Thursday, May 3, 2012

Weight Loss Wednesday (a day late): Finding Comfort in God vs. Food

    I had planned to write a blog post that was a break from the conversation of the last few days, and talk a bit about my journey with weightless. Being Wednesday, I thought it would be great to title it "Weight Loss Wednesday" for alliterations sake, but alas I was crazy busy, and opted to read a bit vs. writing. Sometimes you just have to choose your priorities for the moment.
    Speaking of priorities, that brings me to my whole journey with weight loss!
    For those of you who knew me in college, you remember me at my very thinnest and most healthiest. I rode my bike everywhere, I walked all the time, I never took the elevator. Yes, those were the glory days. Then life happened, and the stress of life came with it.
     Like many of us, I am an emotional eater. I love to eat when I am sad, happy, upset, etc.... you've heard the whole story before by countless others. Through new job, move to another state, new relationship, breakup, lost job, move to another state, new relationship, unemployment, new job, move to another state, break up, back together, break up again, new relationship, new job, move to another state, engagement, planning a wedding, adding a second job... yes the last 5 years has been this crazy insane and stressful. In between the crazy and stressful parts, there is a lot of office work, and a whole ton of pizza (I am a youth pastor after all).
      The sad part is, food is never truly as emotionally satisfying as you think it's going to be, and though that whole tub of ice cream seems like a great way to spend a day after a breakup... it really doesn't help that much at all.
     This year, I topped out the scale at a whopping 188.8 pounds, which is the heaviest I've ever been in my life. It didn't freak me out much, and I wasn't all that surprised. And honestly, I have never really cared that much about what the number on a scale says, but I realized something had to change.
       That's where "Made to Crave" by Lisa Tyrkeust comes in. I HIGHLY recommend this book. I do not agree with all of her theology, for the record, and I am not a fan of pulling scripture out of context, but I do agree with the message in the book.
        The message is basically this, we are created to crave and long for God, if we are filling our lives with other things for comfort, and not depending on God for our comfort, we need to reevaluate and change our lives.
        For whatever reason, it made perfect sense, the issue isn't the number on the scale, the issue isn't my dress size, the issue is my attitude towards food and how that relates to my relationship with God.
        I am all about holistic living. I think there is a reason holy is the base of that word, because in order to be holy, to have our lives lined up with the life God wants for us, we have got to have every aspect of our lives in tune to what is best for us, our physical bodies, our emotional well being, our spiritual being.... all of it. We would like to say "Jesus saved me, and that's good enough", but I don't really think it is. Jesus wants us to have life abundantly, now, and honestly, making unhealthy decisions with food consistently, and not exercising is not living life abundantly.
      People ask me all the time if I am losing weight for the wedding, and I constantly have to explain that I am not, that I am living a healthy life because that is what I am called to do, that's the type of person I am called to be. Someone that loves me, like God loves me, someone who cares for God's creation (which includes myself), and someone who finds comfort and meaning in God, not in a tub of ice cream.
     So, after all of this, I am as of today down to 175.2 pounds, which is pretty amazing, but what's more amazing is, I feel better. I know people say that, but I do. I am also learning each and every day that when I desire something to make me feel better, that I should go to God first, depend on Him first for comfort, and then I usually find I don't need the chocolate cake after all.
     Oh, and P.S.~ People ask me all the time "How do you do it?" And I really think they are waiting for me to say "oh I just drink this!" or "oh I just meditate." or some other sort of magic easy answer, but really it is just counting calories and moving more than I eat... it's not that hard on paper, but it takes a lot of hard work. That's another issue I'll get into another day, that God has called us to a life of discipline... So that will be on the docket for next Weight Loss Wednesday... or Thursday :)

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