Weight Loss Ticker

Monday, April 18, 2011

A New Mind

I woke up today thinking about church.  I think about church quite a lot, actually.  I used to attend a really good church full of kind, loving, wonderful people.  I had attended this church for about 5 years when, little by little, I pulled away.  Partly it was because I didn't feel I fit in - the ministries of the church had a pretty big emphasis on family and college students.  One group I was in no longer and the other not yet.  The part that was hard for me was that the young families were all around my age, but the gatherings and group events were pretty much couples' events or Moms' Group activities.  I know I wasn't intentionally excluded; but the more I saw and heard things of which I was not invited to be involved, the more hurt I became.  Until I left every service and cried all the way home because I was so lonely.  I was going through a very rough spot with my job at the time, too, and a couple other things; and everything combined to make for one very miserable person.

So I left that church and haven't quite worked up the nerve to find another one yet.

I tell myself that it's because I can't find a church that I can fully agree with their beliefs...or the people are too friendly...or the people are not friendly enough.  But I think the truth is that I'm scared.  Scared that I might find a church that I really do like and get hurt again in the process.  Sometimes it doesn't feel like the church is a representation of God's love; sometimes it feels like the church is a dysfunctional family.

But sometimes being a part of a church is one of the most wonderful feelings of community.  A group of people who share the same beliefs (for the most part) and work together for the Kingdom.  I miss that.

So I woke up today thinking that maybe, for the first time in a couple years, I may be able to work up the courage to go to church.  It's hard going to church as a single person (yet another thing I use as an excuse) because you're either completely ignored or you stick out like a sore thumb and everyone gangs up on you.  I've been to churches that made me hug the ushers as I went into the church (on my first visit!) and churches where I had to stand up and introduce myself (on my first visit!).  But what I can't stand the most is the feeling that I'm "fresh meat".  People who are all syrupy sweet until they find out I'm already a Christian and then they're onto the next "target". 

Yes, maybe I'm being unfair in my portrayal; and maybe I perceive things completely wrong.  But that's how it feels sometimes, and I think churches would be surprised to realize how off-putting things that are meant to feel welcoming can be.

Anyway, I digress.

So while I woke up today thinking about church and how maybe I can one of these days have the courage to go back, I also realized that I've lived in fear most of my life.  Actually, that's not a new realization.  I've lost too many opportunities to fear (and still do, I'm afraid), but I'm learning that sometimes facing my fears isn't so scary.

I've always had a very active imagination and can think up every possible (although not often plausible) scenario until I get so bound up by fear that I don't even want to think about doing what I was thinking about.  My weight loss journey has been like that.  I've never been thin, and I can remember thinking all throughout my life how I would love to lose weight.  But in the back of my mind, I thought about how people would treat me when I did lose weight.  What if they didn't like me?  What if they did?  What if I go on a diet and I'm hungry all the time?  What if I can never have chocolate again?  What if I can't lose weight?  What if I can?  What if I lose the weight and then gain it all back?  What if none of my clothes fit me and I go broke buying a new wardrobe?

What if, what if, what if?  I'm learning that these questions can lead to the death of dreams.  It's good to plan ahead, and it's good to be prepared; but I tend to think a situation to death.  Ask anyone who knows me.  I want all the answers before the journey starts; but rarely does that happen, and hardly ever on one's journey with the Lord.

So I'm going to try to remember to walk by faith...not fear.  And when I find myself thinking "what if", I'll try to think "why not"?  And maybe, little by little, I will find that my mind is being renewed; and someday, maybe I'll be more inclined to face my fears that to hide from them.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My first compliment

Yesterday at work, I was doing some filing when I noticed how long my pants were.  It's weird because they were just the right length when I bought them several months ago.  These pants, mind you, were already a size smaller (although a bit snug) than I had been wearing so I was pretty happy about that.  Now they're getting loose which I'm really happy about!  But they're also getting longer as my belly gets smaller.

The good news is that I've kind of been on a black slacks buying spree lately so I'm all set in my current and next size. 

Anyway, I marveled all day about how nice it is to wear well fitting (although a tad bit long) clothes when at the end of the day, one of my co-workers told me "you've been losing weight".  I loved this on several levels - first because it was a comment not a question, second because it's the first compliment from a non-family member and from someone who doesn't know that I'm actually trying to lose weight, and third because it was a nice way to end a long day at work.

It's always nice to get a compliment, but it's even nicer when you're not expecting it!

Monday, April 11, 2011

A New Beginning

Sometimes I forget that each day is brand new - a blank canvas on which we can create whatever masterpiece we wish.  It's so easy to get caught up in things that don't matter in the grand scheme of things but seem really, really important at the time.

I need to figure out how to remember this and focus on making each day the best that I can.  Jim Elliot said "wherever you are, be all there"; and I need to remember that, too.  Often because of the previously mentioned "really, really important" things, I think back on certain times and realize that I was there, but I wasn't ALL there.  I was off in my own little world thinking about something I couldn't change or looking ahead to the future instead of enjoying the moment that was happening around me.

I'm on a journey right now.  Well, I guess we're all on a journey of one kind or another; but I'm on a journey of self-discovery.  I am a perfectionist.  And as a perfectionist, I expect everyone around me to adhere to the same rigid standards of perfectionism.  If I can't do something perfectly, I'm tempted to quit.  Add to that the feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy, and it's not a very good combination.

Thus the journey.  Earlier this year, I joined Weight Watchers for the second time.  The first time, I lost around 20 pounds and lost motivation.  Not so surprisingly, I couldn't do it perfectly so my ambition fizzled out.  This time around, my sister encouraged me to rejoin.  She had lost some weight, and it was encouraging to see her so excited.

I signed up in February (or thereabouts) and have lost 13 pounds, but I'm claiming the 16 pounds I had lost from before (with the few I gained back)!  I find that I am reminding myself often that every day is new.  I'll admit, I'm a little afraid of who I'll become.  I've always been overweight; and although I don't normally think of it this way, that's always defined who I am.  If I'm not overweight, I won't know who (or how) to be.  But I've come to the conclusion that I don't really know who I am anyway.

I'm learning to like myself more and redefine how I think about me.  And if I mess up or don't treat myself too nicely one day, I'll remember that tomorrow is a brand new day.