Human Garbage Can

via Daily Prompt: Vice

Last night I had dinner at a friend’s house. Her 2 younger children left the table and ran off to play, leaving behind their plates full of food. Her husband took one of the kid’s plates and said “See? This is why I gain weight!” as he scraped the leftovers onto his own plate. “Me too!” I shouted. “I just can’t see any food go to waste!”

Then my friend quietly made a comment…

“But all that extra food is just going to waste in your own body.”

It was one of those unforgettable moments where my mind was illuminated and my eyes were opened to a new perspective that made absolute sense. Why have I never seen it that way before!? In an effort to not be wasteful, I shovel everybody’s uneaten food into my mouth, only to have it turn to waste in my own body – extra fat and toxins that my body cannot use. I have become a human garbage can!

It is so frustrating to have something be a NEED and a VICE all at the same time.

My body needs food to survive. But I have let food become my vice. I have let it… no one else is to blame. So how do I change a 46 year habit? I can’t click my heels and be skinny(believe me I have tried). My mind has to change. My attitude has to change. My beliefs have to change.

I had a coworker whose mantra was “Energy flows where attention goes”.

It has been so easy to ignore my problem. How often I have secretly told myself “Well at least I don’t weight 600 lbs!” or “At least I can still walk up the stairs on my own.” Ridiculous. Just because something could be WORSE doesn’t mean it is OK for it to remain the way it is! Today I choose to focus my attention on this nasty habit of eating leftovers. I acknowledge that it is slowly killing me and robbing me of a good future. I refuse to ignore it or excuse it any longer and I will consciously take a step towards improvement every day.

I WILL NOT BE A GARBAGE CAN ANY MORE!

trash

No CRAP!

I got a text message from a friend today that grabbed my attention. It said:

Stop eating C.R.A.P.!

Carbonated drinks

Refined sugars

Artificial foods

Processed foods

It is one of those simple statements that will stick with me. I can easily remember it and when I see one of those items, I will immediately associate it with CRAP! If it’s crap, you can say no to it. 🙂

That’s all I have to say today.

Goodnight world!

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My steps are directed

Let me tell you something about myself. Something happens to me when I see food. I am drawn to it. Seriously, I am not exaggerating. I can’t see food go to waste. If food is lying around, and no one is eating it, I feel compelled to eat it. My thoughts are consumed by it – I can almost hear that donut calling me to eat it! No. Joke.

I know some of it comes from my childhood experiences. I grew up in South America. My parents were missionaries and they have told us stories of many times where money was short and food was scarce. Those kinds of experiences leave an indelible mark on a child. But I can’t blame it all on my childhood. A big part of my problem is just bad habits that I have developed over time.

So when I made the decision to step on this path to health, I started praying.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the power to change myself. That is why I still weigh 286 pounds after 46 years of trying! I can’t overcome my weaknesses. I can’t change my habits. I can’t fight the urge to eat bread. Food has become a drug to soothe my hurts and celebrate my joys.

I have been praying REAL hard. I asked God for some very specific things on Tuesday. I asked Him to help me gain control of my eating. I asked Him to give me wisdom to make the right choices for my body. He created me and He knows what’s best for me! Every morning, I have asked Him to help me honor Him with my body.

I know God heard me.

This morning I was in a meeting where snacks were served. Not just any snack… coffee cake with icing. Normally I would NOT have passed that up! I would have taken at least 2 pieces before the meeting, and any left overs back to my desk at the end.

But something happened this morning and I know it was God – because I could never have done this on my own. I did not eat cake. But even more surprising, I wasn’t distracted by the cake or drawn to it. I walked out without even thinking of taking the left overs. People can you celebrate with me!?!? God heard my prayers and today was a victorious day on the path to health.

Maybe you’re reading this and you think I’m crazy. Maybe you think I am attributing pure coincidence to an unseen God. I challenge you to look at things from a different perspective. There IS a loving God who hears and answers the cry of His people. If you don’t believe me, ask Him to show Himself to you and He will. He will show up in beautiful, unexpected ways. I’m an eyewitness – I’ve see Him do it countless times!

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite Psalms:

The Lord directs the steps of the godly.  He delights in every detail of their lives. Psalm 37:23

No matter what path you are on, what Thing you are struggling with, your steps can be directed. Pray… God will hear you.

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Small steps do matter

I can’t believe it….

I said I wasn’t going to count the days but, here I am in day 3 and I am already feeling discouraged. What. the. heck.

I gave myself 2 simple goals for this week – move more and eat less. I figured those were doable, attainable. So last night, while I was watching TV, I did squats and leg lifts during one of the commercial breaks.  I kept hearing this nagging voice in the back of my head “You are so overweight. 5 minutes of exercise is not going to make a difference”.

This morning I woke up at 6am and walked around my neighborhood. The air was cool and smelled delicious. The mist was rising around the hilltops. It was a beautiful morning. I should have enjoyed it! But all I could hear was that same nagging voice “You are so overweight. A short walk is not going to make a difference”.

All of a sudden I was more aware of my back pain than the beautiful surroundings, and I felt like giving up.

Why is it so hard to change!? Where does this voice come from? How can it be that my feelings are getting the best of me and it is only day 3!?

That’s the problem… FEELINGS.

My feelings are getting the best of me. I cannot let my feelings control me. Feelings are NOT truth! The truth is every movement DOES make a difference. 10 squats is better than no squats. A 15 minute walk is better than 15 minutes on the couch. That is the TRUTH.

I heard a lady on the radio tell a quick story about getting her son ready for school. When she went to put his pants on they didn’t fit. It seemed like he had just worn them the other day and now all of a sudden they were too short. When did he grow out of them? She couldn’t pinpoint the exact moment when he got taller and bigger.  The point she was making is that growth is so gradual and subtle, we usually miss it, but it IS happening every day.

Growth, progress, change – it comes slowly – but it WILL come as long as I don’t quit. That is truth.

Small steps DO make a difference, so I will silence those feelings and keep going…

mist on the hilltops.
Learning

Day 2: Baby steps on the path

I am SO impatient…

When I decide that I want something or need something, I gotta have it NOW. I don’t want to wait. And, unfortunately, I don’t want to work too hard for it either.

I was watching a movie the other day and somebody said “You want success without sacrifice, you want progress without pain, and that’s just not possible.” Yup, that sums me up.

I acknowledge it, I am exposing it, so that I can change it…

Being impatient also causes me to try and change everything all at once. Join a gym! Find the right diet! Buy a new workout video!! Empty the fridge!!!! You get the picture. That is exhausting and overwhelming and never lasts long either. I need to force myself to slow down and take some baby steps.

Baby steps… they never come without some tumbles and bruises. But there’s something inside that baby that drives them to get back up and keep on trying. I need some of THAT in me.

Baby step 2: I have mentally decided that this is a lifelong journey. Unfortunately, it is not going to end in 90 days, or even 365 days. I will always have the same weaknesses, the same tendencies, and will have to stay vigilant until I breathe my last breath. Sounds a bit like AA… well, it seems like they are the experts and they got something right.

Let me just warn you, I do not intend to be a weight loss expert. I will probably never share exercise tips or recipes… that is not my goal. I just want to share my real thoughts on this path and find some people to walk along with me. It’s easier to keep going when you know you are not walking alone…

We are never alone

 

 

Day 1: Step on the path

 

I am NOT healthy…

Selah. (That means, stop and think about it.)

I weigh 286 pounds. I can barely breathe when I walk up the stairs. I eat too much.  I am embarrassed to see myself in pictures. I don’t like looking at myself in the mirror. Truth is, I just don’t like myself.

I am not healthy in mind or in body…. but I WANT TO BE.

I want to be strong. I want to be self-confident. I want my husband to be proud to stand by my side. I want to like myself.

But all this wanting has gotten me nowhere. I am 46 years old and I can’t seem to change my habits. I can’t even pinpoint my greatest weakness. To say that I don’t have time to exercise is a lie. Last Friday, I spent 5 hours in front of the TV, just snacking and vegetating. I have the time.

What I don’t have is energy and motivation.

I get tired. I get discouraged. Then I give up. Can you relate? I am trying to be real with you and with myself. I am tired of living a pretend life. I want to live a FULL life to the FULLEST. Today I am ready to do whatever it takes to find that path.

Step 1, Day 1: My body does not belong to me. It’s a loaner.

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”  1 Corinthians 6:19,20  NLT

The only thing I am sure about in life is my faith, so this will be my starting point. My body belongs to God. It seems like we take better care of stuff that does not belong to us. Do you agree? We are really careful with borrowed things because the last thing we want to do is return a damaged item to the owner. Well the truth is, we are all on borrowed time, living life in temporary bodies given to us by our Maker.

We don’t get to be here long.

I have polluted this temple, misused it and nearly destroyed it. I acknowledge that fact and I am sorry. Now I am determined to turn around and start walking a different path. God has gotten me through some horrible stuff. I am asking Him to join me on this journey too.

 Dear Lord, next time I go to shove a cookie in my mouth, please help me to remember that my body does not belong to me and I need to take better care of it. Please help me to find my satisfaction in You, not in food. Please give me the strength I need to make it through Day 2.

Amen.

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the journey of a hundred miles begins with one step