This page is for those who are specifically interested in how “my diet” is going. I’m also putting it here as a means of accountability.
Some of you who just “surfed in” may not understand my “world view”. I am writing from a Christian “world view” and trust that my thinking is Scripturally based. At times I need correction along these lines as well. If you aren’t familiar with this way of thinking, it is possible this whole story may sound strange. Certainly parts of it will.
Pictures are at the bottom!
Somehow among Christian women, talking about weight seems a “no-no” and yet many women (men too) in our churches have the same problem. We are overweight, and not just 10 lbs over what we should be. Many people have gotten rich writing books about why people gain weight, such as the emotional problems that cause it, etc. There are so many complex issues that go together to “get there” that it is really unfair to categorize each overweight person as someone with an “emotional” or “spiritual” problem. In our Christian circles, many fellowships and activities take place around the dinner table or restaurant table.. Maybe too many? Maybe we should meet at the gym and play some basketball. Of course, it’s hard to have a serious conversation while dribbling down the court! :)
But, the story doesn’t end here. I’m currently 41, and I felt too young to resign myself to “fatness” for the rest of my life. I remembered being smaller and enjoying playing baseball, running, etc. I really didn’t want to give it up....
But, I felt somewhat frustrated. I tried to watch what I ate, and yet my weight stayed the same. I had previously memorized the verse from Proverbs 23:2 “Put a knife to thy throat if thou be a man given to appetite”--meaning gluttony-- but it didn’t help. I tried to only eat when hungry, but that didn’t seem to take off the weight either. I didn’t believe that eating when I was hungry was gluttony. To me a glutton was a person who ate piles and piles of food.
My twin sister, Rachael, had started a diet a year previously, but I didn’t want to admit that I, too, needed to lose a lot of weight. If I openly admitted it to myself, it would mean that I would need to do something about it. I wasn’t ready. At the same time I knew deep down that I did need to do something.. I just didn’t look at myself in the mirror when I went by. It was too depressing. I knew that I was a person of value before the Lord, but I didn’t like the way I looked. At the same time, I didn’t know how to deal with it. I had tried to diet previously, but found it basically impossible with the need to constantly feed children and guests. It was sadistic to expect my stomach to be growling while I was fixing food for others. I’m not the kind to shirk pain--after all, I had 5 children without any anesthetics--, but neither do I go looking for it. I had tried the Rotation Diet previously but the last time I had tried it, it left me shaky and absolutely a grouch. With a family, it wasn’t going to work.
What was I going to do? I didn’t know.
It was time for furlough. I didn’t have many clothes that fit, but took what I had. I didn’t want to start shopping at Lane Bryant, but really didn’t know what size I needed to buy. Our “clothing budget” wasn’t really much. I hadn’t bought clothes for ages. My wardrobe was in shambles. Basically for 4 years in Poland I had purchased one denim skirt on-line from www.Reiman.com, which was worn out and had worn out most of my other clothes that fit, mainly denim jumpers. I had bought some nice sweatshirts on Ebay. (Clothes in Poland seem to be made for “sticks”.)
Our supporting church in Kissimmee, FL, Gateway Baptist, had us in for a missions conference shortly after we arrived in the states. The pastor’s wife took the girls and me shopping to a thrift store --Savers. It was a store that was new to me, but it was very large, and had high quality stuff. However, I didn’t see too much that would fit me, so even that was depressing. I enjoyed looking for things for Abby though, as she is nice and small.
I had purchased some things on Ebay which arrived while we were in FL, but several of the things didn’t fit. That depressed and angered me. (I wasn’t angry at anyone but myself, but more depressed than angry.) Then, one of our supporting churches in Tampa, Hillsdale Baptist, surprised both Mike and me with 1. a suit of clothes plus some super nice dress shirts for Mike, and 2. a very generous gift card for JCPenneys for me, so that I could buy some new clothes. Well, I didn’t like the way I looked in anything, so I really didn’t want to spend the money. When Mike saw that I hadn’t taken the time to go to Penney’s to buy anything, with only a few days left to return to Poland in early March, he kind of “told me” I needed to go to the mall. I then shared with him that I wanted to use the gift card as a motivation for losing weight and that I wanted to wait to spend it when we came back on furlough, part 2 later on in the year.. He said, “OK.”
So, I wanted to lose weight. Now, how? I really didn’t know how. I knew about calories, etc., as I was a home ec ed major in college, but it is one thing for a man or woman who doesn’t have to be at home in the kitchen to decide to lose weight, and something totally different for a mom who is at home full time, and cooks for a crowd or a family, etc. There were a lot of challenges and I wasn’t sure how to meet them.
Shortly after we arrived back in Poland in mid-March, 2003, I read on Fox news (on line) that Atkins had died. Fox News, who had nothing to gain, entitled their story, “Maybe he wasn’t wrong after all.” I read the story. I previously was aghast that anyone would use the Atkins to diet. “How unhealthy,” I thought. But, the Fox News story started me thinking.
In late April we had some missionaries visit us, the Mestlers, from IBM, our mission board, who are in Kenya. Mrs. Mestler told me she had lost 30 lbs, with the Atkins diet before going on furlough. “Hmmm.” I thought.
In early May, we had a missionary get-together in Krakow, with other IBF missionaries. I hadn’t seen one of the ladies for 4 years and when I saw her, she looked smaller, but I thought maybe I just didn’t remember right. But, she assured me she had lost 50 lbs, or more....also using the Atkins diet. I was intrigued.
I knew she was a mom with 3 small kids, and had to be around food all the time, including feeding little ones. So, I began to ask her questions. She directed me to the Atkins web site. I read about it.
I decided to try it. I began the last Sat. in May using the Atkins method of eating. Those in the “know” call it the WOE (way of eating). I liked the fact that I never had to be hungry. At first it was hard, but I found the weight dropping off me.
We went back to the states in August for a 2 month furlough, and unfortunately I put some of the weight back on. It wasn’t really because I ate “carbs” again...it was because I overate--like 15 Oreos at a time-- Those feelings of deprivation can do awful things for a person. (No, we don’t have Oreos over here and yes, I do like them!.) But, I came back to Poland in mid-October, determined to get back to where I was. I hadn’t weighed since I left. I had to get back on it, and I got back to where I had been in about 5 weeks. Since then, it’s been “downward progress”...
While in the states during furlough, part 2, we were able to “hit” several thrift stores in Mike’s home stompin'’ grounds in the Matanuska Valley area, AK. Mike’s step-dad, Pete, loves thrift store shopping, so we had a good time doing that together! (Not Mike...but Mike’s mom, Pete, and I!) We managed to get to a couple of yard sales, but very few, as we often were travelling on the weekends. But, I found a Savers in Denver, CO, and 2 Savers/Value Villages in the Tempe, AZ area where we were for a week for a missions conference and bought myself some nice clothes there. I even met other church members of our mission board’s church while shopping there. I also used up the JC Penney’s gift card on necessities. It was a great blessing.
It does make a difference if you have nice clothes to wear. I am aware of the verse (I Timothy 2:9) that teaches that our beauty is not to be in the outward adorning of our hair or our clothes, but when a woman has nice things (they don’t need to be expensive), she feels prettier. Feeling feminine is important to me.
For a more complete description of some of my more recent conclusions about women and dress go to cultural letter # 16...written March 10, 2004.
I have many people to thank for encouraging me along the way...my twin sister, of course, who has had the courage to put her story on the internet on her web site, the BJU Baltic mission team 2003 who were SOO encouraging, Karen, my friend in Krakow, and the low carb diet group--where I’ve had many questions answered--. Of course, my family, who has done without a lot of baking in the ensuing months, and always my husband, who has been supportive. Here are some pictures so you can see the progress. I am still the “same person”, but some of you may remember me as one way or the other. But truly, for most of my life, I was not overweight.
Here I am, one year later, and I’ve not completely arrived yet, but I’ve come so far since last year. Basically I’ve dedicated my whole last year to getting myself back to the kind of shape I should be in. I’ve learned tons about LC and why it works as a diet.