This wasn't in the brochure...

For as long as I can remember, my weight has been an issue. Since December 30th I have lost 70 pounds. Most days I still cannot believe that this has even happened but it is real. All of the credit goes to the Lord who literally led me through every single difficult step to get here. This was more than eating healthy and exercising, this was about changing the way I think, feel and act towards food. I also have to thank the amazing Lysa Terkeurst and her book Made to Crave. This book is life changing. There are a few things that weren't in the book or in any weight loss brochure that I have ever embarrassingly flipped through. These are the things that no one tells you about weight loss...

1) It is harder than anyone would ever admit.
Honesty is something I have always wanted to have as my top priority, so here it is. Truly changing the way to feel and think about food is extremely hard. There are nights when I would literally cry, because of what I wanted to eat and the struggle that was happening within myself. I cried because of where I had let myself get to and how much food had controlled my life. I cried because of the crutch that I had created and let food be in my life. I cried at how weak I had let myself become when it came to food. I mostly cried because I was dealing with issues that I had soothed by eating among many other things. It is an addiction that you have to break physically and mentally. It gets easier but it never goes away.

2)At my heaviest, I thought I looked 30 pounds lighter than I really was
At my 30 pound mark I was so excited because I imagined how incredibly different I would look. I did look different but not as drastic as I had imaged. I looked in the mirror one day (minus 30 pds) and thought, "this is how I always thought I looked." I came across my "before" picture recently....let me tell you that I was shocked. I did NOT even recognize that person. I'll write more about this in another blog and even post the picture if I can pull together the guts it would take to show the world how bad it was.

3) People don't really want to hear your answer of how you lost the weight
I get asked all the time, "How did you do it?" They want you to say, " I ate a magic pill, clicked my heels three times and then it disappeared! All for only $9.99!!!" The answer they get is very different. My answer consists of this, "I read a book that changed my life called Made to Crave which talks about craving God more than food.." At that point I get the "look" and you may know what this means...the you might be a little crazy look. But they keep listening because whatever crazy thing I was doing was working! The next thing you say seems so typical but it is the truth. I ate less and better foods and went for walks almost every day. They don't want to hear that either but it is the truth people.

 4. It is 100% worth the fight
People who truly change their lives do it because the outcome is totally worth all the pain and tears. I have many many more good days than hard ones now. Situations that would really upset me before and now easier to take. The way you feel inside your own body is with you every second of everyday and then that is significantly better..EVERYTHING in life is better. Here is just a few things that I never knew how much I missed and loved before losing my weight...
-Crossing my legs when I sit
-Climbing stairs without having to catch my breathe at the top
-Shopping at the "regular" stores
-Feeling like myself...really like the outside matched what is on the inside

I want to make it clear that I have days that I stray and struggle. The difference is that I know I am straying and I know that tomorrow I will get back on track and continue this journey. I still have a while to go but I know I can get there.

I really feel that God wants me to use this journey to reach other women who struggled like I did. Women who woke up one day and looked at themselves with disbelief and shame of where they have ended up. I want to show them the unbelievable Grace and strength that God can give them to conquer this all.

When we clear our lives of distractions and unhealthy obsessions, we will find ourselves closer to God than ever before. Now THAT is the biggest reward of this whole process.

A Stand Against Calorie Peer Pressure

Whenever I heard stories of great weight loss, there always seemed be part of the story missing. After losing 67 pounds, I am starting to get the "Behind the Scenes" look at the weight loss journey. I could say a lot about this topic but here is just one issue that people don't usually talk about...but I can't hold it in any longer.

Calorie Peer Pressure
Believe it or not, I have experienced peer pressure to eat! I thought we had moved past peer pressure once we left high school and college! It is like people are uncomfortable with my food options so they push me into eating what they want to make themselves feel better. I want to make it clear that people around me can eat whatever their heart desires, I could care less what you put in your mouth but don't force it into mine.

They will say things like, "Oh come on Michelle, live a little" or "You have to give yourself a break now and then" or "It is only one little piece of cheesecake, it won't hurt you"

Here are my sassy responses that I may never say to their faces:

"Oh come on Michelle, live a little"
I AM LIVING. What I was doing before was killing me slowly. It takes me so much work and determination and self control to lose just a few pounds. Even though I am more than able to eat whatever I want, I don't want what you are trying to pressure me into eating. I am now making thoughtful choices of what I put in my body. It is hard enough to make the right choices while battling the voices in my own head, I don't need yours chiming in too.

"You have to give yourself a break now and then"
That is one of many ways I got myself to my highest weight. Telling myself I deserved this type of food...that I work really hard and I should give myself a treat. I do give myself a "break" and eat something special but I plan for it! It isn't gonna be that greasy potato pancake that you are pushing on my tray! It is going to be something decadent and fresh and delicious.

"It is only a little piece of cheesecake, it won't hurt you"
True, it won't physically injure me but you wouldn't give a shot of vodka to an alcoholic? I know that this may seem a little extreme but whether overweight people want to admit it or not, we have an addiction to food. I don't need people trying to get me off the path that has brought me 67 pounds lighter!! I need people that applaud my difficult choices and walk along side me. It is so easy to get off track and when that happens, it is exhausting to get back on track. I would prefer to just stay where I am no thanks, I don't need the cheesecake.

This is not a rant to satisfy the crabby girl in me...this is to inform those of you, who never struggled with weight in your life, that are around people making positive changes for their lives. Losing weight and changing your lifestyle is so difficult...harder than most people would be a part of their highway to a better life, not a person trying to get them to exit at the next McDonald's.

I know most of my posts talk about my spiritual journey but the journey of weight loss is something that I think too many women can connect with and it is the reality of my life right now. The Lord leads me through every single step and every pound lost and gained. HE is the only reason I have made it this far and I give all the glory to Him. My weight loss journey IS a spiritual journey..but I'll talk more about that later. 

Thank you for reading, Michelle