Here I go, plunging into a topic I haven't ever really discussed on my blog: healthy weight management. (Do I hear some groans out there?) It won't be too bad, I promise! But I have made a few decisions lately which involve some changes to my lifestyle and hopefully will result in some changes to my body! I share them with you all for mutual encouragement and support.
Part of the reason I haven't really discussed this issue is that since March of 2004 until today, I have been either pregnant or nursing all except 10 weeks of that time! And, though it's important to manage your weight in a healthy way while pregnant or nursing, it's definitely not the time to try to lose those five extra pounds or restrict your eating. For me, I always had trouble in early pregnancy just keeping my body going, and actually lost weight at the beginning of all of my pregnancies, though later on I easily gained back what I had lost and then had healthy pregnancy gain.
Now, however, I am not pregnant, Christin has been weaned for 6 weeks, and so . . . it's time.
Healthy weight management is a tricky thing, however, especially when the culture shouts at us so loudly, (thin=beautiful) and the Word can be easy to ignore. Even now, when I feel that I would feel better if I made some healthier choices, and honestly I really would like to lose some baby weight, I sense in myself that I need to be very careful not to let weight loss become a pride issue. It could turn into pride on one hand, thinking "Look at me! I am healthy. I make good choices. I am fit! I can do this all on my own strength! You should be impressed with my self- control!!!" On the other hand, it could turn into an obsession with only the outer appearance, an improper focus on that without the inward focus on the Lord and His word.
I read a post recently on the girltalk blog where a few thoughts stuck out to me: The Bible NEVER tells us that we must be thin in order to be an obedient follower of J.sus. It doesn't say, "Be healthy, as I am healthy." It says, "Be holy, as I am holy." In fact, Paul explicitly tells us that when we believe in Chr.st, there are now no restrictions on what we can eat. However, the Bible DOES put great focus on our inner person, on our relationship with the L, on becoming a woman of spiritual beauty who trusts in the L.
On the other hand (here's the tricky part), though G.d provides food for our body's use and for pleasure, we are not to be immoderate. We are not to let food become an idol, seeking the pleasure of eating instead of the pleasures found at His right hand, looking for food to comfort us rather than His Spirit to comfort us. I think we would all acknowledge that something is wrong if we more strongly anticipate a home-cooked meal more than we anticipate our daily time with our Father.
I am really just beginning my thinking on this subject, and there's a book by Elyse Fitzpatrick called "Love to Eat, Hate to Eat" that I think deals with a lot of these questions. If any of you have read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.
So with all of this in mind, and with a heart that longs to be submissive to the Father with all areas of my life, here are some of my new resolutions.
1. Get back to drinking 8 glasses of water a day. I have slipped out of this habit and it's a good one.
2. Exercise is going to be more of a priority. I have set a goal for four times a week. However, if there is a time where I must choose between exercise or time in the Word, my priority will always be time in the Word.
3. Be careful about portion sizes. Along that line, pay better attention to how much I'm actually eating and don't finish the girls' food.
4. Also, pay closer attention to my body's own hunger/fullness cues.
5. No eating between meals. I got into the habit of eating more snacks while pregnant and nursing (very important then!) but now I really don't need those snacks and I've found myself often eating just out of sheer habit. If I truly feel hungry for a snack, eat something that is healthy but tasty: nuts, dried fruit, pretzels, etc.
6. Only weigh myself once a week. Don't get focused on a number on a scale.
7. Don't get too crazy about it all! If I find myself thinking MORE about food, rather than less, there's a problem! The idea is to focus less on food, give it less importance in my life, but also receive what I am given thankfully, as a gift from the Lord.
So there you have it! I'd love to hear some comments from you other ladies and hear how you have thought about this issue in your own life. I also want to seek to be a good example for my girls in this area, so I'd welcome any input.