Thursday, May 30, 2013

Getting real. Facing temptation.

Earlier this year I talked about reaching my goal of losing 40 pounds in 40 weeks. Last month, I discussed three goals for getting 30 minutes of sunlight a day, walking 10,000 steps and following the couch to 5K program. So, how am I doing?

Total. Fail.

I made these goals because I want a more healthy life, a longer life, and I want to look decent and not panic when I have to go on a business trip and have nothing appropriate that fits me. I want to be more like the fit girl of my youth who did aerobics, ran and played ultimate frisbee. And let's face it, I want to wear a skirt or dress and not have to wear a girdle so my thighs won't rub raw.

Reality check:

I now have 22 weeks until I am forty and the same 40 pounds to lose, despite many starts and stops on at least three different diet programs in 5 months. I don't get outside every day and if I don't step away from my desk, I surely have no chance of hitting 10,000 steps. I have made some progress. I have spent time outside more than I did before the challenge, but that probably has more to do with the weather. I have hit the 10,000+ step mark 2-3 times over the past month; and I did my couch-to-5k training app at least three times.

Lack of time, an abundance of temptation, weak will power and misguided faith has completely done me in.

Despite a loving family, devoted husband, three amazing kids and a fulfilling job, I just can't seem to triumph over my weigh issues. It is my Achilles heel. I get all geared up to follow the next diet fad with faith that this book, DVD, pill, eating plan or exercise craze will be the thing to finally solve my weight management issues and help me lose. But then, I have to travel for work or go to an event. I enter a busy season. Someone gets sick--you get the picture--and soon my well-laid plans are torn to pieces.

In recent years I finally discovered why I so easily gain weight and have to work like a dog for every 1/4lb weight loss. I have a condition called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) which messes with my hormones (too much testosterone), causes insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, causes an insatiable appetite and a strong desire for sugar, and other unsavory side affects. As I gain weight, the severity of these symptoms increase making it even more difficult to lose weight. Vicious circle. However, if I don't gain control, I am at risk for diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.

While somewhat comforted by the fact that there is a real physical issue for why I have such difficulty getting to and maintaining a healthy weight, I realize this is a battle I will forever have to fight. I will always have to watch my portions and eat the right foods and exercise. Every. Do Dah Day. Not only to feel better about my physical appearance, but most importantly for my health and for my family. Its a physical issue, its a mental issue and it certainly is a spiritual issue.

A new perspective:

I recently went to a clinic that specializes in PCOS and I am hopeful about the new plan of care they have prescribed. It will be a long, slow road and I have to commit bite-by-bite to making the right choices for my health. I have to gain control of my portions, eat a low glycemic index based diet and get a minimum of 30-45 minutes of exercise 3-5 days a week. Not "rebel" by eating when a well-meaning person who is close to me asks "Should you be eating that?" or "How's your diet going?" (which really means - you don't look like you are losing any weight).

In order to be successful, I must ignore the father of lies, who tempts me and taunts me just like he tempted Eve to, "Look at the shiny apple. Go ahead. Take a bite." The only way I can do that is to run into the arms of Jesus and trust that God will provide a way out. Temptation and time constraints will never cease. Every day, choice by choice I must learn to offer God those cravings, my hunger, my desire for sugar, my excuses not to exercise ( as noble as they may be), my frustration at well-meaning comments. He will help me learn to eat to live instead of living to eat.

After spending thousands of dollars on weight loss aids and exercise gimmicks, trying every diet on the bookshelves, losing and gaining again and again, I know that I am completely unable to conquer this on my own. That is so hard for me to admit. I am, as my 4 year old says, a "fixer." I find solutions. I solve problems. Something bad happens, I don't wallow in pity. I roll up my sleeves, make a plan and act. But I simply can't fix this. I have tried oh so, so many times.

Only God can give me the power to overcome. To be honest, I'm not sure how this works except to cover my days and my mealtimes in prayer and have faith. To ask him to open up time in my day to get exercise and to pray to make good food choices and resist the temptation I will face each day. To stop looking for some sort of satisfaction in a bowl of ice cream after a long day and lean on His promises. To stop trying to do this by my might and surrender it all to Him.

What are you trying to handle on your own? What shiny apple is Satan tempting you with? Call on Jesus, as he taught us to do and ask him to deliver you from the evil one and his temptations.