Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How Did I Get Here?

Good morning to each of you. I pray that this new series I am beginning will both encourage and challenge you. The above picture is of me and a dear friend, Jean. We go back quite a few years. She and her daughter Jess are kindred spirits. Recently, I had to go to their neck of the woods and got to see them. I place high value on those in my life who are kindred spirits. I have been blessed to have several in my life through the years. We speak truth into each other's life. Our love and respect for each other run deep in our veins. I know tons of people who I enjoy spending time with, but only a handful have been my bosom friends, that special kindred spirit.

It was during this time with Jean and Jess that we discussed a very tough topic for me, my weight. Gasp, breathe Jill. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined writing about something so personal. I always promised myself that when I write I would be real, so here is the real deal.

Hi, my name is Jill and I am a foodaholic. I know it is not a real word but I guess that is what I have become. How in the world did I get here? I have been going through lots of pictures lately for Michael's graduation and open house. People who have only known me in the last 5 years have no idea how far I have come. 

Except for being a chunky baby I was a skinny kid. I ran, I biked, I swam and all that time I ate like a horse and food filled up both hollow legs and then ran right back out. I didn't have an ounce of fat on me, ever. In high school I swam two periods a day and would jump out of the pool when the fist bell rang and then flew to class holding my shoes in my hands and my hair flying down my back dripping wet. I never even thought about what I looked like or what I weighed. Some where deep inside of me I still feel like that high schooler running with her shoes in her hands with my hair flying behind me dripping wet. 

When I look at the above picture though I realize I sure don't look that way now. How in the world did I get to look like that? Now, I know some of you are going to say things like, "oh Jill stop being so silly, you are fine, don't worry, you're not young anymore"  But my dear kindred spirit said it well, Jean said, "Jill, this is NOT you." Speak truth into my life dear friend.

I know that I am wiser and smarter than I was all those years ago and that my value has never changed. So please hear me when I say that my value as a person hasn't changed. What has changed is that I am no longer healthy and I no longer possess self discipline. I know that my body is the temple of God's Spirit and I have hurt my body. Oh, I didn't self mutilate, nothing that dramatic but I have hurt my body none the less. I sure had no intention of being unhealthy. In fact, I have been going to the gym for the last couple of years again, swimming and working out, and still I eat and gain weight.

I can tell you the exact date my body started to fall apart, the day our brand new 14 year old son walked into our lives. I had been swimming 5 days a week and doing a triathlon. I was in the best shape of my life and that is saying something considering how athletic I was since being a kid. 

The emotional toll that it took on my brain and on my body are too numerous to count. I had to stop going to the gym because our newest son was such a handful he couldn't be left in the house alone even at 5 a.m. when I would usually work out. The stress of having him in the house was incredible. As happy as I was to have him become a part of the family I just could not keep the stress at bay, so I started eating a little more than normal. Then, we added our 7th son just six months later and I ate even more. I did not handle the stress well so food became my comfort. 

This didn't happen all at once. This was a very slow gradual weight gain for me. If you only gain a pound a month but keep it going over the course of multiple years then you have a problem, a real problem. At some point that less than a pound a month became an extra 60 pounds. I feel like I have been the proverbial frog in the water. Ever so slowly the heat got turned up and slowly I started eating a little more here and little more there. Until, now I am like the frog, blown up big by the heat!

This has been such a private struggle that I have shared almost nothing with anyone. I can walk into a room and look at other women and compare by asking myself this question, am I bigger or smaller than she is? That is a terrible truth my dear. My attitude has been all wrong. I have tried to ignore my problem by seeing myself as that young girl running down the hall but when I look in the mirror that does not lie I am no longer that gal.

If obesity was only the visual problem then I say forget trying to be skinny and just eat to your hearts content. In fact, if the LORD allows me to live into my 80's then I am going to chuck eating healthy and eat what I want! Really!

For now though I need to take back my body and practice what I preach to all our young pregnant Mama's. It is kind of hard to look at a pregnant woman and read her food diary and encourage her to change her eating habits to a healthier lifestyle and continue to  eat too much food. It is being hypocritical. Of course the women work with are all young. I could eat anything and still not gain weight at that age. 

Reality sinks back in again. My will power has left me and I have lacked the self control I need to get this done. I have tried counting calories, doing Weight Watchers etc and nothing has helped. So where do I go from here? Good question. I will try and answer that next time.

Till next time. 
In Christ Alone, 

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely love your heart. You are so truthful, and honest about something that so many women struggle with. I think you will be blessed because of your honesty. :) I love you, Jill! :) Kisti