Monday, June 13, 2011

My Issue

I don't spend a lot of time talking about "issues" on my blog.  Mostly because they are personal and I don't know if I really want to share them with the whole world.  But let's face it, the whole world doesn't read my blog.  So I think it is safe to tell you a little bit more about one of my big life struggles.  To some of you it won't be a surprise but if you don't know me it might.


The yo-yo part of my weight almost always revolves around live events.  When I was in the 9th grade I had my first "real" boyfriend.  I won't divulge his name because it is quite uncommon and let's face it, he didn't sign up to be on my blog.  He was and is a great guy and was the perfect high school boyfriend.  We had a very innocent relationship complete with lots of phone time and very few dates.  We mainly saw each other at church but clearly he was the man I'd been waiting for all 15 years of my life.  When we broke up after 9 months I was devastated.  I knew I'd never love again.  I don't remember if I was actually depressed but I was pretty sad.  After all, he WAS my soulmate! (Isn't it funny how time gives you a little perspective?  I'm sure when I was 15 I never thought I could joke about something this serious!)

I lost some weight when we broke up and stayed fairly thin throughout high school.  I put on a little bit more weight and when I went to college I was a healthy 130 pounds.  Well, someone forgot to tell me that the freshman 15 wasn't a joke.  I gained the freshman 15 and then some!  I blame it all on my calorie consuming, football playing boyfriend that I ended up dating for 4 years.  After freshman year I came home and I was literally embarrassed to leave the house.  I weighed a good 30 or 40 (ok maybe even close to 50) pounds more than I weighed at my lightest.  I felt awful about myself. 

My Mom and I joined weight watchers together and I lost 35 pounds that summer.  I felt great going into my sophomore year and was really proud of my progress.  Let me interject that exercise has NEVER been a big part of my life.  I am not athletic, I don't like to sweat and that isn't a great combination to promote physical fitness.  Thus the pounds slowly crept back on and by the end of my senior year I was back at my heaviest again.

Then came The Break Up.  You thought the movie was bad?  HA!  Without going into too many details I had a rough time moving on from my college love.  At one time I really did think we would get married and giving up that dream was difficult.  I was very depressed and really don't remember a whole lot about how I coped with things.  I lost 40 pounds in two months and felt horrible but I looked great!!

Fast forward to Charleston.  The happier I became here the more weight I gained back.  Then I got ENGAGED!!  I quickly joined Weight Watchers again and got down to what I thought was a healthy weight.  Then I started cooking every night for the REAL love of my life.  I love to cook....he loves to eat.  We're a match made in heaven!!  Before long I gained all the weight I lost plus some and then happily got pregnant.

I'm not going to tell you where I tipped the scales but thankfully I had a little bundle of joy to distract me from how ridiculous of a problem my weight really was.  At this point I've lost all my pregnancy weight but I am DETERMINED to get a handle on both healthy eating and exercise this time.  I'm making some major lifestyle changes.

Things I've Learned About Myself During This Journey:

-I love food.  I'm always going to love food.  I just have to eat LESS of what I love.
-I need structure....but not too much.
-I have to be HONEST with myself about what I am eating
-I like exercising if I am going to the gym
-I want to be healthy so I can keep up with my children
-I want to honor God with my body (stuffing it with junk doesn't exactly cut it)
-I need accountability--majorly!!
-I am not ever going to be super super skinny...and that is ok!

I've also come to realize that I've been trying so hard to lose weight all this time by myself and I don't have to.  We talked in our Bible Study a week ago about giving even the insignificant things over to God.  God doesn't want me to count calories and do pushups by myself.  He wants to be right there beside me.  At the same time though He wants me to want HIM way more than I want food or a new (smaller) pair of jeans.

I'm pairing my journey to health with a book called "Made to Crave" by Lisa Teykeurst.  The tagline reads,

"Satisfying your deepest desire with God, not food."

That may sound silly to some people.  But it resonates with me.  If I could put my weight loss struggle into a tagline that would be it!  I'm praying that God will teach me to really be satisfied with him.  I can still love food....but I need to love God more!!  I've only read the first chapter so far but I love it!  Lisa offers a free devotional here for 21 days.  You can sign up for it and it is sent to your email.  If you struggle with this issue too I would encourage you to check out both the devotional and the book!

I can't take a picture of my heart so here is my "before" picture.  Hopefully in a few months I'll be able to share an awesome after picture and a world picture of my changed heart!!

(I can't find a picture of just me anywhere so this will have to do for now!!  I'll get Peter to take a "before" shot this week!)
Or you can count the picture below which is at my absolute heaviest!!  It's kind of cheating though!!

Linking here today!


Mary Beth said...

You couldn't be any more beautiful in your before picture. I share your journey and your difficulties but want you to know you're absolutely beautiful: before, after, and in between. But feeling good and healthy is a great goal and I know you've got all the tools to live this aspect of your life to the fullest. Thanks for sharing - it was a really meaningful post for me and the timing couldn't be better. A "God thing!"

Jayna said...

Here is what I take from your recap (I can totally relate to the break up weight loss!!)- when you are happiest, you are heavier, but when you are most sad you are thin. Perhaps there is a happy medium? What fun is life if you are skinny and sad? Perhaps your thinnest times are not your natural happy weight. And you enjoy cooking-- I envy that! Good luck finding that balance. I know you can do it!!

alison said...

i think you just wrote my weight loss/gain life story right here!! i have a major struggle with sweets now. i don't eat a ton of bad for me foods otherwise....and i drink alot of water since i live in the south and don't drink tea (apparently down here, we don't have a whole lot of other options besides tea!). good luck to you in your journey :)

Lollie said...

I had to pray and ask God to give me the desire to excersise. He did! I have 5 kids so I can't really go to the gym. I do a Jillian Michaels DVD. I started with 30 Day shred. It was a nice 20min, HARD workout. But the 3 stages of levels worked great for me. I lost 15lbs. Not in 30 days, there was no way I could do it everyday at first. It took me a few months:) but I had to get my motivation from God.
I am also not very good at being organizd or getting my house clean. So I applied what I did with working out to housework. I asked God to teach me. And He totally did. I know it's silly to think that God didn't care about those things, cause in my mind I knew He did. Why it took me so long to ask for His help in those things, I don't know. And I don't get it perfect everyday, but I know I can get back on it the next day. Everyday His mercies are New! :)

Marcie said...

I think weight/food issues are so difficult. Unlike drugs, where you can abstain in recovery, no one can really abstain permanently from food. And porn and gambling can be kept "secret" from the world (not from the Lord!), weight is a weakness that's just right there for the world to see!

You're a beautiful woman, Laura, on the inside and out!

Amber said...

Thank you for pouring out your heart to us, as I know it is encouraging to hear people's struggles and the way they are working to make change.

I am excited to hear more and more of your journey.

Simply Mom said...

err!! I'm in a similar boat! I married a fabulous man who loves me for me and has never been bothered as I've "grown" over the last 8 years. I put off sweating it off: #1 because I too hate sweating, #2 because I knew I would have more babies and claimed I didn't want to "double-work myself". *sigh* Well I'm ready to work it all is a slow process, but I am committed to it. I will keep following you (even though you are leaving us in the lowcountry) and seek inspiration from your journey. ((BIG HUG)) :)

Jen said...

I love that picture of you and your son, so precious!!
Thank you for sharing your story...I like your honesty :)

Shell said...

Sounds like you have the right attitude about this! Wishing you lots of luck! :)

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