It’s NOT Fair!

Whether it’s … “A day late and a dollar short,” “Win some, lose some,” “Shoulda, coulda, woulda,” “It’s not my fault!” OR “If only ,” … it may come as no surprise that life is rarely fair.

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I find myself arguing this more and more with Thanksgiving being only a few short days away. For those of you who live outside of the United States, Thanksgiving is a day established by our forefathers, set aside for the sole purpose of pigging out. (Oh yeah, and giving thanks for all of our blessings.)

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We gorge ourselves on tons of turkey, piles of potatoes, varieties of veggies (fried, baked and/or swimming in butter and sauces), gallons of gravy, don’t forget the rolls and butter and obviously … a plethora of pies – specifically pumpkin and/or pecan slathered in whipped cream and/or ice cream.

Put on your stretchy pants kids … it’s about to get ugly! See the source image

 

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As my household prepares to host a large family gathering, in between deep-cleaning like a mad woman (because company’s coming!) I find myself uttering those unarguably tough, tough words … “it’s not fair! It’s NOT fair!! IT’S JUST NOT FAIR!!!

I, of course, am referring to my bad luck and familial misfortune of having swum in a gene pool of ancestors whose DNA includes slow-barely-moving-practically-in-a-coma, metabolism. I’m expected to cook, peel, chop, roast, baste and bake a large portion of the holiday meal, yet because of my recent weight loss and sudden stomach sensitivities, I’ll probably not be able to eat much of what is prepared. Hence the complaining …it’s simply not fairImage result for life's not fair

I have a friend who’s birthed six – no, seven kids; that equals seven pregnancies, mind you, and she subsists on Taco Bell, Dr. Pepper and peanut M&Ms, yet she doesn’t struggle with her weight and never seems to gain weight. Talk about life not being fair! Apparently, her metabolism moves faster than a supersonic jet because the aforementioned foods are the main staples of her regular, daily diet. Dare I say it again? It’s so NOT fair!

Now that Thanksgiving is upon us, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Well actually, Halloween three weeks ago was the tip of the iceberg. Halloween officially kicks off the holiday eating season. Unless you’ve been blessed with a fast-as-the-Energizer-Bunny metabolism — and you’re planning on eating your way through the next five weeks – you better be prepared to gain an average of 7-10 pounds. Statistically speaking, that is the average amount of poundage gained during the holiday season. And NO, I am not kidding! That is a significant amount of excess weight to carry into the New Year when you re-join Weight Watchers! Most weight loss classes and gym memberships dwindle during the holidays! Don’t become a statistic!

Feet On Scale

If we hope to survive the holidays without packing on an excessive amount of weight that will be much harder to lose than it was to gain — it’s up to us to devise a solid holiday plan and stick to it!  Only YOU can customize a plan that will help YOU succeed.

MY plan includes making time for DAILY exercise. With shopping, parties, volunteer commitments and what not – it can be easy to forego regular exercise – even for someone like me who is basically addicted to exercise. Exercise has got to be intentional. A great suggestion is, force yourself to park farther out in the parking lot of whatever store you are shopping at. This shouldn’t be too difficult, since parking is particularly tough this time of year. Image result for Parking far out in a packed lot

I know we’re all overtired and exhausted during the holidays, but push yourself to add extra steps on your fitness tracker. Instead of taking the elevator at the mall or idly standing on the escalator, actually walk up the escalator or take the stairs. If you do all your shopping online, you’ll need to be more creative. Take a walk around the block or take the dog or the babies to the park. Get that spare bedroom ready for Auntie Edna and Wuncle Billy Bob (that’s code for “weird uncle”) by shampooing the carpet. Do some aerobic housecleaning; bed making, vacuuming, floor mopping, sweeping – whatever you can think of. If you’re moving – you’re burning calories! Image result for thorough house cleaning

Exercise is not the only thing to focus on to avoid holiday weight gain. Obviously, watching what we eat is key. If you’re attending a big family function that’s centered around food (seriously … aren’t they all?), fill up on raw veggies or drink lots of water before the dinner bell rings. You might want to skip the wine or cocktails as alcohol is loaded with empty calories. Realistically speaking, alcohol has a tendency to lower our inhibitions. If we’re tipsy we stop caring about what we’re eating. Image result for avoiding alcohol

A daily menu plan is so important during the holidays. Tracking what we are eating is more important than ever. And it goes without saying – but I’ll say it anyway – portion control, portion control, PORTION CONTROL needs to be the mantra playing non-stop in your head – not just during the holidays – but every day!

Lastly (for now) … speaking of family … The holidays can stir up a myriad of emotions, which can lead to the dreaded emotional eating. Returning to my childhood home has ALWAYS ignited an emotional meltdown for me. For years, my way of coping with unresolved family issues was not unusual or unique. I stuffed my emotions down with food – and lots of it.  Heck, I practically arrived for each visit with a fork surgically attached to my wrist. Too many memories, coupled with difficult (nearly impossible) relatives made for a very ugly situation, which always ended the same way. Eating myself stupid, stuffing all my bad memories and emotional turmoil down with mounds of buttery mashed potatoes, holiday M&Ms,  or hearty helpings of pie and ice cream. Image result for Stress EatingDon’t let difficult family members or uncomfortable relationship situations push you towards the buffet or the bar.  Food and alcohol are not the answer.

I’m not a licensed therapist so I would never presume to counsel anyone on how to deal with difficult family situations. I DO KNOW, however, that stuffing your emotions with Thanksgiving stuffing or sweet potato pie will only aggravate things and make you feel worse about yourself in the long run.  I know it’s easier said than done, but try, try, try not to eat your feelings over the holidays. Image result for eating your feelings

 

Take things one day at a time, one meal at a time, one weird uncle at a time. Don’t completely deny yourself those special once-a-year treats. SAMPLE your favorites if you must. The key word being SAMPLE! Do not snorf down a whole pie and do not make a pig of yourself. For greater perspective, try being an observer instead of focusing only on what is on your plate. Sit back and watch what the other people around you are piling on their plates. Pay attention to those people that blindly shove Christmas cookies or candies in their mouth one after another without even paying attention (or tasting or enjoying) what they are eating. Image result for Thanksgiving piesImage result for Thanksgiving heaping plate of food

The holidays should be about spending time with people you love. Thanksgiving should be a time to reflect on God’s blessings in your life. Remember … LIFE IS NOT FAIR! If you’ve got more than one pair of shoes or a change of clothing; hot and cold running water and a bed to sleep on every night – or if you are reading this blog on a smart phone or computer … you are richer than about 85% of the people around the world. Life may not be fair, but it can be fairly happy and blessed if we remember The ONE who is the source of all love and joy. Image result for thanks be to God

Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles.
His faithful love endures forever.
 Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully.
His faithful love endures forever.
 Give thanks to him who placed the earth among the waters.
His faithful love endures forever.
 Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights—
His faithful love endures forever.
 the sun to rule the day,
His faithful love endures forever.
 and the moon and stars to rule the night.
His faithful love endures forever.
Psalm 136:4-9 (NLT)

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

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Pay Up!

Pain can sometimes provide us with valuable insight – but how many of us willingly volunteer to sign up to be a guinea pig in a pain experiment? Not me – that’s for sure.

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Last week’s mini-brownie breakdown and handful of Halloween candies provided me with enough insight into what real pain really means. I’ve banked enough insight to last into the next lifetime and then some. I learned that candy and/or chocolate and I are no longer a great combination – prompting me to initiate a relationship breakup.  The reason for this sudden split is the horrific stomach ache (we’re talking epic proportions) that blindsided me last week after partaking of the forbidden sweet treats.  Image result for Images for a stomach ache

In the past 18 months I’ve been fairly successful at eliminating sugary foods and snacks from my diet. During this time I’ve practiced moderation of this “food group,” and unfortunately, last week I discovered (quite the hard way) that anything more than a smidge of the stuff produces a plethora of problems for my sensitive stomach. Apparently, my body can no longer tolerate candy. Who knew?

I’ll spare you the gory details, but let’s just say the discovery “episode” wasn’t pretty. It was a brand-new adventure in pain! Bowing down to the porcelain throne for a significant amount of time created a certain vantage point (hunched over, hugging my thighs, staring at the floor for long periods of time). The eventual result? The proverbial light bulb appeared over my head much like those in a Looney Tunes cartoon. It has become unequivocally clear – seriously, no doubt remains — that I don’t need sugar to survive. I’m officially turned off by the mere thought of sugary treats. Indefinitely. Image result for Ate Too Much Food

This revelation came to me one day last week after several looooonnnnnggg sessions in the “throne room.” When all was said and done — I vowed NEVER to eat sugar again. It was in the midst of severe cramping and intestinal spasms, I negotiated with God like a contestant on Let’s Make a Deal, vowing lifelong servant-hood or missionary work in equatorial Africa if He’d mercifully ease my abdominal discomfort.

Several hours later when I finally made it to bed completely spent and empty to the point that I felt as though I’d prepped for a colonoscopy — I had an epiphany of sorts. Is a nanosecond of tasty pleasure on my lips worth hours of pain and suffering stuck on the toilet? Is staring at my feet bargaining with God and begging to have the stupid eradicated from my fleshly lust of sugar really worth so much physical pain?

The answer is a definitive … 


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The thing is – I’ve had similar experiences with chocolate (or candy) on a number of occasions in the last 18 months, so I should know better. Somehow though, because we typically eat with our eyes first, the power of sight coupled with tantalizing, wafting smells of any confectionery treat mysteriously destroys all reasoning, erasing my short-term memory banks. Image result for beautiful chocolate desserts

The brain of someone with a significant sugar addiction—okay – ME, somehow completely misfires, blinding me to the lies of the enemy and sabotages all common-sense logic. Coming face-to-face with a chocolaty delight, causes temporary insanity or selective amnesia in my twisted brain. I somehow completely forget that eating chocolate will have disastrous consequences for me. The internal illogical exchange in my brain, my eyes, my nose, my taste buds — all possess significantly more power and control over me than my logical brain and sound judgment.

The real problem is that initial bite. As with most things in life that give rise to temptation, I blame the devil. He has an uncanny ability to convince me to “test the waters” with just a tiny taste. If no immediate stomach ache ensues, he persuades me to sample again, convincing me that maybe this time my stomach will cooperate. The real fault is in listening to the heated wrestling match in my head. Do I believe the enemy and his lies and take that first bite? OR do I listen to reason, my gut, and the Holy Spirit that are all screaming at me to STOP! STEP AWAY FROM THE CANDY! Image result for danger signs

If I could simply learn to avoid that FIRST bite, I’d be okay and eventually master the monster lying in wait for me. Succumbing to temptation is the number one reason most diets fail. Diets promise success if we are willing to trade junk food lifestyles for “healthy eating.” Diets, by their very nature are purposely restrictive; requiring us to deny our flesh of the things we crave the most. Statistics show that denial only serves to make us want what we can’t have all the more.

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My most heartfelt desire is to serve God and not abuse the blessing He’s given me with my weight loss. Losing as much weight as I have is no small thing. God has done a bona fide miracle in my life. Why would I ever want to mess that up?

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In order to always remain ever-thankful and mindful of God’s blessings, I’ve prayed and asked the Lord to remind me of my intestinal limitations the NEXT TIME temptation strikes BEFORE I take that FIRST BITE. Because let’s face it, temptation will never be completely eliminated from our lives until we get to Heaven.

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As much as I hate the stomach aches, if a stomach ache is what it takes for God to get my attention and keep me from reverting back to my old, bad habits – then bring it on God. BUT if I am smart (and Oh, Lord I WANT TO BE SMART) – the next time a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup whispers my name, I pray I’ll listen to that little voice in my spirit that asks me … is a gut-wrenching stomach ache worth a couple of bites of chocolate? The alternative is, by giving in to temptation the enemy wins and will always get the last word – which he likely delights in delivering with a smile: You can pay me now –or you can pay me later!

QUOTE OF THE DAY: 

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FEAR THE FORK … The Brownies Bite

The urge was undeniably strong and overwhelming. It required a Herculean effort of restraint on my part to suppress it.  It’s something most of us have experienced at one time or another. I’m talking about that urge to dive face first into the nearest pan, bowl, box or bag of ANYTHING gooey, chewy, and decidedly unhealthy to assuage the emotional turmoil roiling in my spirit. Image result for images for eating chocolate cake

Oh, wait … am I the only one who turns to sweets when emotionally compromised?

Last week was a particularly difficult one for me. I’ve been dealing with an impossible situation that shows no signs of resolution any time soon. My emotions have been pushed, pulled and stretched in a million different directions, plunging me into a minor funk. The sharp edge of depression was doing its best to claw its way back into my life like an unwanted holiday visitor. Image result for images for choking hands

It didn’t help that I had a family potluck to attend that required my baking skills. I love to bake and my entire family knows this. Baking can be very therapeutic, but it’s also not the greatest hobby for a girl with a not-so-secret food addiction who’s recently lost a considerable amount of weight. Because it was a family potluck though and expected of me, I baked. And I didn’t bake just anything, mind you. I made ooey, gooey, chewy chocolate frosted brownies. Throw in Halloween a couple of days later and I found myself on the business end of a near bingeing breakdown. Image result for images for gooey frosted chocolate brownies

The problematic catalyst for the aforementioned emotional turmoil was the half pan of uneaten frosted brownies left over from the potluck. My husband was supposed to take the pan to work with him the next day, but Monday’s being what they are, chaos ensued and prevented him from getting out of the house with the brownies in tow. So, there they sat, calling to me; whispering my name … all … day … long. It’s quite torturous to bear the brunt of a brownie bite.

In “my old life,” BWL (before weight loss), I would have forked that pan of brownies to death. You know what I’m talking about. Every time you walk past that inviting pan of brownies (or cake or cobbler or whatever), you take the straight edge of a fork or a knife and you cut off “just a sliver” of brownie. You tell yourself you are performing a public service by making the lines of the brownies uniformed and even all the way around. But one thing leads to another, because then you notice that the other side is slightly crooked and you have to even that side out — and well, before you know it – you’ve forked an entire pan of brownies up real nice. Image result for images for eating cake with a fork

In my defense, I didn’t eat the entire half pan of brownies. More like the equivalent of one healthy-sized brownie. Each forked up piece of brownie sliver still slammed me with guilt and condemnation, reminding me that I am far from cured of my sugar addiction. I threatened my husband with bodily harm if he didn’t remove the remaining brownies the next day.

The day after the brownies left the premises was Halloween. Halloween candy doesn’t usually create too much of an issue for me, since I’ve learned the secret to successful holiday candy management. It’s really quite simple. DON’T BUY CANDY!

I volunteered at church Halloween night so I avoided the trick-or-treaters. The best part about this gig … no candy to buy; no candy to pass out; no leftover candy to tempt me. It’s a win-win situation. Where I tripped up though, was stopping at a friend’s house later that night. Wouldn’t you know it – she had a giant bowl of mini candy bars that were begging to be fondled and rifled through. I succumbed and picked out a few mini candy bars; all of my favs. (Let’s face it – there’s no point in wasting calories on candy that is just “meh.”) I had enough forethought to come home and immediately freeze the mini temptresses in a Ziplock bag. Practicing a modicum of restraint, I limited myself to one piece of candy every day – and even then, I made sure to log it and track it for WW points.  Image result for images for a bowl of halloween candy

As we all know, we are coming into that time of year that signals the beginning of the end. What that means is, most weight loss classes experience a substantial dip in their membership. Gym attendance slacks off and many of us slack off as well with our healthy eating and exercise commitments.

Weight that takes months or years to lose can reattach itself at a record pace. In truth, we should treat the holiday season no differently than any other time of year. If anything, we need to be more tenacious than ever about eating balanced meals, tracking the foods we eat and staying active and diligent with our exercise routines. It can be so tempting to let ourselves go this time of year for the simple reason that it’s much easier to hide our bodies under layers of winter clothing. DON’T GIVE IN TO THIS TEMPTATION. Flannel is not your friend if you’re maintaining a weight loss. This is simply another trick of the enemy! Image result for images for layers of winter clothing

If we stumble and give in to those food temptations like I did this past week, it can be quickly corrected but only if we correct it immediately. Don’t wait till tomorrow, or after Thanksgiving … or Christmas … or Hanukkah … or New Year’s … or Valentine’s Day. Holiday excuses present us with convenient excuses that turn into a vicious cycle that concludes with us porking up for the winter- AGAIN.

Holidays present us with emotional challenges as well because few of us have those perfect, happy families. Difficult family members, pressure to overspend and overeat … all are a recipe for disaster for those of us already doing battle with anxiety, depression, food addictions and weight challenges. Stressful holidays are no time to stress eat!

My absolute favorite Scripture for this time of year is the NIV translation of Psalm 141:3: I know this verse is aimed more at watching over the words that come OUT of our mouth, but I like to pray and ask God to help me watch what’s going IN to my mouth.

One day at a time. One bite at a time. One meal at a time. One prayer at a time. Put your holiday worries in God’s hands and purpose in your heart to eat purposefully.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

Stumbling Stumbalina

It seems to happen more than I’d care to admit, and more frequently now that I’m older. Mainly because I’m not a very graceful person. I’m talking about all of those times that I trip over my own feet or a tiny raised crack in the sidewalk; a step up into the house; a tiny pebble on the walking path … the toe of my sandal; the heel of my sandal. Heck, just my sandals in general. Gracefulness is in short supply these days. If I’m being completely honest, poise and grace have never been part of my DNA.  Image result for images of tripping

It’s likely that I’m not alone in that department. Let’s face it, most of us have experienced an embarrassing trip or stumble at one time or another. The first thing we naturally do is to look around to see if anyone bears witness to our klutziness and humiliation. It probably happens more than we realize, especially since so many of us get caught up in walking and texting at the same time.Image result for images of tripping while walking and texting

Those little stumbles – the ones that we hope no one notices remind me of my past food-related/diet stumbles. Falling off the Weight Watcher Wagon generally begins with just a little stumble. A little slip. A little fall. You know what I’m talking about. An extra scoop of cereal in the morning because you don’t want to waste the leftover milk at the bottom of the bowl. Just a little extra dollop of potatoes, or a bite of your husband’s burger or fries. The free cookie or fat, fluffy dinner roll that you “forgot” to calculate that came with your meal.  Image result for images for getting caught with your hand in the cookie jarThat additional splash of dressing, those free Costco samples of Zebra popcorn or mini pigs in a blanket, or brownie bites, blah, blah, blah. ALL of those “freebies,” those bites, licks or tastes (BLT’s) are in fact, anything BUT free and can end up costing us more than we bargained for.

All of these seemingly innocent “stumbles” with our daily food diary, when added together at the end of the week somehow end up finding their way to the waistband of our pants. Suddenly the buttons on our blouse gape or our skirt refuses to zip. We blame it on a laundry snafu – that sudden “shrinking” of our clothes surely can’t be MY fault!  Image result for images of too tight clothes

Of course, we never plan to fall off the wagon. We always tell ourselves, tomorrow I’ll get right back on track and keep my food diary. Tomorrow I’ll eat better. If we’re not careful, all of those little stumbles and tomorrow promises turn into our weight regain nightmare. Somehow we find that we’re right back where we promised ourselves we’d never be again.

Just this past week, I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in more than a year. She and I were in the same Celebrate Recovery Food Addiction group a few years ago. Her significant weight gain was unmistakable. Try as I might to help her feel comfortable, it was obvious that her own guilt and Image result for images for embarrassmentshame convicted her before I ever could. What’s really sad, is this friend was the second woman I’d run into from the same group who’d had a substantial weight gain.

Seeing these friends made me realize just how fine a line we all walk when we’ve experienced any type of weight loss. I tell myself DAILY that just because I’ve lost weight does not mean I’ll never struggle with my weight again. The opposite is true. Having lost weight means I’ve got to work harder than ever to maintain the weight loss. I’ve discovered that maintaining a weight loss is every bit as hard – if not harder – to sustain than actually losing the weight.

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The problem with most “diets” is that they are just that – a diet. The definition of a diet is: to cause to eat and drink sparingly or according to prescribed rules. Image result for images of dieting

People who go on a diet to lose a specific amount of weight for a specific upcoming event (i.e., wedding, high school/college reunion), work hard to shed the weight, but once the event passes, they resume their old ways of eating and quickly regain the lost weight and then some.

If we hope to maintain long-lasting weight loss once and for all, we need to make lifestyle changes rather than just going on a diet. After weight loss we need to continue healthy eating, portion control and regular weekly activities or exercise routines. Yes, ALL of those things we KNOW to do, yet tire of rather quickly. It’s not fun. It’s necessary!

Now that I’ve lost weight, I do allow myself an occasional treat. I love pizza, bread(s) (all kinds) and dessert. I don’t eat any of those things on a daily basis, but I do allow myself an “occasional cheat day.” (OCCASIONAL being the optimum word here!) My cheat day usually falls on the day I weigh-in for my monthly check-in at Weight Watchers. If my weight is at or below my WW goal weight, I usually take advantage of the rest of that day and indulge in those foods I’ve been dreaming about for the last month.  (Because I know I’ll have another 4-6 weeks before I need to weigh in at WW again!)Image result for images for pizza

I’m one of those people who doesn’t care for fast food, but I still crave cheese pizza and sub sandwiches loaded with meats and cheese. (The cheesier the better!)  If I’m going to cheat, pizza is usually on the top of my list. Not surprisingly, I can only consume small amounts of these forbidden foods for the simple reason that since I’ve eliminated unhealthy treats from my diet, my stomach can no longer digest or tolerate these foods. It becomes an internal negotiation of weighing the pleasure of indulgence to that of a raging stomach ache.

The thing is – if you’re working hard to lose weight, it’s not a bad thing to allow for those “OCCASIONAL” treats. It’s only by completely denying our cravings that we seem to lust after those forbidden foods more than ever; thereby dooming us to automatic failure.

A food stumble or an “occasional” treat can be minimized or corrected if we address it as soon as possible. Don’t wait until you’ve tripped up or stumbled to the point of falling completely off the wagon. Don’t let the wagon back up and run over you again. Get up, dust yourself off and climb right back up on the Weight Watcher Wagon. Grab hold of those reins and steer the wagon right back on the designated course.  Image result for images for driving a weight watcher wagon

Losing weight and/or maintaining a weight loss is hard work – that much is obvious. If we hope to be successful WE have to take responsibility for our own actions and our little stumbles. We have to own it. We have to stop assigning blame. We can’t wish it away. We can’t pray it away. No one can walk this path for us. Our weight loss success is up to us. Don’t let that stumble be the thing that causes you to tumble over a cliff to an irreversible caloric crash and burn.  That old statement of “God helps those that help themselves,” is not an actual Bible verse. The statement does bear some truth though. We cannot expect God to supernaturally eliminate our excess body weight or cover our caloric stumbles if we aren’t willing to do our part. Image result for images for falling off a cliff

He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from tumbling. Psalm 116:8 (NLT)

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

Supposing you have tried and failed again and again. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down. ~Mary Pickford

Hungry For Change

“Oh my gosh, I’m stuffed full to the gills. I can’t eat another bite!”

This isn’t just the statement that every self-respecting foodie utters after consuming their favorite meal or a Thanksgiving feast – but what the average food/sugar addict, weight challenged/obese individual (okay, ME) utters on a near daily basis. At least – this WAS me up until a year and a half ago.

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Actually, this very common food related statement was the topic of much intense discussion at a recent Weight Watchers meeting. One member relayed a conversation he had with a WW leader while visiting in another state. It was noted that those who battle weight issues and struggle with eating addictions, look at food and meal time completely differently than someone who has no such issues.

The stark comparison came when the WW leader shared the story of her “thin friend.” While at lunch, the thin friend ate a portion of a burger and a few fries and then pushed her half-eaten meal away, even asking the server to remove the plate altogether. The WW leader asked her thin friend, “how can you push that food away? Why didn’t you finish your meal?”

“Because I’m no longer hungry and I don’t need to keep eating,” the thin friend replied. 

The conversation was certainly eye-opening. The clear distinction between those that struggle with obesity and those that don’t is one group eats until they are full (or over-full), the other group stops eating when they are no longer hungry.

My first thought was, NO LONGER HUNGRY! When has that ever stopped ME from eating myself into a food coma? My second thought was, why would anyone waste all that food? In all honesty, until recently I’d be hard-pressed to actually identify what REAL hunger looked or felt like. I spent so many years living life as an emotional eater. Regardless of whether I was hungry or not, I ate my way through depression, loneliness, heartbreak, boredom, rejection – pretty much every emotion under the sun. In many situations I would eat merely because it was expected; everyone else was eating. I ate because somebody brought donuts to work or there was leftover cake after Bible Study or just leftovers. More often than not, though, I used food as an emotional salve for my splintered feelings, rarely eating for the sole purpose of satisfying a physical hunger.

Many overweight people are more likely to “live to eat” rather than “eating to live.” Oftentimes most of us who struggle with our weight are no stranger to eating to the point of discomfort and are certified, card-carrying members of the clean your plate club. Image result for images for cleaning your plate

If we’ve lived our whole lives as people who live for their next meal, or their next binge … how can we change our habits so we can become one of those people who eat to live and only use food as nutrition?

None of us can expect to change these lifelong habits overnight and change will require something much more powerful than willpower. Few of us are capable of experiencing long-lasting weight loss success simply because we possess strong willpower. 

Once we decide to live according to the Word of God and realize that we need to take care of these temples that God has entrusted to us, we need to live knowing that Jesus should be first and foremost in our lives. We don’t need willpower, we need God’s power. We need to give God complete control of this part of our lives. We need total surrender.

Along with surrender, we need to use the common sense that God gave us and seek out whatever help WE need to reset our lives and get off the food addiction/bingeing hamster wheel that’s destroying us one bite at a time.

Our journey may not resemble anyone else’s. My path may not look like your path. BUT we can share some of the same stops along the path we take.

Turning to a weight loss organization; joining a gym, hiring a trainer; seeking the help of a doctor or nutritionist, medication … whatever works for you! I encourage you to get the help you need and take the steps necessary to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

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At some point, you are going to need to change your thinking. Rather than living as someone who must “live to eat,” you need to become someone who wants to “eat to live.” That’s going to mean you will have to endure some discomfort. Going to bed with an unsatisfied, grumbly tummy might need to become your new normal. It won’t take long for your body to adapt to fewer calories and in the end, you’ll discover that going to bed with a hungry tummy is far more tolerable than going to bed with an over satiated one.

Every time we fall into sin and give in to another emotional eating binge we are giving the devil one more victory; one more notch on his soul sucking yardstick. The food coma is the enemy’s playground and he delights in our shame and guilt. Image result for images for guilt

I look at food completely differently now. For so long, food was my god, and I worshipped at the alter of the fast-food drive through, the candy aisle at the Mini-Mart and the all-you-can-eat buffets. Now, I’ve learned that I WANT to live according to God’s Word.

We may be tempted to argue that “the devil made me do it,” when it comes to stuffing our faces full of unnecessary calories. The fact remains that WE ALWAYS have a choice. Do we choose eating until we are stuffed? Eating ourselves stupid to the point of a food coma? Living to Eat?

OR … do we choose to eat to live and train ourselves to recognize that we are no longer hungry and push the plate away? It’s our choice …

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Matthew 6:25 (NLT)

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

Does Size REALLY Matter?

If I were a betting woman, I’d wager to say that the average American woman has roughly 3-5 different sizes of clothing in her closet at any given time. Yet many still complain, “I have nothing to wear!”  Image result for Jammed Packed Closet

This is every bit as true for me now that I’ve lost weight as it was for me when I was much heavier. In the past, even if clothes were too large (or too small) – I kept everything because a girl can’t be too careful. What if I gain all my weight back and have nothing to wear? This kind of reasoning and logic only provides a way out or a back-up plan to that old lose-gain-lose-gain, yo-yo weight loss treadmill that I lived on for so many years.

With this (and what I hope will be my LAST) weight loss journey, I knew that in order to guarantee long-lasting success, I was going to need to shed more than just excess weight. I needed to shed the excesses in my closet and thereby rid myself of excuses and back-up plans. EVERY WEEK I go through my closet and try on clothes, keeping what fits and donating items that are too large. Even though I’m not a real clothes-horse to speak of, I’m finding that I’ve always got an ongoing give-away pile. Image result for Clothes piles

I used to hold onto clothing that was too small for me, “for inspiration.” I can’t even count the number of items I kept because I was convinced that “as soon as I lose a few pounds, this pair of pants is going to fit me perfectly!” When in reality, by the time I could actually fit into those smaller sizes (because everybody knows weight loss is rarely quick), the styles were no longer fashionable.

I’ve been known to purposely buy clothes (usually something on sale!) too small for me because I was confident that I could lose enough weight to fit into it soon. Sometimes even spending money on something you hope will fit you at some point, isn’t enough of a motivator to stay on a weight loss program. Image result for sqeezing into too tight clothes

 

My closet has undergone a complete turnover in the last couple of years. Donating so many clothes has left me with few options as to what I can actually wear out in public.  If I had my way, I’d live in over-sized tee shirts and leggings – but a girl has to occasionally leave the safety of her house. I have a favorite second-hand store where I donate my old clothes to and shop for replacements as well. This second-hand store supports one of my favorite charities (Big Brothers & Big Sisters) so it’s a win-win situation

Now that I am finally comfortable with my new size I’ve noticed an alarming trend with clothing manufacturers though. Sizes are extremely different from one brand to the next. Even though my weight has held steady for nine months now, I’m finding that I still have at least four different sizes in my closet. What might be a size 6 for one manufacturer can be something entirely different for another.

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Truth be told – I have no idea what my true size really is! (Hmm, the same could be said for my hair color. Who knows what that color really is?) Why can’t clothing manufacturers get their &^%$ together and give us universal sizes???  Image result for clothing labels with differing sizes Pants aren’t the only items that are labeled with sizing inconsistencies. Small, medium, large and XL tops aren’t always true to form either.

With so many conflicting sizes, it bears asking … Does Size REALLY matter?

Honestly, I think it depends on WHO you ask and WHAT kind of mood SHE is in on any given day!

In high school, I “porked up” to a whopping 145 pounds (I know, I know … Stupid teenage angst mentality). I was squeezing myself into a size 14 and I thought I was a cow based solely on the size of my jeans! Now at just under that same weight, I’m wearing mostly size 6, but I’ve got a great pair of pants that I love that are a size 4 and another that is a size 8. How is this possible – UNLESS clothing manufacturers are purposely labeling clothes smaller so women will feel better about themselves and buy more clothes. It’s quite the fashion conspiracy they’ve got going on there!

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The beauty of growing older is that at this time in my life, I’m not as obsessed with the numbers the way I once was. I’d much rather be comfortable than have numerical OCD. If I had a dollar for every time I bought a piece of clothing in a smaller, uncomfortable size just because I was too embarrassed to wear the next size larger … well, I could probably afford an entire new designer wardrobe by now!

As with most struggles in our lives, those of us who may be bothered by the size of our clothing need to stop listening to the lies of the enemy. The same way the number on the bathroom scale does not define us … what size our jeans or tops are doesn’t make us any more valuable as a person.

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There’s a great Old Testament story that speaks to the problem of putting too much emphasis on numbers. The story found in 2 Samuel 24:1-25 focuses on King David who is punished by God for ordering a census of his troops. There are conflicting debates as to why God punished David for something so seemingly innocent. The story is repeated in 1 Chronicles 21 and places the blame squarely on Satan for seducing David to disobey God (1 Chronicles 21:1 The Message Bible).  Image result for Census controvsery Thanks to the devil’s masterful seduction, David let his pride get the best of him and ordered the census to determine HIS own power and not God’s. He trusted in the number of HIS army rather than God’s power.

As I’ve mentioned a bazillion times before, the enemy has one jobto destroy God’s people and keep us from following Christ and spreading the Gospel. So why should any of us be surprised that there are millions of women out there fixating on and/or having emotional breakdowns based on what we weigh or what size we wear? (Okay, maybe it’s not always just women.)

Weight Lost

David suffered God’s punishment for his screw up – but if we call Jesus our Lord, if we confess our sin of pride or obsessive behavior over something as silly as what we weigh, then God has already forgiven us. Whenever we fall into the trap of being depressed over our weight or fixating on what size we wear, it would behoove us to have Romans 12:2 locked, loaded and memorized to defeat the lies of Satan.

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AND WHILE WE’RE ON THE SUBJECT OF NUMBERS …  how many times do we obsess over our Social Media followers or Likes??? Are we any less likable if we don’t get very many “Likes” over a Facebook post … Twitter retweet … Instagram share … You Tube views?

The numbers on the bathroom scale do not validate or define us and neither do the numbers on our clothing labels — be they pants size, dress size, blouse, bra, panty or shoe size. WE ARE MORE THAN JUST A NUMBER TO GOD! He created us uniquely and specifically to be exactly who we are and He loves us unconditionally … Size 4, 14 or 40 … it makes no difference to God! You are loved!

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

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The Lies That Bind

It seems to happen without rhyme or reason. You wake up and feel out of sorts. Maybe it’s hormonal, the weather, lack of proper sleep, or perhaps the universe has shifted slightly off its axis. Image result for earth off its axisWho knows? There could be many reasons really that cause us to wake up and just feel fat, ugly and toad-like.Image result for I feel fat

Even if you went to bed the night before and felt perfectly fine; without explanation a new day dawns and you wonder if an alien is suddenly inhabiting your body.    Oh wait … maybe it’s just me who has these days!

I’ve had several days like this in the past couple of weeks that find me slogging through my routines and chores. My legs feel like giant tree stumps barely able to propel me forward in simple movement. My brain and the bathroom scale confirm that there have been no physical changes — yet the weight of “something” presses me down.  It’s my logical mind that wages war with my emotional self.

My “illogical self” fears nothing has changed at all and the scale and the mirror are co-conspirators perpetuating the greatest hoaxes of all times. The weight I’ve lost was but an illusion and has merely been hiding for all these months, waiting to reattach itself while I sleep like some sort of science fiction pod person. Image result for Alien pod people

It’s been nearly nine months since I reached my goal weight. My weight fluctuates up or down by no more than a couple of pounds. That’s normal for most people. I try not to rely on the scale to validate me. If I weigh myself more than once a week, I tend to get a little OCD and can quickly spiral down that familiar rabbit hole. On those days when I feel fat, stepping on the scale is affirmation that I’m still okay and not in fact, a supernatural anomaly or pod person.

I fear my head has yet to catch up with the rest of my body. There are days that my brain simply fails to process the fact that I am now much lighter than I was last year at this time. A lot of the problem is that when I look in the mirror, I don’t believe I’m actually seeing what others see when they look at me. Image result for carnival funhouse mirror makes me look fat

My eyes are instantly drawn to all of the problem areas that weight loss and daily exercise has yet to correct. My eyes see that I am thinner, the evidence is unmistakable. The clothes hanging in my closet corroborate a substantial weight loss, but that doesn’t seem to stop me from thinking like someone who is still overweight.

I believe the correct medical definition of my condition is commonly referred to as the “fat head-thin thigh” syndrome. Okay – so I made that up — that’s not a real definition – that’s simply how I classify this weird psychological condition. In truth, what I really suffer from and have borne the weight of since I was very young is a very real condition called Body Dysmorphia.  Image result for Cartoon Body Dysmorphia

The medical definition of this malady is: a pathological preoccupation with an imagined or slight physical defect of one’s body to the point of causing significant stress or behavioral impairment in several areas (as work and/or personal relationships. People suffering from body dysmorphic disorder perceive themselves as ugly, fixating on slight abnormality or an imagined flaw. (Charles Q. Choi, Scientific American, February 2008)

Much like a carnival funhouse mirror, I’ve only ever seen a fat, ugly toad reflected back at me. The only explanation is that I am mentally ill in need of professional help. OR perhaps more accurately, I’ve been dogged by the master of all lies since childhood. The evil one – that lying snake, the devil – has successfully robbed me of an otherwise healthy self-image. And what’s worse – I let him do it.  

Now that I’m “older and wiser” I’ve been able to recognize the lies for what they are – but that doesn’t mean that I still don’t occasionally struggle in this area. I know that for us to hate what God created is sin – especially since the Bible tells us we were created in His image. (Genesis 1:27) We know God doesn’t make mistakes — yet in my twisted mind, I sometimes have argued that me, and only me – is and was and will always be — the exception to that rule.

Praise the good Lord for Scripture which I try to ingest every 4 – 6 hours as needed (or 4 – 6 minutes when the mind is really off-kilter).

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The harsh reality of life is that whenever your life seems to be on track and you’re doing well, feeling good and being a productive, contributing member of society at home, work, school or church … the enemy simply can’t stand it.

We really aren’t meant to live happily ever after without problems or trials in this lifetime for the simple reason stated in 1 Peter 2:11: Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. (The Message Bible)

For those days when I wake up, out of sorts and can only see the ugly toad reflected back at me – I tell myself that whenever the enemy is relentless in his attacks on my mind, I must be on the verge of doing something spectacular for the Lord. If I am living solely for myself and doing nothing that benefits the Lord or His kingdom, then I’m not a threat to the devil so he’s likely to leave me be.

So once again … body dysmorphia, feeling fat and gross, walking through life in physical or emotional pain, depression, anxiety — basically it all comes down to that age-old fight of good versus evil.

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God knows us inside and out. (Psalm 139). He knows our struggles and is fighting for us. We need to put on our big girl panties – or better yet, the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17) and shake off the lies that are keeping us bound.

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My friends, consider yourselves fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way, for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure. James 1:2-3 (GNT)

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

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Two-Minute(s)-or Less-Warning

Nearly half-way through the writing of this week’s blog, I found myself stuck as to how to transition to my next point. Doing what most creative people do when they experience any type of artistic blockage, I checked my emails and Facebook page. 

A memory from four years ago popped up on my FB page that was a picture of a tree in my backyard that had been uprooted and destroyed by a fast-moving, freak storm. I’d captioned the photo, “What it took God 10 years to grow, was destroyed in a mere two minutes or less!”

It’s been said that a picture is a worth a thousand words. That’s certainly true for me because I swear, as soon as I saw this picture and its caption, several thousand words ricocheted around in my brain barely giving me enough time to write them down. In the interest of time however, I managed to trim a little off the top so the average reader can skim this list in … you guessed it – two minutes or less.

Two minutes. Not a lot of time, but so much can happen in a mere two minutes or less.

There’s the obvious two-minute warning during a football game. But who are they kidding? With commercial breaks and time-outs, that two-minutes can last upwards of five minutes, maybe more.Image result for clock of two minute warning

Two minutes or less might be all it takes for an introduction to the person who ends up becoming the love of your life.

Two minutes or less to recite your wedding vows.

Two-minutes or less for an at-home pregnancy test to reveal whether your entire life is about to change forever … or not.

Two minutes or less for your husband (or significant other) to tell you they don’t love you anymore and probably never did, but in fact, they love someone else now.

Two minutes or less to question why you were ever born.

Two minutes or less for the doctor to review the test results of the ultra-sound you needed to determine if what was seen on your mammogram is in fact cancer … or not.

Two-minutes or less can derail your life with one bad decision when proper wisdom or common sense fails.

Two-minutes or less can be life or death to someone waiting for an ambulance to arrive, or a firetruck or a police car.

For the addict fighting off the temptation to give in to the pull of their drug of choice, two-minutes or less can undo years of sobriety.

Without a doubt, the worst, most impossible two-minutes or less FOR ME is the two-minutes it takes to heat a proper lunch in the microwave. Two minutes or less is more than enough time for me to scarf down so much junk food that I find I’m suddenly too full to eat that well thought out meal.  It’s that particular two-minutes when indulged in too frequently that can undo the 18-months of hard work it took to lose a lot of weight.

Two minutes or less can cause a lot of damage in the mind of someone battling depression or low self-esteem.

Two minutes or less to swallow a hand full of pills and end your life.

Two minutes or less for your step-father to touch you inappropriately and scar you so deeply you fear you’ll never be able to have a normal relationship.

Two minutes or less to take a life … Two minutes or less to save a life … Two minutes or less to create a life … Two minutes or less for that last final push to birth a life.

Two minutes … two minutes … two minutes … any manner of things can transpire within the mere span of two minutes … 120 seconds. Dozens, hundreds, thousands of life-altering things can occur within a two-minute passage of time. Most of the things on this list are from my personal backpack of life’s experiences. And these are but a few.

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But the most important thing that can happen in two minutes or less is changing where you will spend your eternity. Saying yes to Jesus can happen quickly but change your life forever. Two minutes or less can determine if you’ll spend your afterlife in Heaven or Hell. Paradise or Hades?Image result for images for heaven and hell

Me? I choose Jesus, and not just for the next two minutes or for whenever it’s convenient. I choose Jesus for every decision. Every good day. Every bad day. Every minute of the life I have left on this earth.

Two minutes or less of praise and worship to the one who saved me and knows me better than I know myself is better than food binges, alcoholic beverages, exercise endorphins, therapy sessions and/or self-analysis.

The end of your life can come at any time like a thief in the night … and may not actually allow you the luxury of having a two-minute warning. Do you really want to take a chance on something that huge? WARNING:  Don’t wait until it’s too late!

Choose Jesus.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“At most, you will live a hundred years on earth, but you will spend forever in eternity.” ~ Rick Warren

Deep, Deep “Down-ness”

Deep down, I’m basically a pretty lazy person. When the alarm goes off, I’m at least a “two-snoozer” kind of gal, who regularly tries to eek out another 10 minutes of pillow time. My flesh would opt for sleeping in every single day if it had its own way. I’m sure there are people who love to wake up early and are happy from the get-go. Sadly, I am not one of those people.  Image result for Reaching for Alarm Clock ImageThe laziness in me isn’t just limited to getting up with an alarm, but spills over into regular daily routines as well. Making the bed, working out, showering, doing my hair and makeup – even preparing daily meals can feel like so many chores that get old after a while.

I think it’s the routines that make me feel like such a lazy person. Life can be pretty boring when you live a life dictated by schedules and doing the same things, the same way at the same time every day. It’s all so blah, blah, blah.Image result for blah blah blahBut deep down, deep in my soul – I’m a woman who loves God and one who has the Holy Spirit residing in all of my “deep-down-ness.” As I get older and my priorities shift, life is all about working towards letting the Holy Spirit dictate more of my life rather than letting my lazy flesh rule me.

I may only be one person, but I function as a 3-in-1 being. Some days my brain, which can be logical tells me I need to get out of bed and get moving with my daily “chores.” The brain is a stickler for my “To Do List.” But I’m not just made up of a logical thinking brain. My body — that lazy flesh of mine, tends to have a mind of its own and periodically it’s difficult to make my body cooperate when it’s time to get out of bed, particularly when it comes to exercise.

The third part of my “tri-part team” is my soul, where the Holy Spirit resides. It’s in my soul where my moral compass distinguishes right from wrong. My soul longs to obey the Lord so I know that taking care of my body and living with purpose is what He created me for. Jesus didn’t sacrifice His life so I could lie around the house like a lazy useless lump, living only for what pleases me rather than being a contributing member of society. In spite of the fact that my logical brain knows all this and my soul wants to follow through on all these noble things in life … my flesh still struggles to cooperate.

These struggles are a result of a very real enemy I (we) have whose sole purpose is to steal, kill and destroy life as we know it (John 10:10). The devil delights in attacking my mind as soon as I wake in the morning, usually before I’ve even put my feet on the floor. I’m convinced that this lazy, do-nothing, tired-of-doing-the-same-thing-day-after-day attitude is an arrow shot at me by the enemy.Image result for arrows hitting a bullseye

These attacks are designed to cripple me as early in the day as possible in order to keep me from doing anything productive for the Lord. I’m not going to lie … some days his aim is true and his plan has a modicum of success.

If I manage to overcome the lazy attitude, the enemy finds a way to attack me in other ways. Things like, I find myself complaining about little things, or struggling with a cynical attitude or giving into despair. The devil stirs the pot of depression when it strikes me, and delights in my anxiety when facing a seemingly daunting task.  He laughs when I give in to temptation to overeat because of my emotions. The enemy doesn’t care how he interferes with my day. He knows he has the advantage if he can gain the tiniest of footholds. He knows he’s got me if I let my guard down even slightly.

Thanks in part to the many changes I’ve made in the past year with my health, I am more on guard than ever for these attacks. My mind is starting to feel more settled. There has been a definite shift in my priorities. In the past year I’ve gone from praying that God would steal me away to live with Him in Heaven while I sleep, to finding joy in the little things and appreciating even the boring hum-drum days. Yes, even the alarm and daily chores of bed-making, exercise, showering and putting on makeup have made me realize what a privilege life itself is.

“LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered—
how fleeting my life is.”  Psalm 39:4

Most days as soon as I’m conscious, I do my best to remember “This is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24) Even though many days I seriously don’t want to — I drag my lazy self out of my comfy bed, strap on my sports bra and workout clothes, lace up my worn-out Fila’s and engage in my daily workout. It’s not something I LOVE to do, but something that maintains my sanity and is strengthening my mind and my body for whatever the future holds. Exercise is a privilege.

Image result for exerciseWhen I begin to feel like I’m tired of these boring, time-consuming “chores,” the Holy Spirit gently reminds me that I am blessed to have a nice home to live in with hot and cold running water. I have access to toothbrushes, hair brushes, soap, shampoo, shoes and clothes, gas in my car and a pantry and fridge filled with food. There are people around the world who sleep on dirt floors and forage for their next meal in trash heaps. In many countries people walk miles to collect fresh water to drink, cook and wash with. Why should I dare to complain that waiting for the water to get hot for my daily shower takes too long? Image result for complaining

“Do everything without complaining and arguing,”
Philippians 2:14 (NLT)

In the movie Forrest Gump, Forrest deliver’s one of life’s most iconic lines, “Stupid is as stupid does …”Image result for stupid is as stupid does

 

The devil thinks I’m stupid and will give in to his taunts and attacks. If I refuse to live according to the Word of God and fail to obey the Holy Spirit, then I’m letting the enemy know that he is right. BUT for now during this new season of my life, my prayer is: Lord, help me to be anything BUT stupid!

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

Faith is not about everything turning out okay, faith is about being okay no matter how things turn out. ~ Author Unknown

Snap Out of It!

A few weeks ago, I watched an old film that I’ve always loved but hadn’t seen in years. I enjoyed the movie so much that I’ve officially added it to my favorites list. The movie is called Moonstruck which was released way back in the 20th century in 1987. This movie stars Cher as Loretta, who is an Italian-American widow who becomes engaged to Johnny, played by Danny Aiello. Shortly after proposing, Johnny leaves the country to visit his sick mother in Sicily. During his absence, Johnny’s younger brother, Ronny, played by a young Nicholas Cage seizes the opportunity to woo Loretta. Ronny hopes to steal Loretta away from his brother whom he has a major grudge against.

My favorite scene is when Ronny (Nicholas Cage) finally gathers his nerve to passionately confess his love for Loretta after the two share a night of passion. Despite not being in love with her fiancé, Johnny, Loretta wants to remain faithful to him. As Ronny declares his love for Loretta, she knows the relationship can’t possibly work because of her commitment to Johnny. In order to deter Ronny, she slaps him across the face, not once, but twice and yells at him to “Snap out of it!”

Things would certainly be much simpler if we could apply that “snap out of it!” logic to all of the problems we face in life.

Sure, maybe some people are capable of “snapping out of it!”… Whatever their “IT” is. But me … not so much.

I’ve had well-meaning “friends” and even family members that have given me their version of a “snap out of it” lecture, with regards to my depression or anxiety. They’ll suggest something like, “just think positively.”

When I’ve dared to talk about my food addiction I actually had someone tell me, “just stop eating junk food, if you aren’t happy with your weight.” Or “Why don’t you go on a diet?”  Or my personal favorite, that age-old classic of … “you just need more willpower.” 

Gee … like I never thought of that before!

People who make these “snap” suggestions or “easy fix” solutions, are obviously “perfect people” who’ve never battled their own demons.

If life has taught me anything it’s that applying “willpower” only works for so long. Fighting depression or an addiction can’t be fixed by just making your mind up to “feel better,” or stop doing that thing that makes you hate yourself.

We don’t need more willpower … we need more of God’s power. Where I personally fall short is that sometimes I don’t always turn to God FIRST. My natural inclination is to try to “fix” whatever is broken on my own before I turn to God. It’s like I think I can actually control things. Which is silly, because the Bible tells us:

 

Maybe rather than the idea of “snap out of it,” I need to “snap to it.” Which translated means, I need to make a choice to FIRST turn to God and ask Him what I need to do before I succumb to the darkness or do a face plant in a tub of ice cream.

I know I shouldn’t be so “me focused” but more “God focused.” I can “Snap to it” by searching the Scriptures when I need a word of encouragement. Or “snap to it” could mean I need to clear my head and get outside and get some fresh air; take a walk around the block and look at things with a different perspective. Of course, my go-to “snap to it” solution will likely always be exercise. Nothing clears the brain fog quicker than a good workout. But I’m not above calling someone to talk me through whatever I’m going through. Sometimes I just need a friend.

For me … the black holes are never going to completely disappear. The food temptations are always going to be knocking on my door. In order to be a survivor and not a victim who lets my depression or food addiction define me, I need to learn to manage these parts of my life. I will never be able to totally “snap out of it.” In order to manage it, I must fully surrender every part of my life, my body, my brain, my emotions, my addictions, my shortcomings, my choices (both good and bad) … literally every single part of me must be completely surrendered to God.

It’s easy to say I’ve fully surrendered my struggle with depression and my food addiction to God, but if I’m continuing to struggle … me thinks maybe not so much.

Lord, I want to “snap out of it!” I believe with YOUR HELP I really can … but please help me in my unbelief!

 “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”  The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23-24 NLT)

QUOTE OF THE DAY: