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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I alluded in my last entry that there would be more information on why I was choosing to embark on this healthy lifestyle change. I realize it’s been some time since that entry and I still haven’t explained myself. I guess you could say I was stalling.

It’s a difficult thing to explain, exactly and put into words. There were numerous reason why I chose to make these changes. I guess I’ll just try to go through them one at a time.

Of course, I mentioned the fact that I knew I was out of control. My weight has ballooned and I feel horrible most of the time. I have no energy to keep up with my extra hectic life and I don’t have the enthusiasm to give my sons the kind of attention they need. I knew I had to make a change. But I’ve known that for many months—more than a year—and it was not enough to prompt the change.

A few things happened at once that prompted my initiative. Firstly, I had reached a low point in my opinion of my body and health. I was about to outgrow my mandatory work uniform and I couldn’t bring myself to order additional clothes in a larger size. The uniform pants already run small, so the “size” I currently have is the largest I’ve ever owned. I couldn’t bring myself to ask for size 20 pants; I just couldn’t.

Also, at work, our department presented a training on the HCG diet. It sounded miraculous. I began to do a lot of research on it. What I found is that there were no clinical studies that indicated HCG has any affect on weight loss. The diet regime consists of 500 calories a day plus the HCG drops. As many experts pointed out, anyone will lose weight on 500 calories a day. It’s an extremely low calorie regime.

This got me thinking again about my son. I keep him on 900 calories a day, which I consider extremely low. I was looking at a diet that was almost ½ of what he takes in. I know how difficult it is to pack 900 calories a day with filling, satisfying, nutritious food. But…I also know how to do it. I’ve been very successful in keeping him at a healthy weight despite his condition—something that’s very, very difficult to do.

I started to really think about this diet, about my son, about my lifestyle and about how all of it was affecting my relationships with my husband, children, friends…and God.

I decided to try the extremely low calorie diet, minus the HCG. I couldn’t find anything that indicated the HCG had an effect on weight loss. It was supposed to curb appetite so you don’t feel hungry eating ¼ of the calorie intake of an average adult. But I knew from my research that on little or no food intake, hunger usually subsides after two days anyway.

I knew I needed something motivating, like a rapid start to my weight loss, to keep me going and fasting seemed like a good way to get started. Plus, fasting takes discipline and submission. I knew, in this area of my life, I needed to submit. There was no other area in my life where I did what I wanted, when I wanted, regardless of the consequences to myself or those around me. My eating had become wanton and reckless.

I downloaded an app to my super new smart phone that was extremely helpful in counting calories and keeping a food diary. I preplanned some meals—mostly snacks—and I jumped into the fast.

I spent a lot of time in prayer asking for God to help me reign this area of my life in and treat my body as the temple it should be. I complain a lot about the horrible pain and weaknesses I have, but the fact is, God gave me this body in all of it’s strengths and weaknesses; I need to do my part to keep it going efficiently and to glorify God. My kids need to see that example (as does my husband).

I pulled Cainan aside and told him I was going to be eating the same foods that he ate. I told him I wasn’t going to give him a salad and then turn around and eat a cheeseburger, myself. I wanted to embrace hunger and not give myself the choices that he didn’t have. After two days, my hunger subsided quite a bit. I stuck to the fast for about two weeks.

I gradually have increased my calorie intake to a more reasonable amount. For the most part, I’ve done well at staying in control and not eating with wild abandon (I did have a moment of weakness when some incredible linguini carbonara presented itself recently).

I haven’t stepped on a scale since I started this endeavor. I don’t want it to be about a number. It’s about doing the right thing. It’s about being responsible with what goes into my body, with the example I set for others and taking care of myself.

I plan to share some of the light recipes I’ve enjoyed and that I’ve created for Cainan. I also plan to share some of the great products that are out there, too.

I’m excited to be doing the right thing and not feeling so terrible all time.