Wow, it's been a while since I have talked about this subject. I think it might be my favorite one because I am continuing to live in this blessing every day. I'm continue to live in freedom like I never thought I could know.
All in all I'm about 60 pounds lighter than my all-time highest weight. (I'm just saying this so that people can know that it really was a lot, not just 10 or 15 pounds, it took a while). I probably weighed something like that in college or so. I'm 40 pounds lighter than when I got married. So in a total of three years I lost 10, gained 30 and then lost 60 pounds. Needless to say, my body has kind of been on this kind of roller coaster.
Today I went for a run. I haven't really ran in ages. I mean, I run when I play ultimate and stuff like that, but not gone out and pounded the pavement. My exercise of choice is walking. It's easier to do, you don't always sweat really bad so you don't have to shower afterward, you can go a short distance or a long distance, I can walk with my jeans on, all I need are my tennis shoes. I even walk in my Chacos sometimes. Levi loves to walk with me, I can think and breathe and my arms and legs are moving, it's beautiful. I can enjoy nature and I'm rarely in pain (except maybe when I go up a hill or something). Okay, but I was sitting my quiet time, just enjoying the presence of the Lord when suddenly He impressed on my heart to go for a run. Really God? I have struggled with shin splints throughout my life, I have had knee issues, are you sure? Yes, go for a run.
So I got out there and it was really amazing. I felt so light and free. I had to stop and walk several times because my lungs weren't used to it, but that's okay. I'm really past caring what anybody thinks of me :). But my heart was pumping and I was pushing it. I was praying and asking that God would help our church to persevere, to break through the wall and continue in our prayer movement. I was praying for my friend who shared a really difficult thing lately, she's a runner so I thought of her :) and just praying that the Enemy couldn't lie to her.
(Side note: whenever I experience a spiritual mountaintop with God or have an amazing breakthrough or share something that is so deep inside of me I always encounter lies from the Enemy. It's just how it works. You think, "man, I said this wrong, now people are going to think this about me..." The truth is that Satan just got the crap knocked out of him and he's just fighting back, but the only thing he knows how to do is lie. So, the truth is that God delights in her bringing things into the light that were kept in darkness, she has great courage and has impacted my life for the better because of it.)
I was able to just struggle and fight and let it all come out in my prayers to the Lord. I probably only went a mile or so and probably walked half of it. But I am convinced that it was better than sitting on my couch. :)
The cool thing about my run is that I experienced freedom in a place where there had been bondage before. Exercise has been an area of bondage for me. Let me explain: I always felt like I "needed" to exercise in order to lose weight. Exercise was a chore, a punishment for my "bad behavior" on a diet. It was my thrashing about to get myself out of this quicksand that was my struggle with weight/food/binge-eating. God called me for a while just to lay down exercising all together. It was getting out of hand and He just told me to stop and only eat what my body called for. Whoa. Are you sure about this God? (Do you see how much I question him?!? haha!) But He was faithful to allow me to lose weight just by moving throughout my day as a coffee shop worker and eating (a lot) less than I did by just eating what my body CALLED for.
Then when I got pregnant He gave me walking. I walked about 3-4 times a week anywhere from 1-3 miles depending on what I felt like doing. God was telling me to listen to my body and take exercise off the pedestal. He was slowly prying the food out of my hands and slowly giving things back to me a hundred times better than what they had been before. I don't know if this means I will start running now, I don't know. I will let you know if that's the case, but I do know that I can have freedom to go and I can pray and ask Him for direction.
Also as a side note, I have been encouraging my husband to run. He complains sometimes that he doesn't get enough exercise and sometimes doesn't have enough stamina. I told him he should start running after work. His response was yeah, but I don't like running. (who DOES? Just kidding, I know there are some weird people out there who do:)) But it was like God was saying, hey, maybe you should stop telling him what to do and just be a freakin' example. He asked me how it went when I got back and I said it was great and told him all God taught me and showed me and he was like, man, I really wanna get a running stroller so I can take Levi. WHAT?! That's all I had to do? Just make it look like fun? Haha! Crazy.
I feel like the more I get healthy, the healthier I want to be. Does that make sense? It's like I know that eating healthy foods will make me feel better, so that's what I do. I know that getting some exercise makes me feel better, so that's what I do. It's little by little baby steps to get where you want to go. It's not just one big crash diet over and over every weekend, it is slowly and steadily and the more you do it, the more you will want to do it. Don't let Satan lie to you and tell you that you will never make it. I believed that lie for years. I thought, this weight is NEVER going to come off. I wanted to believe it was possible, but there was still this nagging voice (Satan's) that was telling me I couldn't. It was as though I had to stop "trying" and start listening to God.
For all of you practicals out there who are saying, yeah right Jody, that's fine and good for you, but I'm just impossible. I want to challenge you to take these practical steps.
-Turn off your TV. Don't watch it, don't look at it. Don't watch TV online.
-Don't eat while on the computer. Don't do it. I know, it's killing two birds with one stone. But it distracts you from what you are actually eating and you end up ignoring your stomach signs.
-Go to bed at 10, wake up at 6 and spend an hour with God before you do anything else. Before you check your email, phone, Facebook, blog, all of that. Just open up the Bible, get a journal and ask Him to speak. Read a Psalm, or a Proverb, read from the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. Those are good places to start. Get your journal and talk to God. If you schedule is earlier or later than mine, that's totally fine, but make sure and give yourself a solid hour. Not 15 minutes, not 30 minutes, an hour. This allows ample time to wait for the Lord to speak.
-Move throughout the day. If it's housework, just do it. If it's going on a walk at lunch instead of sleeping at your desk, do it. If it is getting home from work and getting your tennis shoes on and going for a 15 minute walk around the block, just do it. If it's going on a bike ride after dinner, do it. :)
-Eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full. Eat mostly healthy, but don't be completely perfect. It's okay to eat something with sugar in it as long as it's not the whole carton of ice cream. Sometimes it's just a bite of cake or one cookie. If you know you can't stop at one, then just don't have some. There will be another something tasty to eat tomorrow and for sure you WON'T regret not eating the sugary thing. I try not to have something sweet after every meal. It needs to be a treat every now and then. If you find you are eating dessert every night just say, I'm going to skip a few nights or days and not eat any. There are times when I tell my husband, "no, we can't have ice cream in the house, I'm going to clean it out." So we don't have ice cream in the house for a couple of weeks, and then it passes.
Okay, those are my practicals. If you have any other questions feel free to comment or email me or something.