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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Why I Don’t Own A Scale

I don’t own a scale.  I know this is the only reason I remained committed to Medifast for the 90-days I set out.  There were days I wanted to quit and that it seemed too hard, but not having a scale kept me present.  In the past, if I weighed myself and I’d not lost or even gained a few pounds, I’d sabotage myself, feel like the whole process was worthless and eat like tomorrow would never come.  If I’d lost a few pounds, I’d feel like I could eat more and I wanted to celebrate with a little treat.  Either way, in the past owning a scale has prevented me from staying committed to my weight loss goals. 

It’s been an amazing summer.  

In the past, having all the kids home for summer could be very stressful for me, but since I’ve had my year-long experience with intermittent fasting and prayer our family has experienced a lot of healing.  There’s more love, more patience, more gratitude. I think once I changed, once I learned to love myself, once I learned to be more patience with myself and to notice the blessings in my life, once I gained a bit of perspective and realized what was really going on around here, once I faced my food addiction and negative body image issues, once I stopped procrastinating my personal goals, once I took ownership for my strengths and faults – it was like the mood of our home changed.  I’ve heard the mother of the home sets the tone and I can see how true that was in our home.  Once I believed I am a child of God it’s like everything changed.  Sure, our family still have struggles and I still have setbacks, but nothing like before. 

It’s been 5 months since I stopped intermittent fasting.  
October 2016

In March 2017, after 14 months of daily 16-hour fasts, I stopped and within days of “free eating”, I was struggling with body image issues again.  I wanted to eat for my emotional needs.  I was shocked at how fast my old habits came back and slapped me in the face. At first, I didn’t know what to do, but God and my family helped me. I realized if I didn’t have any eating guidelines, I was too out of control.  No longer could I live without food boundaries.  I celebrated the fact I’d finally matured around food.  I didn’t want food to rule me every again, so I set boundaries.  I faithfully tried Keto for six weeks, but didn’t have any success (I realize now it was because I was eating too much).  At the end of April, I prayed about it and decided to get on Medifast.  Oh man, the first two weeks were killer.  That sugar addiction is such a pull, but I knew how unhappy I’d be if I didn’t follow through.  It took six weeks!  SIX WEEKS! I can’t believe I held on that long but around the six week mark on Medifast, I felt a noticeable relief from that nasty sugar addiction.  It was no longer a habit to make chocolate cookies every day after my kids got home from school.  I still wanted sugary cereal, but Medifast has a wonderful high-protein cereal that took the edge off.  I was able to get off dairy and found new interests in my home to keep me occupied.  I was drawing girls for My Hundred Daughters project and the task of researching the girls of India was a great distraction from chocolate, cookies and sweets.

I now don’t care how much I weigh.  
August 2017
For someone who has always felt fat, this is a huge deal.  Losing weight to weigh a certain number has never worked for me.  It’s failed me time and time again.  Losing weight to look a certain way or wear a certain size has never worked for me. I’ve tried since I was 10 years old to diet so I fit in better with society, so I could have more friends, so I wouldn’t feel so bad about myself but that approach has never worked for me. It has only left me unfulfilled and insecure.  My year of fasting helped me learn to rely more on God, to think of the poor and hungry and to get out of my victim mentality.  90 days on Medifast taught me about self-control, portion size and to overcome my sugar addiction. I’m so thankful a loving God has directed me to my personal path to health and positive body image. 

I used to think a day or two of eating healthy should result in a drastic change in my weight, but 17 months later, I realize this is a life-long commitment.  Change takes more then even a couple of weeks of healthy eating. I never understood this level of commitment before, but I’ve found a wonderful substitution for sugar called Stevia.  Without it, I would not have lasted.  When I want something sweet, there is a Stevia treat waiting for me.

There are many dieting lies out there.  Lots of companies are trying to take advantage of your money.  They and many other financial and media outlets want you to look a certain way because they’ve deemed beauty one way or the other.  This makes them very rich and powerful. I had to let everything go.  I couldn’t worry about clothing size and weight.  I couldn’t compare myself anymore to other women. For me finding emotional/physical/spiritual health and eating the right foods had to start with God.  I could only love myself if I understood more clearly about how God sees the world, even how He sees me.  How does God see beauty?  How does God see women?  He made me for a purpose and it’s not to wallow in self-pity, regret and false expectations.   I remember as a girl and teenager praying God would just help me be thin.  I’m thankful I’ve had to work through Him to find my way.  A magic pill wouldn’t have done it.  It has helped me overcome so many other challenges.  For me, being overweight was like a spider web with many different paths, pulls and patterns of destruction. The struggle is real, but so are the rewards.  I still have a long journey ahead of me, but little by little, I’m learning to love myself enough to give myself the gift of long-term health, self-love and food boundaries.  It should come as no surprise that going without sugar, dairy and white flour results in weight loss.  When my clothes feel loser, I'm shocked and then have to laugh at myself. Of course after hard work and commitment there is success. It's small and takes time, but little by little the body does change.

Those of you who are struggling with your weight and body image, I know how you feel. I know God will help you.  Do not think how I used to and feel like you are too far gone.  We live in a society were 60-70% of us are overweight.  The food industry sucks.  They are lying to us everyday.  They are putting sugar, genetically modified foods and chemicals in the things we eat.  They want us and our children eating all the time.  Shame on them.  We deserve better.  Food was never meant to be what it has become. It’s really sick.  We have to rise up, be stronger and become more informed.  Everyday is a new commitment.  It’s alright to be happy where you’re at.  For me it was about both accepting where I was at, accepting that my weight does not change my self worth – to then – deciding to love myself enough to set boundaries.  There are two sides to this equation.  Loving who you are now and making goals to take better care of myself. I'm not an expert in weight loss, but I am passionate about helping others learn to love themselves, appreciate our bodies and overcome negative body image.

If you’re interested more in my experience with intermittent fasting and prayer, how I overcame food addiction, negative body image and finally lost weight, you can read my memoir Starving Girl available on Amazon and Kindle.
Book Trailer for Starving Girl.

Enjoy my Podcast on Youtube.

1 comment:

  1. So glad to see a new post from you, and thrilled that the Medfast worked for you:)