Friday, January 9, 2009

The Process

Two-thirds of all Americans (so I presume Canadians are very similar) are overweight. One-third are considered obese. From a body mass index standpoint (however "accurate" BMI measurement is), your BMI should be 25 or less. If it's 25-30, you are considered overweight, and if it's between 30-40 you are considered obese. If it's over 40 you are considered morbidly obese. That means only one-third of all Americans/Canadians are considered to be a healthy weight. It is predicted that at this current rate of increase of obesity, that by the year 2030, over 80 percent of Americans/Canadians will be obese.

And that means that our children face a shorter life span than we do, unless they are in the 20 percent category.

I'm writing about something I never thought I'd write about. Because of my own weight problems, this is very personal to me, and I've never been very open about it. Even my own husband does not know what I weigh.

This is January and weight loss resolutions are rampant. I've been reading other people's blogs about weight loss goals (and God bless them). I have also done some recent research about weight loss and obesity.

I have fallen short on numerous occasions and I struggle to "get back on the wagon". This year I did not make a resolution because past failures cloud my view.

And yet the faces of my young children, AND their future, are ever before me.

Eating for "comfort" is the most common reason to overeat. So I ask myself if this is true, why do I need food for comfort when I know the Comforter? Then I beat myself up for not leaning on the Comforter for my help, and so I "fall off the wagon". And the cycle continues.

Because we cannot live without eating, I think the addiction of food is more difficult to overcome than other addictions, like drugs or alcohol (please do not throw stones at me because I am not lessening the difficulty of overcoming those addictions). Let's face it, we have to discipline ourselves daily to avoid eating what we shouldn't while still having to eat. That's tough.

I've been thinking about people that I know who are not overweight BECAUSE of self-discipline. NOT the ones who have good genes and can eat anything they want without gaining weight - there's a difference. But those who by manner of lifestyle and choice have won this battle. Have you ever noticed how many of these people are self-disciplined in general? Take the tongue, for instance. We know what the Bible says about the tongue. It's the most unruly member of our body and can cause no end of trouble. Why? Because we talk. All the time. Daily. Communication is essential to living (like food). It's something we have to do (if we are able to) and yet, it's the most unruly member of our body.

Unless you're self-disciplined. Period. The people I know who are self-disciplined about their weight are generally self-disciplined with their mouth. (Yeah, there are exceptions, I know, but that's why I said generally.)

So the cat's out of the bag. I am undisciplined (like it wasn't obvious). And why is discipline so hard for me? It's because I fight the process and am impatient for instant results. And, I hate repeated failure and haven't figured out that I'm a bigger failure to NOT TRY than to try and fail, try and fail repeatedly, while continuing the process.

I think (I hope) that I've finally gotten the revelation that growth of any kind is a process. No battles are won without some failure along the way. Life is walking three steps forward and one step backward. I have got to learn to be content with the process, because as long as I'm taking snail-size steps forward, I am succeeding. And for me, that is the key.

This year my goal is to learn not to fight the process. The process that is necessary to lose weight (and lifestyle change in general); the process that is necessary to govern my tongue - because I think they're both of pretty equal importance. Whatever the goal is, it's a process. And the process and not fighting against it, is my goal. I believe that my life will change dramatically if I can just learn this one thing.

The faces of my babies are ever before me.

**NOTE**: Now that's I've reread this in the morning light, it sounds a little bit mumbo-jumbo. I hope the general point can be understood.


Amy St. Pierre said...

I am not sure if you read my blog, Darla, but like you, I am tired of the resolutions and such. And dieting! I have to make this a lifestyle change and it will not happen overnight. Me personally, would love to see the weight just melt off, but I am not that strong, disciplined, nor do I want to lose it only to gain it back! I want to see my grandchildren(oooohh, grandchildren...i just had babies!!!) but be healthy for me and them! My children need me to go places and do things with them I struggle with now because of my weight. I can't race them, I can't play tag(for longer than a minute or two)and as kids that's what they want. We can do it!

Darla said...

Yes, Amy, yours was one of the blog I've read (have you noticed yours in my "favorite blog list?"), and knew you were trying to lose weight (and God bless you for it!). I know there are people out there who struggle like me, and truthfully, I need encouragement, so thank you very much for it.

Like I said in my post, it's always been very, very personal for me and when I have been trying to lose weight I haven't advertised it at all (because of my many failures). I haven't yet started to try again because I realize I have to work on not fighting against "the process" first.

Again Amy, thanks for your encouragement.

Rachel Peterson said...

In the past few months, I have started making a pretty big change in my eating habits. I really notice a difference when I cut back on the junk and eat the good ole fruits and veggies, make a healthy dinner, etc. Its hard, but it seems once you go to the grocery store and pick out the very healthiest food, you get into. (Hint: a good person to take with you to the store is Kyle. Mister Healthy himself!)

Darla said...

Huh? All I've ever seen Kyle eat at my house is junk ---:).

Take my advice, Rach: Conquer this while you're young and BEFORE you have a problem.

Thanks for commenting.

Rachel Roberts said...

Great post Darla... again! ;o)

I think that the majority of people fail at losing weight because they set their goals too high. I've heard it said too many times that small goals yield small results and big goals yield big results. However, in regard to this topic, I think small starts will give you the most success. Example: Don't aspire to walk 5 miles, a day 5 times a week... while cut out all carbohydrates, sugar and dairy. That is not realistic for anyone, in my opinion. Instead, make a decision to cut out one bad habit at a time. For myself, I have quit eating fast food altogether. It is a bad habit we started since fast food is just a way of life down here, unfortunately.

Once you've "mastered" beating one habit, pick another and so on. This way, you're not trying to kill the giant with one punch. But you're taking him down, limb by limb.

I hope you have much success this year killing your "giant". We all have one, whether it's health & weight related or something in our personal or spiritual life.

Darla said...

Rachel R: Thanks for the encouragement.

I have in the past tried to set small goals. For example, I gave up pop altogether for several months and something odd happened -- I gained weight! Now, this doesn't happen all the time when I've set small goals, but for me when something like this happens it throws me right off the wagon. THAT IS WHERE I'M WEAK. Instead of continuing to NOT drink pop because it's still obviously healthier, I rebel and start up again.

I've got to learn to be happy with small amount of change, I know.

This is definitely my GIANT.

Rachel Roberts said...

You grew and gave birth to two amazing human beings. You can do ANYthing if you've done that! ;o)

Katrina Holmes (Tina) said...

You can do it. I think you have the right idea of how to conquer it this time. Thinking about health instead of dieting and wieght loss is a very good approach and much more meaningful. You are definitely not alone in your struggle with weight loss and discipline. I can totally relate.
PS Don't let your wieght define how you feel about yourself. You are an amazing woman and I love to read your thoughts.

Darla said...

Tina: Thanks so much for your kind words and for your encouragement. I know I've got to realize that I only fail when I completely stop trying. When I've finally mastered that thought, I do believe I'll win the ultimate battle.

Mellie B. said...

Hey darla this a GREAT post. so true for so many of us!! you should post this on the weight blog. I know for me this is true. I have joined weight groups, binge dieted, and occationally exersized but i get impatiant when i see no instant results so i say phoey and give it up just to pack the pounds on again. grrrr. I also though look at my children and realize i cant chase them around for more then a time without getting winded and having to sit down, i have so many things i would like to do that i cant (or more likely wont) because i'm overweight. Thank you for posting me it inspires me to get off my butt and do something about it. God bless you!!!

Darla said...

Thank you Mellie for your kind words and encouragement. For the first few years when the kids were really little, I tried to "get away with it". But it's now at the time that I know I can't. I have to LIVE it if I don't want them to take up the same bad habits.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Mellie B. said...

and thats so true. i notice that if i want junk and the kids are around they want it too so i give it to them as well and thats a really bad habbit i need to get out of. Eating junk myself and giving it to the kids. I already notice hanna after a few hours of no suger comes and asks me for a treat. yikes. yup things need to change around here.