Monday, August 12, 2013

The More Things Change...

If you've read even a few posts on my blog over the past year, then you know that I have been through my share of changes, the biggest of which is obviously my ulcerative colitis diagnosis. Beyond dealing with that diagnosis, the only other change that occupies much of my thoughts is my weight (I know, you're all shocked). But truly, my weight has gone up and down in truly astounding fashion. I decided to check my blog and see what I weighed around this time last year, and fortunately I found that I had actually recorded my weight for this exact date. On August 12, 2012, I weighed 178.6. Do you know what I weighed this morning? 179.6. That's one pound higher than this day last year, and a whopping TWELVE pounds higher than my weight at the beginning of this year. I managed to get down to 170.8 in the beginning of October 2012, and not long after that I got sick. I actually didn't lose a whole lot of weight when I first got sick, but when I got home from the hospital, the weight came off at an alarming rate (about 10 pounds in two days, then 5 or so more after that). At one point, the scale was down to 150. I knew that wouldn't stay, and I didn't expect it to, so when I managed to stay between 155 and 158 for about a month, I was happy. I hoped that even though I lost all of that weight because my body was sick, I could maintain the loss. I even wrote about how losing weight wouldn't be one of my goals for the new year for the first time in ages. I was filled with excitement and optimism! 

Taken in November on my first Sunday back to church. 150 pounds
Silly, silly me.

By the middle of January, five years into my weight loss journey, I was back up to 167.6. To be fair, I was on a TON of medication (including prednisone), and I do think that it wreaked havoc with my body in lots of not-so-great ways, but I can't blame it all on the medicine. If it were solely the medicine causing the problem, when I went off the prednisone in March all of my weight gain should have stopped. But it didn't, and now I find myself at a weight that makes me anything but comfortable, a weight that is almost exactly what it was at this time last year. If nothing else is consistent, at least I am consistent about gaining weight, right?

"But Erin," you say, "You had goals, you had a reward system! What happened?" In a nutshell, fatigue happened. Depression happened. Laziness happened. Honestly, this has been a HARD nine months, and the struggles manifested themselves in my eating habits. Even now, when at times I feel like I can't eat ANYTHING, I still overeat. I still eat junk. All of that eating combined with virtually no exercise due to severe fatigue is a recipe for failure.

So I find myself coming back to the brink of 180 pounds all over again, and I want it to be the last time, but part of me feels helpless. I don't know if making a plan will help. I've made plans, lots of them, and in the end they meant nothing.

The truth is, I don't need another plan. I need freedom from this bondage.

"It is for freedom that Christ has set you free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." ~Galatians 5:1

6 comments:

  1. I got down to 115lbs due to depression, but I did gain it back and more. I think, looking back as I gained weight I kept feeling the way you are feeling now. I made it all the way up to 200lbs, now I'm 185--its not a good feeling. At the same time I don't spend all my time down on myself like I used to. I think when we seek freedom from bondage its not just freedom from emotional eating but also freedom from allowing our weight to be such a burden to our hearts. We must find balance. And lets be frank, when we binge, we are indulging in gluttony and that is sin. So we can look at that in a spiritual way as well.

    BUT one thing I have discovered is that I believe we have a limited amount of "will power." If it gets spent dealing with stress and developing other necessary habits (hello woman you've had to completely make over your diet!) well then sometimes there is none left over to resist those extra cookies.

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    1. Thanks, Jessica! You are so right about gluttony being sin. I freely acknowledge that. That is really the kind of freedom from bondage I am speaking of.

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  2. 1) I have that same sweater.
    2) I completely relate to this post.
    3) Losing weight is hard. Finding healthy options (AFFORDABLE healthy options) is hard. And portion control makes me hungry. :(

    One thing that's helped me lately is to cut out snacks completely. I realized I have a huge problem with snacking and I never realized how much MORE it caused me to eat because in my head, I thought it was healthier to eat smaller, more frequent meals. Now I purposefully make sure I eat a little more than I think I need to be full at each meal and ONLY eat 3x a day and I've noticed I'm gaining weight a lot less quickly (for being pregnant, anyway). I make sure I eat enough so I'm not hungry later but then I wait for meals, drinking water in between. For me, that's helped a lot. The key for me is not starving myself, which is hard. Pretty much the cycle for me ends up being something like, "I'm done! I'm never eating again!" followed by a day of salads with low-calorie dressing, handfuls of berries, etc. Then, around 9-10pm, I announce that I am starving and I don't care anymore and I make cookies. This is my life. It has gotten better since I started eating more at meals, though, which has made it easier to cut out snacks.

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    1. Hmm, I have always been a snacker, too, so maybe I should try this. Thanks, Heather!

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  3. I totally relate to this! I spent years eating because of depression, then losing the weight through hard work and will power, then gaining it back because of depression - lather, rinse, repeat.

    This is what helped me:

    1. Nick: Understanding that I am beautiful to him no matter what I look like. He loves me, as is. Stephen feels the same about you. You know this.
    2. Christ died for my freedom from the lies of this world. My worth is measured by His blood, not the numbers on the scale.
    3. Friendships - sharing my struggle with my friends helped me understand I am not alone
    4. (And this one is going to sound VERY silly and shallow) - I watch a documentary called Fat Head on hulu (http://www.hulu.com/#!watch/196879) - it honestly, completely changed how I go about healthy eating/living/exercise etc. From there, I jumped into reading books and blogs to see if what he said was true. I think it is. After I made the changes he mentioned, many of my health/diet/weight issues vanished. Seems silly and easy and shallow and trite - I know, I know - but it helped me. Might help you.

    Don't get discouraged. You've been through a long, hard struggle and you are making it. Cling to Christ, to His Truth and those who love you. You will make it!

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    1. You are so encouraging, Lauren. Thank you. I have actually heard of that documentary and will check it out. All of your points are so true. Thanks for the reminder.

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