After going on a ridiculously low calorie diet, I lost the weight I thought I needed to lose. A few weeks later, it was back—plus more. Little did I know that the same cycle would repeat itself over and over again for the next 20 odd years!
I became a diet queen. I tried:
- Richard Simmons’ Deal-a-Meal (three times)
- Weight Watchers (twice)
- Stop the Insanity
- Fit for Life
- Butter Busters
- Counting calories
- Counting carbohydrates
- Counting fat grams
I even tried an Optifast-like program, similar to the one that Oprah tried. Unfortunately, I experienced the same result that she did; my pounds came back with lightening speed plus more.
Between the diets, my eating habits were awful. I loved my “goodies”: Candy bars, Doritos, and potato chips were favorites. I thought nothing of eating at fast food restaurants for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Even though I knew about nutrition from my training as a nurse, I didn’t apply it. It seemed easier to just zip through the drive-thru.
When I changed careers from nursing to training/technical writing, the problem got worse; a job I had taken required extensive travel, so I ate out in nice restaurants on the company’s expense account, ordering appetizers and desserts along with my meals. After all, I wasn’t paying for it! As my weight climbed, my life deteriorated to simply work, watch television, and sleep. I was up to a size 22 by then.
I knew something had to change. I was young, but I felt much older. I liked myself, but I didn’t respect myself; deep down I knew I was settling for what was easy instead of what was best. I wanted to find a quick fix, a loophole that would allow me to continue to eat the junk food, but look good and feel fabulous. Ironically, I only realized that I would never find a loophole when I began tackling an entirely different area of my life that had also spun out of control: my finances.
As I learned the discipline necessary to work my way out of $19,000 worth of credit card debt, I also learned the discipline necessary to begin living what I know about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. First, I implemented spiritual disciplines in my life and cut out all junk food from my diet. I added complex carbohydrates to my diet, increased my servings of fruits and vegetables, and ate modest amounts of lean protein. Water was my primary beverage.
For exercise, I started with 15 minutes, 5 days a week, then worked my way up to 45 minutes to 1 hour 5 days per week. I got an accountability partner to help me stay on track, a coworker who had a healthy lifestyle and was in fantastic shape. The pounds started coming off.
I won’t lie to you; I did stumble a few times. But, the memory of my diet failures made me get back on track immediately. I was determined to win this time, no matter how long it took. Plus, I soon started to feel so much better with the junk food out of my life that the foods I wanted to eat started to change. Now when I looked at Doritos, I was thinking about how awful they ultimately made me feel, not how good they tasted.
However, the ultimate reason for my success this time was implementing spiritual disciplines in my life. I lay my concerns before God and ask Him to give me wisdom to make wise health choices. I meditate on weight loss scriptures. I believe this practice gives me the power, courage, and peace I need to be able to practice healthy habits in my daily life.
The day I fit into a size 8 was wonderful. I haven’t been that small since I was a teenager. I had developed high blood pressure from the excess weight, but the doctor cut my medication in half (I also have a family history of high blood pressure).
Something had changed in me. I had been sleepwalking all of those years and I was now fully awake, engage and excited about life. I was now in the game and having the time of my life!
How would your life change if you decided to take control of your health today? How would the lives of your children and the generations after them?
Sometimes I wish that I could transplant how good I feel today into the people I meet. I’m confident that if they got a taste of what true wellness feels like, they wouldn’t want to live any other way.
I pray many blessings upon you and most of all, I pray that you do something good for your health today so you can be blessed to live well for a lifetime.