My One-Year Experiment. || Part 1

 *Absolutely no rhyme or reason to the photos in this post. I just know that people aren't gonna read a long post unless pretty pictures pull them in.

So.
I'm doing it.
And it's not going to be easy.
I got myself into this mess.
It wasn't Coco's fault. I promise.
Effective immediately, 
as in Super Tuesday, 
as in TODAY,
I'm tackling my addiction.

So, with God's help and a bunch of friends who have signed on for the next  year,
[ March 1, 2016 - March 1, 2017]
it's time.
 
Addiction.
 Yes. I said addiction.
Embarrassing to write.
Pathetic really.
But boy howdy it feels good to just say,  
"You know what? 
I suck at healthy eating.
I simply cannot get a handle on over-eating."
And I keep running to food for, well, everything.
I crave food and I waste countless hours wondering 
what the next yummy treat is gonna be.
I eat whenever I want, just, well, because I want to.
I've gained weight. Lots.
For a long time I've blamed it on my back isuses.
And I do have significant back issues.
I promise you that diabetes is in my future as are heart issues 
if I don't re-route the current trajectory I find myself on.
I'd be a fool to not see the long-term affects of over-eating 
and packing on lots of extra weight. 
Let's be real. 

I don't feel good about myself. At all. Ever.
I feel fat and ugly and sore and puffy and sluggish and on and on.
 [ And this isn't a secret plea for people to say nice things about me - I know I'm beautiful, blatty blah blah. Please don't reach out to say, 'But you're so pretty.' Please don't.] 
 
I'm what they call an 'emotional' eater, and interestingly enough,
I love to eat when I'm bored and also when I'm happy.
I'm sure deep down I eat the odd time when I'm sad, but honestly, 
I really do eat mostly out of celebration and boredom.       
I obsess.
It has a hold.
A stronghold.
 I think so often the whole 'over-eating/gluttony' thing gets 
swept under the rug and isn't called what it is. 
An addiction. 
A sin, for those of us that call ourselves Christ-followers.
 Over-eating isn't slapped with the addiction label, because,
well, that would be admitting we might struggle like the next guy.
We might not have it all together.
 
It's the excusable sin for Christians.
Which really is pathetic if you ask me. 


So, for me, I'm gonna call it sin. 
It just is.
This isn't just about having a slower metabolism because I'm 46+ years old.
Yes, I do have a slower metabolism.
However. 
This is about me shoveling food into my mouth.  
I don't just have an extra cookie once a week.
It's like I love scooping mass quantities of goodness into my body
because I just simply can't say no.
I must have it.
And now. 
I deserve it.
I earned it.
It's only fair.
And so, as God most beautifully does,  
He gently whispered to me that it was time.
And that with His help, we could get this extra weight off.
And we could find moderation. 
And balance.
And health. 
And hope. 
AND FREEDOM.

I've been absolutely 100% completely STUCK.
No hope. Paralyzed. 
Not even knowing where to start,
as it all seemed
so unbelievably overwhelming.
I've been living the downward spiral thing.

Because you see, 
I've wanted victory in this area of my life forever.
FOREVER.
All-caps. Bold. Forever. And ever amen.

I've prayed about it.
And dreamed about it.
And worked hard at it.
But it's been elusive.
Up until now.
 
  Every so often I get uber-motivated to get at it. 
And I do great for about 3 months and then I tank.
As in, fall-off-the-wagon-drop-dead-drunk-on-food.
 
And then I feel guilty.
And then I feel overwhelmed.
And then I feel like a failure. 
And then I feel like I let myself down and my husband down and everyone else, too.
And then I say, "SCREW IT."
This is too hard.
Hit repeat.
A million times.

And then.
THEN, shame knocks at my door.
 She slinks in the back door and saddles herself on me
like a really tight shirt.
So much shame.

And shame, she's an ugly thing to wear, right?
She feels awful really.
She feels hopeless.
And she makes me think, 
'Why bother? Just pass the donuts 
and be done with this ridiculous notion
that things might be different this time.
Your pattern is failure, hunny!"

                This road has been so long and so dark and so shame-filled. 
I catch myself thinking things like, 
"What is wrong with me that I can't just do what I KNOW I should do. 
Hello St. Paul. I understand you! 
Eat right. Exercise. Do all in moderation." 
 My head knows all the things I need to do to have great, 
sustainable victory in this area of my life, 
but the reality is, 
I just never EVER have success for long. 

Which has made me not even want to try anymore. 
This isn't a matter of sticking my head in the sand 
and not realizing I have a problem. 
I 100% know - and have known since my 20s - 
that I have a SIGNIFICANT problem with food being an idol in my life. 
I just have never broken through the barrier from 
short-term success to long-term victory.

And so, it's time to get at it.
To break through the barrier of failure.

I've hired a personal coach -- or shall I say -- I've asked a friend to play the 'coach/personal trainer' role and she said yes!

I've gathered a team of prayer warriors 
that are gonna be persistent in praying me through this battle.

I'm claiming Romans 6 as my chapter this year.
Go read it.
It's perfect for this journey. 

I'm going at this for one whole year.
 365 days baby.
Oh boy.
One month at a time.
One day a a time really.
No, actually, one meal at a time.
I've got certain weight loss strategies in place that really boil down to moderation, 
portion control, completely cutting out gluten and 
mostly cutting out dairy and limiting sugar.
Bye-bye processed food.
Hello clean eating.


I'm pretty confident that if I stick with this plan for a year, 
it might stick for a life-time.

Why you ask?
Well, just a few years ago I was SO addicted to Diet Coke.
And I ended up giving it up for 3 months.
And then another 3 months.
And then before long, I just thought, "Heck, I'm all done with it." 
And so, several years later, I haven't had a sip.
Not even one.
This is nothing short of MIRACULOUS people.
I kid you not.
Miracle.

And really, other than when I eat Lou Malnatti's pizza, 
I don't even miss it.
And even then, the pull isn't strong.
I just have this sentimental longing somewhere deep within that whispers,
"Oh how a glass of DC would pair so nicely with this pie." 
The stronghold is gone.

And I believe the key - for me - was to give it up in smaller chunks.

SO, if I can give up DC, I really do have hope that I can get on track
with healthy eating and fitness. 
I wanna be strong and healthy with no shame and failure attached to food.   

Day 1 is in the books.
Victory.
 
Only 364 to go.

Comments

Alysa - One of the many things that I love about you is that you are so real and honest. I struggle with the weight that has crept on me the past few years and I feel and struggle with exactly the same issues. It's almost as if I could have written this piece as well. I will be praying for your success. Ann Marie
I love how honest you are. I can relate to giving up, giving in to shame. I use my spinal problems as a reason to not excersizes even the Pilate's. My head and heart haven't hit that one yet. I have to tell you that since you blogged on your journey of clean eating it has been on my heart for so long and now I've been implementing it little at a time. I get foods according to my cookware I have ( if you know or have extra pots or pans I could use some) but seriously not processed foods is the goal. It's amazing how God's kingdom inspires us through each other and Him. Thanks for posting. Romans 6:1-3 msg is the start of setting out to live our new life in Christ
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Fight on sister in the power of the Holy Spirit. This battle is about far more than food. Can I suggest two mind renewing resources to help you in your fight? I'm going to, so if your answer is 'no' just disregard them. :) One is an article by an old guy: https://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/sdg/Chalmers,%20Thomas%20-%20The%20Exlpulsive%20Power%20of%20a%20New%20Af.pdf The other is a new book I'm plowing through right now. Awe by Paul Tripp. I'd love to hear your thoughts if you decide to read them.
Unknown said…
Thank for your blog. But how did you get a hold of my journal? :-) In other words, I totally relate to everything you wrote. I too have begun a fitness journey on leap year day "Leap into fitness" You are inspiring. You can do it. xoxo
julie brinson said…
Oh, I didn't mean to be 'unknown' this is Julie Brinson :-) I wrote the above post.

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