Friday, October 16, 2009
I live in a suburb of Chicago. It's been cold, rainy and generally miserable all week long. We've gotten out the fall coats, the warm cozy socks and the hot tea. My 3 yr. old daughter, Lucy, is an outdoors girl and in the summer is outside all day long. When I think of the sun I think of her.
This morning we were rushing out of the house to get her to preschool, myself to work, and my husband to run errands with the baby. It was a crazy morning, as some of you mothers out there can relate to. My car is not working so we are down to one car. We all have one goal in mind - to get where we are going.
I step outside with my daughter, me holding my briefcase, my purse, my lunch tote and my Medela Pump in one hand and her hand in the other. It is grey out. It is cold out.
She stops and looks around and says "It's a beautiful day out!"
I stop too, and look around, wondering what is beautiful about it. She goes on to say "It's not raining! Just a little chilly." (her vocabulary is great for a 3 yr. old).
I smile in amazement. My wonderful daughter could stop to see what was good about the day before us. She, the golden girl who loves the sun and has been cooped up since fall began, could see the beauty in this day that the Lord has given us.
She taught me a lesson today. It is a beautiful day! It's the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad!
I have been smiling like crazy ever since. I don't think anything could bring me down today.
Thank you Lord, for this beautiful day that You have made. I am glad.
(Photo below of Lucy with my nephew, her cousin, Tony as Wendy and Peter Pan)
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Last night I was wiping the counter top in our kitchen down and my husband came up behind me, like he often does, and he said "Wow!" I asked him what had happened, wondering if perhaps our 3 yr. old daughter had spilled yet another drink, or if our 2 month old had spit up somewhere. He showed me that he was able to fully hug me, and could touch both of his wrists. Before he was not able to do that. And I don't mean before as in throughout both of my pregnancies - of course, he wasn't able to hug me fully then -but even before that, when I weighed almost 300 lbs. He wasn't able to fully hug me, yet he did hug me.
My celebration is two-fold. I celebrate that my husband can now put his arms fully around me. I have lost 35 lbs. and a few dress sizes. I am getting leaner and healthier for myself and my family. Yet I also celebrate the fact that I have such a man who gives me love so unconditionally.
I met Jim, my husband, back when I was 18 years old. At that time I had just gotten out of my anorexic stage and was still pretty thin, although eating healthier. I wore a size 6/8 jean. I looked great. The first words he said to me were "My god, you are beautiful", later telling my best friend that I would be the woman he would marry. We did, in fact, marry after many years of love and friendship. However those years have taken their toll. Being a person who has always struggled with weight and food issues I began to gain weight - now that I was no longer anorexic I perhaps ate too much food. The love of a good man also nourished me. Throughout the years I have gained over 100 lbs. 100 lbs. is a lot of weight to carry, and it's not something you can hide. Yet this man has loved me throughout this time without question. He has not made me feel like I am this size, like I am unhealthy. The look in his eyes has not changed, he still looks at me with utter love. I sometimes wonder why? Why and how can this man love me so much? Who am I to deserve this love?
I have a gift of this man's love and adoration yet sometimes I cannot accept that. The sad reality is we are not always able to not identify what love really is. In a daily bible study the question came up about what love is and how do you know what love really is?
We only have to consult the bible for detailed descriptions of what love is. John 13 4:7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I could say more but I donít think itís necessary. I rejoice in the fact that my husband loves me with the sort of love Jesus has for us all. The kind of love that never dies.
Thank you, Lord, for giving me the strength to persevere through this chapter of my life and getting healthier. Thank you, Lord, for sending me my husband as a friend, companion and as a reminder of your faithful love for us always.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
" Competition is easier to accept if you realize
That it is not an act of aggression.
I've worked with my best friends in direct competition.
Whatever you want in life
Other people are going to want it, too.
Believe in yourself enough to accept the idea
That you have an equal right to it."
--- Diane Sawyer
Thank you, Dark_Storm, for posting the above quote in the 30 somethings wanting to lose 100 lbs. team! It really helped me see something from a different point of view.
I recently joined a Mommy Boot Camp at my gym. It started a week ago and on the first night I joined the group of about 20 women who were gathered near the track to get tested and start boot camp. The problem was, I was the only one there who was even slightly overweight. All of the other moms were thin, nearly all of them in really good shape! I'm talking muscular legs and the stance of an athelete. I was overwhelmed and suddenly felt naked, like everyone could see just how out of shape I am and what in the heck was I doing there. I, in turn, wondered what all of these athletes needed a boot camp for anyway? I am not just overweight, but I am considered morbidly obese at 264 lbs. I haven't run in at least 20 years when it was required in High School. Yet I was here, at this Boot Camp, surrounded by these beautiful, in shape women. I was terrified.
After doing countless pushups, situps, squats and planks it was time to tackle the stairs. I had heard about this from people at my gym but now I was in the thick of it. We were told to run up the stairs, taking every other stair, three times. There were 5 flights of stairs. I could barely walk up every other stair, let alone run. I did my best though, and the first set I did take every other stair. The next sets after I took every stair. We did three sets of this, so that is 9 times up and down the 5 flights of stairs. Needless to say, by the end it was all I could do to walk up the stairs, holding onto the railing (which you aren't supposed to do) and wanting to die inside. But I kept going. I felt bad for the others, that they had to deal with such an overweight person in their boot camp (note I say "their" not "our") I was holding them up. I was embarassed and ashamed. I started to stop at the top of the flight to let the entire group of 20 women go in front of me, so as to not slow them down.
Wait a second here...wasn't I in this for me? Don't I have a right to this, as the quote above says? I realized that this isn't the first time in my life that I've put myself second, or third, or fourth. You get the idea. Just because I am overweight doesn't mean I am a second class citizen. And the thing of it is, for all I know none of these women thought badly of me. It was me thinking these negative thoughts, not them.
This thought was further exemplified by the next thing that happened. As I was rounding a corner, red-faced and about to faint, a girl joined me and ran next to me. She said "You are doing a great job. When I was 7 wks. postpartum I would never have been able to do this." I looked at her, tears in my eyes, both grateful and ashamed at the same time. Grateful for her kind words, words that I hadn't expected to come from her, the most beautiful and in shape girl on the team. Ashamed because I was the one who was judging. I judged them for their athleticism and good looks just as I thought they were judging me. I realized that maybe, just maybe, these girls wanted me to succeed just as much as they wanted to succeed themselves. That maybe this boot camp stuff is a team effort and we all win.
I looked up the definition of T.E.A.M. and it means: Together Everyone Achieves More. I like the sound of that.
It's interesting that in the word "Impossible" there are actually two words: "I'M" and "POSSIBLE". I am possible. I AM POSSIBLE. So therefore, nothing is impossible.
I also realized that I can be an inspiration to these women, I can show up every day, show my heart, and do my best. That's all anyone can ask and I pray to God for the strength to do this with grace and to take the self-pity out of my heart, it doesn't belong there, it belongs on the floor, along with my sweat.
"For nothing is impossible with God."
~ Luke 1:37 (NIV)
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it."
~ 1 Corinthians 9:24 ESV
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I am so thankful now more than ever for the many blessings in my life that the Lord has bestowed upon me. Most recently the birth of my beautiful daughter, Marlo, who will be 8 weeks old tomorrow. He has also gifted me with the most wonderful and caring husband a woman could ask for. On top of that is my 3 yr. old daughter, Lucy, who is so smart and bright and caring. She has a true heart of gold. I also have my health. Yes, I am overweight but I am healthy. I can walk, run to lose this weight. Lord, thank you for all of these things and more.
Lord, let me thank you.
I thank you for:
* my fear, which sends me under your wing;
* my doubt, which obsesses me with you;
* my shame, which strips me of self;
* my frustration, which exhausts my competence;
* my perfectionism which exposes my shortcomings;
* my failures, which break my heart;
* your birth, for giving value to my world;
* your life, for showing the way of your kingdom;
* your death, for cleansing sin's decay;
* your resurrection, for breaking the wall of death;
* your righteousness, imputed to me;
* your coming again to restore your creation to wholeness;
* your love, which sets me free for all eternity.
Selection Taken From:
101 Cups of Water: Relief and Refreshment for the Tired, Thirsty Soul by C.D. Baker
Thursday, November 13, 2008
"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God."
~ Psalm 20:7
This comes from "The Dieter's Prayer Book" by Heather Kopp.
Diet is not a four letter word. Diet does not have to mean deprivation. It can be viewed as:
D - a Decision to change the way I eat and the way I approach food.
I - an Invitation to experience God's power and guidance
E - an Educated plan for long-term health and happiness
T - a Trust that God will never give up on me or love me less - no matter what
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