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!

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?

Passion vs Urgency

“With great PAIN comes great change.  If you’re not ready to change, then you’re not in enough pain!” I can’t say who this quote is from because their was no name mentioned underneath it but I found it to be interesting!

In his book, “The Last Arrow”  one of my favorite quotes of Erwin McManus is “Passion is about what fuels us, urgency is about how much it matters right now.”  These two quotes have so much meaning to me about my journey to change me relationship with food.

First of all, great pain does call for change.  Sometimes when you are experiencing pain, you retreat and blame.  Other times you feel such an urgency to change that the thought of remaining in pain is unbearable.  I was in pain, not just physically but emotionally and spiritual as well, for close to 30 years due to my relationship with food.  Through that 30 years, there were many other painful experiences that happened in my life and I handled those experiences through the huge underlining pain of food addiction.

Passion fueled me time and time again to try hundreds of different ways to lose weight or to talk myself into accepting my problem.  Passion kept me on a diet for awhile, but it was never enough!  Passion kept me on my search for a solution but it wasn’t enough to keep trying until I found it.

On the other hand, urgency to fix this problem of mine, is what ultimately pushed me to the point of no return!  I have often said that younger people who suffer from food related obsessions, do not have the same sense of urgency because they think they still have time to find a solution…that a solution will show up in their lives.  For me, at the age of 54 and health numbers that would scare anyone, my sense of urgency hit an all time high.  I had no more time to wait!  I had to fix this and I had to do it now!

My passion to change this wasn’t enough but my urgency to fix this now, was ultimately my way out of pain!

 

Why the “Last Arrow” book is about me!

Several days ago I posted a review from “The Last Arrow” book and I listed some of my favorite quotes from the book.  I didn’t write about why they were my favorites and their correlation to my blog so here it is.

Quote #1

“There is a shift that happens when you refuse to remain or be defined by the average, and it comes when you cross a line others would consider madness.  While everyone around you is telling you it can wait, you know you can’t”.

In my experience, when your life has something in it that you do not want, in order to truly change it, you have to experience this shift.  In my situation, it was my inability to control my food.  I knew that everyone under the sun was treating their problem with weight and food with one or more of the million things the diet industry was selling.  None of these average options were for me because nothing I tried worked.

I wanted a solution to my “problem”!  I did not want another temporary fix.  I knew that I had to go beyond what most others had tried to do.  Giving up flour and sugar…for life, seemed like madness to most people who knew me.  They thought I was setting myself up for a sure to fail plan.  Others thought I had picked a route that was too drastic!

I have said it before, you can not make a permanent change in your life if you don’t have a total shift in the way you presently think.  When we are younger and struggle with food and weight, we think we have so much time to find a solution or that a solution will show up in our lives.  The urgency isn’t there when we are younger.  When you get as old as me, your urgency changes because your realize that you are running out of time.

This shift also happens when you decide that you will not live in your current situation for one moment longer!  Once I realized this, I was willing to do whatever it took.  If recovery of this lifelong burden was giving up flour and sugar, then so be it!  And I then wasted NO time and went for it immediately. If someone I knew told me that they were going to do what I did, I would have thought them MAD as well!

Where I am at now…I am so thankful that I experienced that shift!

How does this quote speak to you?