My Weight Loss Journey – Part 2

For Part 1 GO HERE

By the beginning of 2009, Art and I both realized our business was failing (see A Business Lost).  We ewere short on employees, working 10-12 hour days just trying to keep it afloat.  For lunch, we would run to one of the myriad fast food restaurants nearby and grab whatever we wanted.  I love to cook, but during this time I was so tired when we got home that we usually resorted to more fast food or take out.  Sometimes we wouldn’t eat dinner until 9 or 10 pm.

We closed the doors on our golf shop on May 31, 2009 and I fell into a depression.  I had two small part-time jobs that I went to faithfully, but most of the rest of the time I slept.  Or ate.  At my heaviest, in January 2010, I weighed 176 pounds.  I hadn’t been on a scale in months and was shocked.  It’s funny that when you look at yourself in a mirror everyday, you often miss the changes that are happening to your body.  I knew I was up to a size 12 (tight), but I didn’t realize how much weight I had put on.

I decided to go back to Sparkpeople.  Started hot and heavy with Wii exercises and the treadmill and tracked my food faithfully for the first 3 months.  By March I had lost 11 pounds.  Then I caught a bad cold and lost my momentum.  I think it was because I had never really been an active participant in the teams.  Sparkteams are a way to connect with people in a similar situation to yours and to find and give motivation.  I have always been so shy that it was difficult for me to reach out to people I had never met. I fell off the wagon again and was back up five pounds by the end of the year.

January 2011 I went back to Sparkpeople this time at 170 pounds.  I knew I had to do things differently – I just wasn’t sure how.  The first thing I saw when I signed in was the New Year, New You challenge.  Those who signed up for the challenge committed to exercising for at least 500 minutes during the month, as well as following Coach Nicole’s short exercise videos (usually strength training) and tracking our food a few days a week.  Nothing huge, but it did feel doable.

I also found a team that was reading the book A Course in Weight Loss by Marianne Williamson.  This 21 week  study really helped me to see that my issues with food came from fears and resentments I had built up inside me over the years.  As I have found a way to let the bitterness go it has become much easier to find other sources of comfort than food.  I also bonded with the ladies in the group and finally understood the benefit of Sparkteams.  When the New Year, New You challenge was over I immediately joined another challenge to keep me accountable (currently I am participating in the Winter 5% challenge – Go Teddy Bears!!).  I also found a couple of teams that had similar interests/concerns to me.  I make sure to check in on Sparkpeople every day – even just to talk to others if I don’t feel like exercising.  Over the course of 2011 I lost another 15 pounds for a total of 21.   I finally feel like I have found the right formula for a healthy lifestyle.

I haven’t given anything up – I don’t crave many of the foods I used to turn to comfort, but when I feel like I want to have them I do – just in carefully controlled portions.  And I don’t feel guilty when I see other people losing weight at a much faster pace than I am.  I just remind myself that I am getting there slowly but surely, and as the turtle said, “Slow and steady wins the race.”

Me - March 2010

 

Me - October 2011

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Time to Heal

Last year I started a new tradition. At the beginning of the year, I picked a theme for personal growth.  2010 was my year of forgiveness.  My husband, Art, and I went through a Lenten study on forgiveness at our church in March of 2010 and I was finally able to do something I thought would never be possible. The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do; I forgave the man who murdered my biological father.  The latter was finally achieved by understanding that justice is not mine, but God’s.  It is not to my benefit to continue to harbor anger against someone, no matter what they have done to me.

Mind you, forgiveness doesn’t have to mean forgetting.  The old adage, “Forgive and forget,” is just not fair.  Forgetting about a heinous crime is not possible and forgetting that someone has perpetrated abuse on you could prove dangerous if the perpetrator chooses to repeat that abuse.

2011 is my year of “no fear.”  I started the year reading A Course in Weight Loss by Marianne Williamson.  Lesson 1, titled “Tear Down the Wall” has an exercise in which we are asked to imagine that all our painful feelings are bricks in a wall that is keeping us from trusting and fully connecting with other people.  We are to name our feelings, write them down on slips of paper and then attach names of people or events to each one.  The emotion for me that had the most events and people attached to  it was fear, but I also noticed that I had quite a few people still attached to anger.  It was then I realized that sometimes, fear and lack of forgiveness go hand in hand.  Our reluctance to forgive can cause a lack of trust towards people who have never hurt us.

Currently I am in a study focused on Renee Swope‘s,  A Confident Heart.  This book is all about losing our doubt and fear of failure and moving on to the life and goals that God has intended for us.  An exercise Renee suggests is to make a timeline of painful moments in your life.  Doing this exercise, I came to see I was again harboring some anger towards people from my past, including toward myself for things I had done to hurt others and myself.  Fortunately, I watched Melissa Taylor‘s vlog from October 13, 2011,  and learned  another aspect of forgiveness.  As Melissa says, “I have to keep reminding myself that I forgave that person.”

Renee Swope suggests that we pray over each event, asking God to “heal your heart and your hurts.”  She also reminds us of another reason why forgetting about our past is not an option: “God could use my mistakes and hurts for His greatest purposes.”  As an example, as a result of being rejected and teased by other children, I taught my children to reach out and friend those who others made fun of or ignored.

As Rose Sweet writes, in her book A Woman’s Guide to Healing the Heartbreak of Divorce, “Forgiveness is a process, not an event.” I see that the year of forgiveness and the year of no fear may alternate on my calendar for the rest of my life.