardless, that’s what I see whenever I get a craving for a Coke.  As for Chocolate, a human size Hershey Kiss, pretty much doing the same thing the Coke does.  Miming.  Playing Charades with me.   Taunting me.  It runs around and hides behind trees and things, peeking around corners, sneaking around, just trying to get me to give in.
  • If I could talk to my craving, what would the conversation sound like?  Well, I don’t think that the craving would every say anything.  It would just sneak around and say “Come here” with it’s little finger.  If I could ask it questions, they would be, “Why is it so hard for me to say no?”  “How is it that I can go for days, if not weeks without touching you, but then once I have a taste, I just can’t seem to stop?”  I’ve never thought of it as a drug before since I’ve never used drugs, but I am nearly convinced that the feeling I get when I have a taste of Coke or Chocolate is the same feeling someone who is addicted to crack/or whatever gets when they just have a “taste.”  My entire body starts to tingle.  And the tingle feels good.  And I want more. 

2. & 3. I do find myself agreeing with the idea that “God made us to crave.”  In my past, my cravings have been teaching children – whether they be teenagers or three year olds.  And not just teach them, but teach them about the love of Jesus.  I remember being so passionate when I taught religion to my 5th grade students.  I remember being led to tears when leading youth.  And still today, I know how much doing so through song or music makes me tingle all over just like the feeling I get when I have a Coke or eat a piece of Chocolate.  I had never thought of that before.  Or put the two together.  Whenever I share the love of Jesus with people (children in specific), my heart is full of joy.  And when I hear children then telling others about how much Jesus loves them (even three year olds), it makes my heart overflow.   Of course, my heart doesn’t overflow with joy when I have a Coke or eat a piece of Chocolate.  It just leaves me with wanting more.  I am never satisfied completely.

4.  The fourth reflection questions for this chapter are very, very personal.  I feel I can share, but I’m certainly not an open book for all to read.  But I’ll at least share the gist of the questions with you.The Bible describes three ways satan tries to lure us away from loving God: cravings, lust of the eyes, and boasting (1 John 2:15-16).  How over the past 24 hours or few days have you been tempted in similar ways (as Eve and Jesus)?  Of these temptations, which is most difficult to resist?  Which is easiest?  And why?

5.  I have used Scripture before to defeat temptations.  I used it all through high school.  I guarded my heart and mind with the Word and was able to resist many things.  I have never thought to use it to address my unhealthy eating patterns, but I do think it would work.  The concept is a lot like fasting.  When you fast, you are supposed to take the time you would use to do whatever you are fasting from and turn to the Lord.  Turning to the Lord instead of giving in to my craving is probably one of the most brilliant ideas out there.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Journey to Goal–Week ???

Well, I fell off the wagon.  I don’t know if I'd call it a wagon, per say, but I certainly did stop tracking my points, exercising regularly and eating better.  I didn’t however, stop going to my WW meetings.  And the scale has gone up and down and up and down, well you get the picture.  It hasn’t got up by much.  It hasn’t gone down by much.  I’ve pretty much mastered the art of maintaining, again.  Which isn’t a bad thing, except my goal is to lose the weight, right?  At least I know that when I do lose the weight, I will be able to keep it off.

It all started with a little tattoo.  It’s on my ankle/foot.  It signifies my losing 15 lbs.  At least I’m still down 15 lbs.  After I got the tattoo, we had Easter and then a boy’s birthday, and the Mother’s Day, and then….the excuses could go on and on.   For a week and a half, I actually did Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred, and by the end of the the 1st week, I felt stronger, thinner, and empowered.  But then, I started to feel bad, and I mean bad.  My entire body hurt.  My head hurt.  If anyone touched me, I felt it 1,000 times.  I went to the doctor.  I had strep.  STREP!  I know I’m a preschool teacher and when little ones in my classroom have strep, it’s possible that I will get it, but I don’t think I’ve had strep since Hannah was born.  Since before, really.  But I had it, and it brought me down.  I was in bed for days.  And I still haven’t gotten the strength to work out again.  I’m hoping by this weekend.  Because I am bound and determined to do that 30 Day Shred Video for 30 days.  I’m actually excited about it.

But my little illness reminded me of how much food (chocolate and coca-cola to be specific) are still my source of comfort.  I haven’t gotten over that hump yet.  And it’s so frustrating.  I had gone a significant amount of time without a coke, but the moment I get sick, I need one.  I physically ache for one.  I crave one.  And the chocolate?  Well, doesn’t chocolate make everyone feel better?  And since we still have leftover chocolate from Easter, I just couldn’t not eat it, right?  (Go ahead, roll your eyes).  But that’s me.

This entire scenario got me talking to my fabulous cousin, Cara, who has been struggling with her own weight loss journey.  Except, she’s not struggling anymore.  She’s a ROCKSTAR, and I couldn’t be more proud of her.  In our conversations, she recommended a book she’s been reading to me.  And that got me thinking, and wanting to read it.  I’ve been doing some light frivolous reading of The Vampire Diaries.  As suspenseful as they are (which is hard for me to ready) they are really proving to me that I need to be reading.  In a week I’ve read two and a half of them.   My brain CRAVES it.  And it really is exercise, right?  I’ve also been reading on my Kindle App another book, It Happens Every Spring by Gary Chapman and Catherine Palmer (which is free at the moment on Amazon – for the kindle).  Talk about completely different from The Vampire Diaries.  But I am enjoying it as well.  And it makes for waiting things a bit easier – when I can pull up the app and just read. 

Anyway, Cara recommended a book to me – Made to Crave.  I had Stephen pick it up for me yesterday, and let me tell you, it’s amazing.  I’m already starting to look at things differently. 

Each chapter has reflection questions, and I’ve decided to keep track of them on my blog instead of writing them down in a journal.  I don’t have a journal – I’ve never kept one.  But now I see my blog as a journal (be it public) and I think it’s a good place to start. 

The premise of the blog will be the same.  I’m journeying to goal.  But the blog titles will be different – Made to Crave Week 1, etc. 

I’m excited to begin this journey and change my life (both physically and spiritually)!