It’s been a while since I’ve talked about my weird food journey, and since I joined the Facebook group my friend Sammycakes started, I mentioned I’d share, so boom, here I am (actually, I’m nursing a thrown back, see posts here and here for more details on my clumsy side)
(that sentence is entirely too long, sorry)
Food. Who doesn’t LOVE food?
Lots of people, that’s who. I always find it very, very odd that someone says “Oh, I forgot to eat.” *insert shocked visage* WHAT? How can you forget to eat?
Growing up Italian has its little quirks. I’m technically German, Irish and Italian, but my Mom tended to the Italian side (plus, that’s the fun side of the family) so you know we had some wonderful meals. Mom was a great cook. One thing I never heard growing up was “Put that away, it’s almost dinner time.”
In my teens, I walked everywhere. I mean everywhere. I even walked across the George Washington Bridge a few times. Not for any reason other than I could. Okay, maybe some strange substances were involved a few times, but still…And I always had this lingering fascination with becoming a vegetarian, even way back then. But, then we’d go out to the local diner and get a big, greasy burger and those thoughts got tucked way, way back into my head (and if you grew up in NJ, you’d see the sanity in that statement).
Cooking school went by the wayside due to tuition, or lack thereof. I cannot IMAGINE what size I would have been had I gone. I do love to cook. Always have. When other kids went home and watched cartoons, I was watching Graham Kerr and Julia.
I lost most of the baby weight from Child Number One. I was pretty happy at about 125 pounds. I never did learn about curbing my appetite, was never interested in dieting or exercise more than a passing interest in an aerobics class, and that proved to be too sweaty. Same problem I had in gym class. Too much sweat.
When I came to the Lord and started going to church, it still didn’t really click that indulging in food COULD be a spiritual struggle. I mean, gluttons were HUGE people, right? Not me (as I stuffed my 3rd cannolli in my mouth at Bible study) And let’s not forget, Bible study people are just one notch below Italians when it comes to “a nice little nosh” before study time. Oh.My.Word.
So, along comes baby Number Three within 23 months of Baby Number Two and I was quite round. Size 16. I am only five foot one. (My husband contests that) Weight Watchers worked for 2 months until I got tired of driving to the meetings and scarfing a hero after. You all know that trick: starve before weigh in. Okay, I’m beginning to wonder now if I have an “issue” or it’s all in my mind. (Chips Ahoys and milk are great to contemplate with)
Along came this program at our church. I’m going to say RIGHT UP FRONT that I do not endorse it now due to major theological issues with the founder. It is a very “law” based program, and that’s all I will go into now. But, I joined Weigh Down at our church and the Lord really took hold of my mania with food. I had to confess then, I and still confess now, I am obsessed. I love food. I love EATING food. Preparing food. Talking food. That comes in at a tie with talking about writing. The only thing I love more than a good food debate is a good theology debate.
So, into Weigh Down I went and I lost 40 pounds in one year. I remember so clearly one day when I had lost about 20 of that, and we were in church talking (and not eating, LOL!) A friend (who was in the WD class with me, that I had recently become a leader of) asked me how much I had lost.
“So, Barbara, what have you lost so far? About 50 pounds?” *insert shocked face again*
I sputtered a kind response, and seethed the rest of the day. HOW FAT DID I LOOK???????
I got over it. Probably.
A bad thing started to happen. I was maintaining the 40 pound loss, leading 2 WD classes, and was very, VERY full of myself. I mean, I was the cherry on top of the ice cream that I did NOT have to eat if I was not hungry. An incident occurred that shook me out of that real fast.Soon after, Weigh Down started to Melt Down with the appearance of the founder on Larry King and she showed her very strange theological views. It shook many of us out of complacency, unfortunately.
Fast forward to Baby Number Four. That took me out of WD. Then we moved away, and Baby Number Five arrived. Things got busy, and that’s when I discovered Atkins. I lost 12-ish pounds very quick. Aye, but all that meat! It was making me sick. So, that went by the wayside, as did a few other plans that I lost the first five on real fast then it became work. because I was not applying spiritual principles to it.
Somewhere along this time frame in the Pocono Mountains I found Thin Within, Setting Captives Free and In His Image. ALL based on spiritual principles. I was happy. I didn’t lose, but I didn’t gain. And it put the focus back on what it needed to be on. My walk in the Lord.
All of that to say, FOR ME, my obsession with food is just that. Obsession. I can allow it (and too often, I do) to be My All In All, when only Jesus should be that. I use it to comfort, when I should be running to His Arms. I use it as celebration when I should be Giving Glory To God In The Highest.
There is NOTHING wrong with comfort and celebrations involving food. It’s the priority it has in your heart. THAT is where the problem lies. Food is an Idol I nee d to knock off the altar of my heart frequently.
Now that I am “over 40,” I know that not only do I need to curb my flesh, I also need to MOVE it. Back to my dillemna of not enjoying sweat. But…as it turns out, it’s not so bad. It actually feels pretty darn good to be working, moving, and knowing that under the fluff, muscles are being tightened, and my system is getting healthier for it. I sorta like it.
My goal for the year is to run a 5K. maybe even the 15K part, if I can get myself up from all these weird injuries. (refer to past blog posts linked above) I have a dear friend at church who ran her first marathon last year. She’s going to do the Hot Chocolate with me. So, as I nurse my sore back today, I will start reading Hal Higdon’s Smart Running. And pray that I can Glorify Jesus in all I do. After all, that’s all that really matters 😀
Blessings to you!