Friday, June 20, 2008

Weight Watching

Oh boy, this post is going to take a lot of humility...yesterday I joined Weight Watchers. The struggle against my weight has been life-long, and lately I am losing. So, I decided to attend the meeting with my mom since the small attempts I am making to lose the weight I have gained over the last year and half is not working.
It all started in high school when I turned 15 and really noticed that I had filled out in areas I was never filled out in before. Due to diet and exercise (something homeschool Moms have to work hard at training their kids in since the food is so available and there is no PE class...) in early teen years, I was gaining 10 lbs every year. At 15 I weighed 150, at 16, 160 and finally at 17, I was reaching 170. I decided that I had to stop this trend and started working out at Family Fitness (before it was 24Hour) and trying to eat better. I lost a little bit of weight and was 150 as I headed off to college. At 17, Biola's cafe could have been disastrous for my weight, but I started making good choices and I also started running consistently,
I was running about 4 miles a day. After a confusing time with boys, I was full of sadness and I dropped to 142. At this time I was running in the mornings and working out at night and not eating very much. From then until about 2 years ago I stayed just under 150.
After my divorce there was major stress in my life: I had to pay for the house mortgage myself and it was about 80% of my monthly check that would come and go. I was teaching 6/5ths, which means I am contracted to teach 5 periods a day, but I was teaching 6 without a prep period, I was also coaching track every day after school to try and bring extra income. I was extremely lonely as many of my friends did not know how to deal with the despair and confusion that Christians have about divorce. I am still very thankful to my Mom, above all, Aunt Sally, Christina, Jason and Andrea for coming along beside me to love me. Anyways, at that time, I was running about 20 miles a week and not eating very much. My weight went from its steady 150 to 142 again. That may not seem low, but on a 5'9" girl it is.
Then, Tim came into my life (start hallelujah music). We went out to eat, indulged our sweet tooth (he claims all his teeth are sweet) and just started putting on weight gradually. When we went on our honeymoon, he bought a whole stick of cookie dough to keep in our condo's fridge, we ate out, we drank, we were just so happy (and still are). Everyone told me, oh, it's ok, marriage makes you happy and people put on weight. But that didn't excuse the poor choices I was making, or how I was viewing food.
So, here I am, none of my clothes fit, my body has to work harder to do everything, and most importantly, I'm concerned that if God grants us a baby, I will fall deeper into weight gain permanently. So, about 6 weeks ago, I started running 3-4 miles about 3-5times a week. Yesterday, I started on the Flex plan limiting my food intake and trying to surrender to God my dependence on food to satisfy my feelings of emptiness. Tim has been a wonderful support, and I know that he is trying to change some unhealthy habits (he now eats only 6 cookies instead of 16 in one sitting). I guess I also was inspired by Rose who posted similar sentiments a while back. Rose, I am praying for you as you progress too =) Keep fighting that fight for God's glory.
I guess one valid question is: "Why do you want to lose weight, Lauren?"
I don't want it to be a vanity, but here are some reasons, maybe you can give me more.
1. I want to be a godly wife and mother- in order to be strong and fulfill that task as God desires, and looking toward his model of the Proverbs 31 woman, and Titus 2 wives, I have lots of work to do and I need to be fit and strong in order to do it well.
2. I don't want my every encounter with people to be so stressful. I want to bless others and minister to them and right now all the voices in my head are focused on how uncomfortable I am in my skin and not on the other person. This is more a surrendered heart thing, but if God is prompting this desire, I should slim down to minimize the distractions.
3. I want to bear healthy babies. I need to make smart food choices now that will grow a child efficiently.
4. My kids will model their eating habits after mine and my husbands. If fasting and eating and maintaining our bodies is a care of God's, then it should concern us too.
5. My husband will be less tempted to look elsewhere for physical gratification. Because I can't fit into any of my clothes, I looked ragged and frumpy in elastic band soccer shorts, too tight bras and shrinking cotton tanks I bought at Old Navy 6 years ago. Thankfully Tim works in a firehouse, so little to fret there, but men are bombarded by teeny, tiny, busty, scantily-clad women all day. Women who style their hair, put on some mascara and look nice even in modesty are better groomed than me at times. If I want to make myself the most inviting woman to my husband, I need to be attractive. And even if your husband tells you adoringly that you ARE the most beautiful (like Tim does to me), do I feel beautiful? Am I willing to be spontaneous, exciting and carefree in regards to my husband, or is my appearance hindering me?
6. It will ultimately benefit my extended family. Diabetes runs in my family, cancer forms, hearts stop, obesity is debilitating- just 10 extra pounds can raise your cholesterol 10 points!
I worry about the ramifications of health for my family, and we all know that prevention is the best medicine. If I don't do something, my body will work harder, strain further and suffer longer just for that one extra cookie I ate 3 times a week for the last 5 years. It's so easy to just pop things in our mouths, to choose seemingly healthy foods over ones that actually are (like Costco's delicious Rosemary Oil &Thyme Bread-yum!) So, for all you trying to lose weight, I'm with you in this battle. I surrender my desires to God and ask Him to see food as He sees it, to see my body as He sees it and to find glory in my discipline. I also pray that discipline will blanket my emotional life, my spiritual devotions and my crafty tongue. Now, time for lunch =) Love, Lauren
I would consider these my inspiration pictures:

December 2006 January 2007


Rose Starr said...

Oh my friend :) Doesn't it feel good to get those thoughts out?! Thank you for sharing and inspiring me. I took close to 2 months off due to a friend not exercising with me and just letting the demands of life be an excuse to sleep in.

Last Thursday (despite my stuffy head) I met my friend for water aerobics. It felt so good to get moving. I was sore the next morning, but was able to get up without feeling like I had a sleep hangover. I took the kids on 2 walks last week, tossed the frisbee around -running to catch and on Sat helped friends pull up sod.

I'm back into the mindset of health and exercise (exercise being the more difficult aspect for me). So, I'd love to have you check in on me from time to time if you think about it...I lost about 15 lbs in the beginning of this year, but would like to lose a few more pant sizes :)

I love the benefits you mentioned...especially being an example to my kids of a healthy lifestyle, not stressing too much about my weight, but keeping myself healthy so I can enjoy the life God has given me and have the energy level I need to keep up with my kids and husband ;)

So, Bravo for being so brave to share your heart...I will be praying for you and know God will grant you the help you desire. You are a beautiful woman who has encouraged me in many ways in the few years I've known you. Too bad we cannot go running together :)

Erin said...

Oh Lauren, thank you for sharing your heart. It is encouraging to hear others with the same struggles! I am right there with you! It is so easy to just say tomorrow I'll run and eat better. Something I do all the time. The only problem is those tomorrows tend to string together and suddenly it's weeks then months of eating bad and not exercising.

On my little frame putting on just an extra 10 pounds feels like 30 or more. You are right, it's not about being super thin it's about wanting to be healthy. This is especially important to me as Dave and I would love to start a family soon too.

I have started to eat healthier and try to get out and run/walk everyday or use our elliptical, but it's hard not having anyone up here to workout with or to call for encouragement- so I will definitely be sending encouraging words your way!!

I'm with Rose, too bad we don't live closer, I would go running with you too!