An anxious heart weighs a woman down, but a kind word cheers her up. Proverbs 12:25

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Weigh-In-Wednesday – I’m Singing the Blues

I have been a little “down”; “blah”, “blue”….  I don’t know if it is because the sun has not come out in days, or that I have been stuck in the house for over 10 days straight; either way I have been “singing the blues” this week.  I continue to study God’s Word and pray each day; I take my medications and my vitamins; I’ve maintained the amount of calories I am to eat each day (minus Monday when I went over by 200 calories). Yet I’m still singing the “blues”.  Have you had any days or weeks like that too? 

I can hear the Lord right now, “Michele, you are making progress – be patient, stay strong, don’t lose heart – I am with you always – We are in this together – one step at time – steady on – you are winning the battle of the bulge one day at a time – one pound at a time.”   Again, the Lord reminds me of this week’s memory verse:  “Lord, you have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart.”  Psalm 10:17.  Yes, Lord, you are preparing my heart for this lifelong battle. 

Once again I hear the Lord as He reminds me of today’s Scripture Study:  “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:1,2. 

The Lord has been preparing my heart; I am in His boot camp right now as He gives me the tools I need for the life-long battle that is before me.  There is more than physical weight that has been holding me back in the race; day by day my Lord is helping me to lay aside every weight – every sin that so easily besets me.  He is also instructing me with a word He has been teaching me for years – patience!  I am to run this race – fight this battle with patience .  One day at a time – one pound at a time – all the while looking to my precious Lord and Savior – the author and finisher of my faith; the author and finisher of my battle of the bulge. 

Dear gracious Heavenly Father, I thank you for your Word –Sometimes it cuts me like a two edged sword, but I know that you are just trying to teach me – prepare me for this lifelong battle.  I know that as I continue to lose every weight and every sin that besets me, I am closer to the finish line.  I thank you heavenly Father for the 20 lbs I have lost so far.  I know I have to work hard and be patient as I continue my battle.  It won’t be long before I can walk again without great pain and without a wheelchair.  In the meantime, may I remember that You are preparing my heart - my mind – my body for what is ahead of me.  In Jesus precious name, Amen. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Self-Will or God-Will?

“I command you-be strong and courageous!  Do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9 NLT

As I continue with my journey on becoming a healthier me, I have joined a couple of online support groups along with reading and studying the book by Mary Englund Murphy, Winning the Battle of the Bulge It’s NOT just about the Weight.  It is so important to have people around that you can turn to when you are having a difficult day or just need some advice or encouragement; actually, it’s good to have support from others no matter what you are going through.  But it is especially helpful when one has an illness, addiction, weight issues, or major life change. 

As important as it is to receive help from individuals, it is even more important to know we have the support/help from the One who has all the answers, loves and knows us better than  we  ourselves – the Lord our God. 

There was a question Mary asks in the study guide that hit me like a ton of bricks.  “Enlistment implies commitment.  In the past, you probably committed to a diet plan.  What are you committing to now?”   I sat there a moment a little perplexed, what does she mean?  I have to commit to a diet plan right?  Then the bricks came tumbling down over my head!  It’s not all about the diet – Yes, I must commit to become a healthier me – Physically, Mentally, and Spiritually – But more importantly I must commit to being what and who God wants me to be – What He created me to be – I must commit every aspect of my life into His most capable hands and allow Him to give me the tools I need to become a healthier me. 

So in other words, before when I dieted, I committed to a thing – diet – but now I commit to God to provide the tools I need to win this battle of the bulge. 

We all battle many things throughout our day. When a soldier enlists in the Army he is not immediately sent to battle without the proper gear/tools and training he needs to become all he can be for the Army.  The same is said for us as we battle daily the powers of darkness – the prince of this world.  We must put on the whole armor of God every day in order to fight the many battles that will come our way.  To win the battle of the bulge I must arm myself with God’s armor and it will help me to stand strong, be courageous as obediently follow my Commander in Chief into the battle of the bulge. 

Yes, the battle of the bulge is a lifelong battle and I am writing about my battle on one of my blogs, My Journey to a Healthier Me , but the Word of God says, “Do Not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Isn’t it encouraging to know that wherever we go- whatever we do we have the Lord and all of his wisdom, goodness and strength to bring us through whatever this world brings upon us. 

“Dear gracious Heavenly Father, I will place all my needs – including becoming a healthier me – into Your most cable hands.  I will no longer rely on “self-control” or “self-willed” to become healthy, I will instead become “God willed” – “God controlled”.  For I know You can do considerably better with my life than I have been doing!”

Friday, January 25, 2013

Journal Entry - 1/25/13

Another week has past and we are all entering the last weekend of January.  This week we have had  frigid  temperatures ending the week with an expected few inches of snow.  Sounds like a good day for homemade vegetable soup.

I have not been out of the house this week, but again it's been a good week to stay indoors.  I continue with my reading and studying  God's Word along with Mary Englund's book, Winning the Battle of the Bulge.  Both of these activities along with the encouragement and prayers from several online support groups continue to keep me on track with my Journey to Become a Healthier Me.

It has been a difficult week in regards to my chronic health issues, but God continues to be faithful and helps me through the rough pain filled days.  I truly appreciate the prayers from my faithful prayer warriors.  No matter how I feel, I always get up out of bed and get dressed everyday.  I may not do much of anything else that day, but I know I must get up and try to do something positive towards Becoming a Healthier Me.

I look forward to spending another quiet weekend with my very supportive hubby.  I continue to ask for prayers for Jim as he has been suffering with chronic back/sciatica pain since mid August.  

I pray you all have a blessed weekend with your loved ones.  I look forward to another blessed week as we all become healthier through our journey of life. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I began my journey to Become a Healthier Me on January 7, 2013.  Do to my excessive weight, my weight loss at the beginning will seem extreme – so please do not feel discouraged because you have not lost this much weight in 16 days.     With that said, I am pleased to announce that I lost 14.8 lbs. in 16 days. 

"In Your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall." Psalm 18:29

I still have a long way to go on my journey, but I know that with God’s help and with His strength I can  crush the army of Satan and all of his obstacles he will place on my journey; and I can scale any wall that Satan will try to place in front of me in order to block – or cause me to give up.  I know that the Battle of the Bulge is a lifelong battle, but in the end I will be victorious because I am a soldier in God’s army. 

The past two weeks I have had a few challenges:

 First, I was trying to figure out the amount of calories I am to eat in a day.  If I eat the amount that most calorie calculators tell me to eat at the beginning to lose weight, I will gain weight.  For some reason they must believe that all morbidly obese people sit around all day eating boat loads of food.   So after talking with one of the bariatric doctors she calculated that I should eat below 1800 calories a day.  I shared with her that sometimes I find it difficult to eat all that I am to eat in one day.  She told me that if I am full/comfortable, then don’t eat any more.   She said, “Listen to your body, it will tell you when it has had enough food.”  So I find that anywhere from 1400 to 1600 calories a day is enough for my body.  I am satisfied not full. 

Another challenge has been getting in enough protein and vegetables in my diet.  I have found that if one of my snacks is a protein shake I feel rejuvenated.  I have a NutriBullet.  It is so much better than an ordinary juicer.  Since I am not a lover of vegetables I have found that if I mix fresh veggies like spinach, carrots, kale, beets etc… with a fruit (I like blueberries) and my protein powder I have a very tasty and healthy snack that includes at least two helpings of vegetables and one helping of fruit.  I am still trying to find other ways to get my vegetables down. 

Now some blessings this past week:

1)       I started a facebook group of friends and family who will commit to be my prayer warriors and encouragers along with helping me to be accountable in my Journey to Become a Healthier Me.  If you would like to be a part of this group please let me know.
2)      I received word that my disability insurance carrier was going to change effective March 1st.  I became a little anxious since I am in the process of have gastric bypass surgery.  As I continued to read the letter my eyes popped and my heart skipped a beat – God be praised! One of my choices for insurance is Geisinger – the very medical group all my doctors are in and the name of the hospital that I will have the surgery!  Our God is so good – all the time!
3)      My dear husband, Jim, is so encouraging.  He is so easy to cook for and does not complain about the food I serve him.  He does not bring into the house foods that tempt me.  I know that one day I will be able to be in the same room as some of those foods and not be tempted or fall into temptation to eat the food. 
4)      Everyone in my life – family and friends, are on board and very supportive on my journey to Become a Healthier Me.  I am so thankful for each of them and their words of encouragement mean the world to me.  They lift me up daily. 
5)      Most of all but not least, I praise the Lord for lifting me up out of depression and despair as He brings me new hope for a new beginning. 

“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!” Psalm 30:11-12

P.S. As for this week’s Planks Challenge – I will continue with my wheelchair exercises.  One day ladies I hope to do Planks!  The water challenge – no problem – I average 96 oz. of water a day.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Becoming a Healthier Me – Journal Entry 1/22/13

“So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.”  1 Corinthians 9:26-27

Wow, those scriptures hit me on the head like a ton of bricks!  How can I be an example to others if I am not discipline enough in my own life?

As I begin my journey to a Healthier Me, I have been undertaking a great amount of soul searching- introspection - and I have to be honest with myself, “I have a lot of splainin to do!” (To coin a phrase from Ricky Ricardo on I Love Lucy). 

I have restarted – jumped started – my battle of the bulge.  I am reading the book Winning the Battle of the Bulge It’s NOT About the Weight, along with the study guide, by Mary Englund Murphy.  She compares the battle of dieting or the battle of bulge to that of being a soldier in the Army.  Actually she says that “Losing weight is not just a battle; it’s a war – a lifelong war made up of daily battles.  Battles fought not at the refrigerator, the dinner table, or the cookie jar, but in our minds and spirits.  Battles fought against an enemy we seldom recognize and with weapons we are disinclined to use.  You may feel ready to surrender, but don’t give up yet.  Together we will enlist in God’s army, work our way through boot camp and special training, recognize our true enemy, and allow God to arm us with weapons to win the war.” 

One of the questions she asks is: “List attitude adjustments you need to make.”  You mean I need an attitude adjustment?  Not me?  I can just see my husband and sister rolling their eyes right now!  Of course I need an attitude adjustment.  So here I go – I am opening myself up to everyone to help me become more accountable. 

1.       I need to commit to the battle as a life-long battle.  Losing weight is not about dieting and reaching your goal.  It is a life-long commitment to be and stay healthy.  Healthy physically, mentally and spiritually. 
2.       Be honest.  When I record in my food diary I must be honest and record every bite.  I must be honest with myself and most of all with my Lord – the Commander in Chief of His army. 
3.       Be positive.  I cannot tell you how many times I look into the mirror and say, “You are ugly, You are fat, You are worthless, You are pathetic, You are….”  Well you get the idea.  I say and think a lot of negatives when it comes to how I see myself – inside and out. 
4.       Food is not my enemy – but my thoughts and feelings towards food are my enemy.
5.       When I reach a plateau or even not lose as fast I think I should lose, I am not to get discouraged and give up as I usually do.  I didn’t get this way overnight and I cannot expect it to come off overnight either.  There are lessons to learn at every step forward and every plateau.  Instead of giving up – seek guidance – from the Lord and nutritionist. 
6.       The life long battle will get difficult, challenging, and road blocks from the deceiver himself but I must remember that the Lord is in the battle with me; He will and can help me through and around each battle – each challenge the enemy sets out for me. 

Yes, I am in a lifelong battle, but I must remember that I am on the Winner’s side – God – The Battle is already won – the prize is there at the finish line just waiting for me to run my course and cross that finish line to claim my prize!    

I hope that one day I can say as the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:6-8, “As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.”

Dear Heavenly Father, You have armed me with strength for the battle of bulge.  Everything I need to fight this battle you have already provided.  It’s mine for the taking – I must use the weapons you provide to fight the battles that will come my way.  "In Your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall." Psalm 18:29.  And all God’s people say, “Amen!”

An anxious heart weighs a woman down, but a kind word cheers her up. Proverbs 12:25