Giving Credit to the right Source

After losing 150+ pounds, you can just imagine how many people ask me on a daily basis what I did to lose it!  I have said it many times before on this blog…that is a loaded question!

My intention for today’s blog is to give credit where credit is due!  I haven’t lost one pound on my own! In fact, the best I could do “on my own” was to weigh 320 lbs. and have a very unhealthy mind and body!

We have a saying in my recovery program.  God can and will do for me what I can not do for myself if HE is asked!  This is absolutely the key!

This is the end to

  • always searching to find a way, any way
  • paying for something in the hopes it would work for me,
  • studying hours on end trying to find an answer,
  • reading the million books about either how to lose the weight or how to accept it,
  • waking up each Monday morning with the hope that I can eat correctly today only to be lost in food by noon,
  • feeling inferior every moment of my life because everyone else seemed to get this food thing right
  • punishing myself by starving myself
  • hating myself for whatever it was that was wrong with me

and the list goes on and on!

But God took it all away from me as soon as I gave it to HIM.  So my part in all of this was to just give it to HIM!  God did 99% and I did 1%!

Don’t get me wrong, I do not use GOD as a genie or anything.  I grew up in a “you have just got to try harder” atmosphere.  I was in a very religious household where we loved God and Jesus.  However, I did not have any understanding of a “higher power” and how that works in your life.  There was not much recognition of any power other than my own! If anything was going to change in my life, I was the one in charge of finding the way!  Everything will be OK if I just try harder!

Left on my own, I would still be 320 lbs. or even more and I would still be unhealthy and miserable.  Like any addiction, you need to rely on a power greater than yourself to recover.  It has nothing to do with will power.  It is more like my will to turn it over and God’s power to take it away from me.

Yes, I really do give ALL the credit to GOD! And I am so grateful to know that God’s miracles don’t just happen to everyone else BUT me because I am now included as a recipient of HIS miracles!

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Serving the god of food

When you are serving the god of food there is little room to serve our one true Creator or anyone else for that matter!

For those of us that serve the god of food..the lure of food is everywhere!  The promise that we are going to feel better just by eating something is so overpowering that it leaves us weak.  Everywhere we turn, food is begging us to come and join it!  We watch TV and it is there!  We read our facebook timeline and it is there!  We open a magazine and it is there.  We stand in line at a retail store and it is there.  It is located in the central area of our houses.  Every meeting, church event, sports game, holiday, celebration of any kind and it is there!

It’s sheer presence controls us! It is something we constantly look forward to.  We get up in the morning thinking about our day ahead and the food that will be available to us.  We try to make good choices and decisions, but the lure of the junk food is always on our minds.  Our thoughts of food rob our concentration and focus.  It lulls us away from experiencing the present moment.  Some of foods substances fog our mind.

A smell of food can put us in an absolute frenzy!  And these smells are everywhere…always calling us to it!  We become so used to eating whenever we feel stressed, happy, sad, joyous, scared, worried and relieved.  We top off our feelings, good or bad, with food.  We eat just to take the edge off.  When our stomachs tell us we are hungry, we run to the food.

Everything in our life is centered around food.  Our schedules are built around it.  When we are at work, we look so forward to that 15 min break or hour lunch so we can eat something!  We make sure that food is always in our schedule and if something happens that our schedule becomes mucked up and eating is put off or prolonged…watch out, we are on the war path!

Now take everything I just said and replace food with GOD and just imagine how unbelievably different life would be!

Warning! This post contains pro-vanity!

I have come to realize that you can tell much about how you really feel about your body by how you feel about the clothes in your wardrobe!

A saying that we have in our recovery program is that we come into the program of recovery for vanity but we stay in for the sanity!  When you are knee deep into an addiction of any type, your life can be insane!  If you just want to lose some weight, that is usually driven by some vanity!

I have always really liked clothes!  I have never been able to spend the money I would like on clothes, but I have always been very picky about the clothes that I can purchase.  Those magical moments when I try something on and just know that THIS IS IT, is pretty fun!  You just know that when others see you, they are going to truly admire your good taste and compliment you on it!  Such a rush!

You might be wondering, though, how it was for me when I was wearing a size 32!  It was not so fun!  I had to always purchase clothes that covered things that I felt needed to be covered (like my huge stomach). I felt very limited at expressing any kind of taste of mine and that frustrated me.  I was also forced to buy almost all of my clothes at specialty stores and online (where I couldn’t feel the magic).  I truly loathed myself for not having control over my food and these limitations made me loathe myself even more.

Even at size 32 I tried really hard to find those clothes that I thought would stop other’s in their tracks and take note!  But no, it seemed that no one noticed!  I got used to never being complimented on my clothing.  I still hoped upon hope that someone would notice…but they rarely did!  As a result, my self confidence also was erased!  I know, I know, I should never attach self confidence to what I wore…but I do!

Looking in my closet for something to wear over the last 25 years has, at times, brought tears to my eyes.  I had a ton of clothes and I didn’t like any of them.  I also did not like how I looked in any of them!  Somehow I knew that there was another ME buried under this huge body that I longed to see again!  I longed to express my taste through my clothes like I did so many years ago!  I tried really hard to always look my best, but I was never satisfied by the outcome!

I write about this because it was such a huge, everyday, disappointment for me for all these years.  It affected everything.  Sounds so shallow to admit how much this all meant to me, but it is truly how I felt!  No matter what I did, I was not happy by the way I looked ALL THE TIME!  I really think this is a good indication of how accepting we are of where we are at with our weight!

Just wanted to report, that after 21 years of marriage, today, for the first time ever, my husband said something to me that I have been waiting to hear.  He said “I am just so impressed by how sharp you look!  You look good in everything you wear and have such good taste in clothes!”  I WAS FLOORED!  I am now at the point that every single piece of clothing hanging in my closet, not only fits, but I really like it ON ME!

Twenty five years of my lack of self confidence in this area of my life…GONE!  Thank you God!

Dreading the sweating!

I was having a conversation with a friend today and she asked me this question, “What is the one thing that you really like about being in a right size body?”.  Even though the list is long, I found myself answering “no more sweating”!

I have written before that I am not sure about why I don’t sweat anymore.  Is it because I do not have sugar in my system?  Or is it from having no flour? Or is it because I have very little fat  on my body?  I believe it has something to do with the lack of flour and sugar.  I stopped sweating when I still had 70 pounds to lose.

My whole life has centered around sweat.  I have been a head sweater ever since I can remember.  My hair is very thin and it would just always look terrible when I sweat…which was all the time.  My face would just melt as well.  I am the kind of woman who wears makeup everyday.  You can just imagine what all this sweat did to my made up face!

Everything I did and every plan I made revolved around whether or not I was going to sweat.  I have written before about jobs that I have had and how sweating at those jobs made me dislike the work involved.  I HATE to sweat!  I do not like sweating even when it is appropriate like when exercising!  I believe it had to do with not looking or feeling fresh!

I have the best collection of had held fans that anyone has ever seen!  I had to have a ceiling fan in every room and another fan blowing right in my face while applying makeup.  When I would blow dry my hair, I would get so sweaty that my hair constantly frizzed up.  Waterproof make-up was my best friend!

I could not take a walk in the middle of the day because I would sweat so bad (even when it was freezing outside) and would be all yucky for the rest of the day.  If I was invited anywhere that involved the possibility of me sweating, I usually declined!  I stopped drinking the moderate amount of alcohol just because I sweat when I drank!

As you can see, my whole life evolved around me sweating!

No one told me that this would be one of the benefits of my recovery!  I just found out by realizing that one day, I wasn’t sweating anymore!  I know it sounds dumb, but I am so much more peaceful and open to anything because of this lack of sweating.  And, yes, I love the fact that my hair always looks pretty decent!

What changes are you most excited about!

Dear God, why aren’t you answering my prayer?

How many times in my life have I been down on my hands and knees (when I was physically able) begging God to help me with my food problems and my weight?  Too many, I lost count.

It would sound something like this:  On Sunday night, I would say, “Dear God, You know how miserable my life is being so overweight.  I really want to do better and lose this weight.  I am starting a new program tomorrow.  It cost me a lot of money!  Please, please help this work for me.  I think this might be it.  It might be the solution for me!  Please make it work! Thank you, Maureen”.  The hope that God would help me was always there on day 1.  When the program did not work or stopped working, I felt like God abandoned me!

How could God be OK with me having to live my life with these two major issues?  Did God not want me to lose weight?  Was this something I shouldn’t ask God to help me with?  Was I not worthy of receiving God’s help?  Had I messed up so bad in my life that God’s grace and mercy were dried up? All these questions I have had for years and years. I will admit, I was irritated with God because he didn’t answer my prayers about this.  Made me feel like I couldn’t count on Him for this or anything else!

Thank you God that through recovery…I now understand!  My prayers that appeared to be unanswered had nothing to do with my worthiness!  I had no idea that when I ask God for “help”, it is another way of saying that I know what I am doing but I just need your “help” to seal the deal.

I tried so hard to figure this out and do it on my own.  I searched a lifetime for answers.  I would have paid money (that I didn’t have) to anyone else who could guide me to resolving this problem of mine. Little did I know that the REAL power to heal me was available to me all the time!  At no charge!

The shift happened when I realized, by the grace of GOD, two things.  One was that God wasn’t interested in me just losing weight!  That could, and did happen many times!  I did lose weight!  But I never got “rid” of the problem!  God was interested in my being HEALED.  In God’s infinite wisdom, He knew that me just losing weight, would make things even worse for me and that it would push me away further from the REAL issue by putting a bandaid on the problem!

The second thing I realized was the difference in God “helping” me and God “doing it” for me!  When you let go of it and turn it completely over to God, great things start happening!  God doesn’t need to help ME with anything!  But I need God to DO for me with everything!

Once I realized these two important things, my prayers were answered and the miracles started happening!  Once I let God’s power totally take over…it all happened…just like that!  God has done 99% and I do the remaining 1%!

Learn from my experience!  We don’t need God to help us with whatever our scheme is to improve our lives, we need God to take it over and do it HIS way!

If you find yourself in need of recovery, please visit http://www.foodaddicts.org anywhere in the world!

What shall I do now? Anything I want!

I find myself at a turning point in my life.  I just recently lost my job because the woman I took care of moved to a nursing home.  Doing that same kind of work is OK but I feel myself gravitating to doing something else.

What that something else is…I have no idea!  I feel like the whole world has been open up to me.  When I think of the jobs I have had over the past 30 years when I was in the food, I can’t believe how many of them I settled on.  I was so limited by my physical body.  I could only do certain things.  Some jobs I took were very physically difficult for me (other people…probably not so much).  I suffered through each and every shift!

One odd job I took was a level supervisor in an area stadium during pro football games.  I was on my feet walking all around this huge stadium for about 12 hours.  I was the crabbiest supervisor in the entire place because I was so physically uncomfortable that it made me extremely irritable.

Let’s not forget about the sweating!  I was always so hot and uncomfortable.  Sometimes I would hide out in the beer coolers just to cool off!  I sweat so bad that I looked like a drowned rat by the time I got off of work!

I can’t quite believe right now the limits that I had made for myself in my ability to earn a living.  The thought of my inability to physically handle so many jobs was downright frightening!

Now that I have to find another job, I am just now realizing that I can do just about any job (within reason) and I do not feel that I have that many physical limitations anymore.  I don’t get hot anymore or even sweat, for that matter.  Even though I am 55 (at least for another week), I have never in my life felt that job wise…I am open for anything!

It isn’t easy for me to wrap my head around this.  In the past, I always had to worry about being able to physically perform for anything I wanted or had the chance to do.  I still think that way and have to restructure my thinking accordingly!

The amazing thing about being in a right size body is that you feel like your limitations have been lifted!  Why did I live so long with so many limitations?  How many opportunities have come my way that I had to pass up because I was physically unable?  All because I couldn’t control my food!  All because I didn’t know how to control my food or what was wrong with me!

In finding a solution to my problem, I found my real life!  I found the journey that GOD always had intended for me! Thank you God for this miracle!   I am going to follow God’s lead on this one!

If not food, what is there to look forward to?

Recently, I was in a discussion with a friend and she said that the thought of not looking forward to food taking the edge off, was more frightening than anything she could imagine!

I was shocked!  Then I realized that that was me before recovery!  I was so centered in handling my problems with food.  I look back on it and wonder if I didn’t create problems and unhappiness just so I could give myself permission to eat!  No kidding!  I have been thinking long and hard about this!

When I entered any diet, I would gear myself up for the fact that during the diet, I wasn’t going to be able to eat to take the edge off.  I could do it for a while, but because I hadn’t learned how else to take the edge off, I went right back to using the food as my drug.  I never lost the amount of weight that I needed to lose on any diet (although I lost some) because I was never able to stick through it. I couldn’t and didn’t know how to cope in my life without the freedom of food!

I beat myself up for so many years because I thought that I was such a failure in the area of food!  Why didn’t these diets work for me when they seemed to work for everyone else!  I would see the ads in magazines and on TV thinking that everyone could do this except for me!  I never realized that I was using food as a drug to cope with my life and that is the reason that I couldn’t give it up.  That was the reason that the thought of not having the freedom to eat whatever I wanted and however much I wanted, was totally and completely frightening to me!

That is why only a spiritual recovery would work for me!  I had to change how I took the edge off in my life!  Funny thing happened along the way…once I got food out of the way, I found out that there were very few times I needed to take the edge off!

Life is funny that way!  As I ponder this part of my past, I am learning more and more about my present!  Loving every minute of it!

Do you find yourself looking to food to take the edge off?