Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Before and After....My Journey

Why did I choose to blog?
What motivates me to sit down a few times a week and record the lessons I've learned,
the events our family has enjoyed together,
the struggles I'm growing in,
and the methods by which I do things?

One of the reasons I blog (journal) is so that my children will have a written record of why their mother did the things she did and how she did the things she did (in case by some wild chance they would want to follow that pattern too!)

I also blog with the thought that I'm not alone in this journey of motherhood and life.
I talk to other ladies everyday who are struggling with areas of their lives incredibly similar to my own,
and sometimes I'm a little farther down the road and want to offer some encouragement and ideas
to help her keep moving forward.

Finally, with those ideas in mind, I blog to point both my family and others to Christ.
He alone gets the credit for the beautiful things in my life,
as well as the challenging times which I know He has
sovereignly, deliberately planned for me to purge things out of my life,
and to grow new things in my life to make me more like Him.

On January 1st of this year (2010), I began a journey toward better health.
By December of last year, I just wasn't feeling like myself.
I've told many friends, "I just didn't feel like myself.  I don't know WHO I felt like,
but it WASN'T me."
I didn't like feeling the lifesaving flotation device around my waste every time I sat down that had gradually developed over a few years.
I had noticed that I was exhausted all the time.
Like, new pregnancy exhausted every time I woke up in the morning no matter how much sleep I had.
I noticed I was beginning to feel that my mind was in a thick fog. 
I always felt two steps behind every one else, and I had trouble remembering where I had put things, or names of people from long ago in my life, and if I didn't pay attention my mind would wander off.
These were such little issues I know, but they were beginning to bother me and interrupt my daily life.
Then, I was talking to a friend who was struggling with some thyroid issues.
As she began describing some of her symptoms, I could see some of the same things in me.
One evening, just by chance, I tried to find my thyroid, and low and behold I felt a knot!!
I couldn't believe it.

I told my husband that I thought it might be a good idea for me to have a physical done since my 40th birthday was just 2 months away.
I went to my OB, and during his exam I told him about my feelings of hopelessness some days,
and like I was drowning in my responsibilities.
I asked him if this knot on my thyroid should be there, and he agreed that it should not.
He did some bloodwork, and sure enough my thyroid levels were high, and he referred me to an
endocrinologist (which, of course, I was completely comfortable with!).
To make a long story short, the knot is just a "beneign nodule" but I needed to be on some thyroid medication.
I told him I had set a goal to lose weight this year, and he told me that I wouldn't have lost much to ANY weight if I hadn't addressed this issue first.

Those two visits (and my impending BIG birthday) motivated me to get my physical health back under control.
I know I wasn't falling apart, but I know that's the mindset that gets folks in trouble.
Don't do anything.
Don't try something new because it's hard.
"It's not THAT bad."
I didn't want to be a statistic.
Type 2 Diabetes runs like a river through my family, and I just knew I was headed to take a dip in that river.
I knew I needed my energy back if I was going to continue on this path of homeschooling these children that I felt the Lord has brought me to.
So on the 1st of January, I set a goal to lose 45 pounds.
I weighed 180 pounds.
(I don't know why I hate putting that number out there.  For some reason, I feel embarassed that I somehow intentionally "let" myself get to that unhealthy weight when in reality it just grew there so gradually that I hadn't noticed.)
It has taken me just over 10 months, but this last weekend I FINALLY reached my goal!!

With the motivations in mind that I mentioned at the beginning of this post,
I will be journaling a little bit about where I've been and what I've learned to do to accomplish this over the next couple weeks.
Maybe I'll do a weekly series with a posting every Tuesday.....I'll have to think of a name.  
Any ideas?
(Maybe something like....."Weight-loss Wednesdays"......but then I'd have to do it on Wednesdays!)
Over time, this journey has become about WAY more than just losing the weight.
The Lord has taught me many things about myself, 
 about Him,
and that my sufficiency is found in Him alone!!

This picture was taken just 11 months ago at the end of December 2010.
I have such mixed emotions looking at this picture of myself (not of the people in the rest of the group!!).
I remember so vividly how the flags were waving violently in my head that I was not in a good place.

45 pounds lighter in October 2010 (several weeks ago).
What a journey this has been!!


Ken said...

Good job, Brenda! My wife and I looked at your pictures and we agree that you have done well!

Laura said...

Wow! Congratulations! You must feel SO MUCH better! I wish I could get my act together and lose a chunk. Did you just cut back? Was it very hard?