I was having cravings, so I was on Facebook trying to distract myself and silence the rationalizations running thru my brain. As I scrolled down my feed, I came upon the video below and I paused to listen to the man in the photo sing. I heard a gentle, beautiful voice singing a rendition of one of my favorite songs, Over the Rainbow. He was able to convey emotion in a quiet, soulful way that made me want to hear more.
Except that he died in 1997--weighing 750 pounds. My cravings left me as I realized that the comfort food came with too high of a cos. I'm really posting this so that every time I want to eat what I ought not, I can come bac here to listen, and be warned.
I dug this song out to post on a friend's blog so, of course, I feel compelled to post it on my own. I know you guys don't pause and listen to music often, but although this song has an odd sound to it, it has the kind of message that encourages one to stand tall and march on with expectations of victory. The scenery reminds me of the many hikes Bill and I have taken both here at home and in the Smokies before the circulation in his leg went bad and before he fell and hurt his back. Before...
You know what? Take a warning from me: You won't be young and healthy forever. Don't waste the health you have on sweets and junk food. If you do, one day this video will have the power to both nourish your soul...and make you weep, too.
I was reading this passage yesterday and, all of a sudden, it occurred to me that this passage spelled out the exact steps needed to follow a weight loss plan. Here's 2 Peter 1:5-7:
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness [some translations have virtue here]; and to goodness, knowledge;6 and to knowledge,self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.
Faith that trusts God to empower us & bring a good result
Virtue to want what is right & good
Knowledgeto know what plan to develop
Self-control to actually stick to that plan
Perseverance to keep at it
Godliness which is a reverential attitude towards God that makes us wantto do what pleases Him.
And to all of that, I say: Lord, let your Word take root in me!
I've been listening to the song Defying Gravity from the Broadway show Wicked. As I listened, it struck me that it could be interpreted from a Christian point of view, tho I'm pretty sure that was not the author's intent. }
But if you listen to it, not with a defiant or rebellious attitude--and, of course, skipping that whole Wizard of Oz thing-- but listening instead with the attitude of wanting to live your life boldly for Christ, the words take on a whole new meaning.
The world and the enemy would drag our attitudes, behaviors, and heart down, miring ust in what is now an ungodly culture. As I listened, I felt fired up to defy that gravity and walk boldly for Christ. I realize that no one else may hear what I do in this song, but I hear it, nonetheless.
I hear defying the gravity that would keep me bound in obesity and poor health. I hear defying, the gravity that would cause me to be circumspect in what I do or say so that I don't lose favor with others. rather than choosing to soar with the Lord who has shown me the ultimate favor It's about the courage to walk this Christian life true to myself in Jesus, regardless of the cost and raching new spiritual heights in the process. And, of course, there's the Rapture of the church! Some serious defying gravity will go on there. :D
At any rate, since I'm all fired up about my own personal interpretation of this song, and the oomph it's giving me, here it is:
Ohhh, first, for those who'd rather red than listen, here's the lyrics. :}
"Defying Gravity" ("I Stand" album version)
Something has changed within me Something is not the same I'm through with playing by the rules of someone else's game Too late for second-guessing Too late to go back to sleep It's time to trust my instincts, close my eyes and leap!
It's time to try
I think I'll try
Kiss me goodbye
I'm defying gravity
And you won't bring me down
I'm through accepting limits 'cause someone says they're so Some things I cannot change but 'til I try, I'll never know!Too long I've been afraid of losing love I guess I've lost Well, if that's love, it comes at much too high a cost!
I'd sooner buy
Kiss me goodbye
I'm defying gravity
I think I'll try
And you won't bring me down
Unlimited, My future is unlimited And I've just had a vision. Almost like a prophecy I know it sounds truly crazy And true, the vision's hazy But I swear, someday I'll be...
Flying so high! (defying gravity)
Kiss me goodbye! (defying gravity)
So if you care to find me Look to the western sky! As someone told me lately, "Everyone deserves the chance to fly!"
I'm defying gravity!
And you won't bring me down,
Bring me down,
Bbring me down!
Ah, ah [echo
And I just have to add this little clip from Britain's Got Talent of a most amazing child singing a bit of Defying Gravity. If listening to her doesn't give you goose bumps you're goose bump maker is broken!
I've been messing with my computer. I won't bore you with the details, but at one point I thought I might have to put on the t-shirt* I bought my husband after surgery, and call my son for help. * ( I had to watch him every minute or he'd try to do something he ought not do. Shirt Slogan: In my defense, I was left unsupervised.)
At any rate, in the process I was able to get my pictures back from their black hole confinement. So, here's what my computer desktop looks like now:
Bill (the Hubs) & Billy on a Smoky Mtn Trail in 2013
And here's a closer-up of my two Bills.
I am struck by how much younger we were just 4 years ago. I know that sounds amusing, but I say it with a tinge of wistfulness. We didn't realize how fast physical decline happens once you're 60 years old. Somehow, we went from middle age to old age in that short span of time. (Well. this has taken a depressing turn, hasn't it?!)
While at the hospital, Bill agreed to use the nicotine patch and hasn't smoked since. As we sat on the deck this morning, he talked about how surprised he was that it worked so well. I told him that I needed a patch! We talked about how addiction has such a hold, driving you to indulge in what hurts you, seeming to control you.
Afterwards, I came upstairs t check my email and looked at the above photos, acknowledging how much damage our choices have brought. Then, I sat to read my Bible... and was reminded, once again, that God is aware of me. Here is part of the scheduled portion. I just love it when God drops a Word right when I'm primed to listen.
2 Corinthians 6:12-20 abridged , New American Standard from Bible Gateway.
12 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.13 Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.....19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
I know. These are well-known verses in the weight loss/get in shape world. I recite them to myself often, but...interesting that they turned up today as I was wishing that I had not let food master me had, instead, done what I needed to do to get my body as healthy and as fit as possible.
I'm hearing the melody of the new song I mentioned in my last post. :) A song singing of liberty, of not being mastered by food, of remembering to whom I belong. And those words have just reminded me of this song:
And that's the way it goes,
P.S. My WL group was cancelled for today, so the first week is next week. I'm counting it as a reprieve! I'm still up from my last weigh-in.
It's Monday--official start that diet day all over the country. usually, for me anyway, it's just same song, 134th verse. But today, let it be a whole new song!
I did so well the beginning of this year. I started on January 18th and by the mid-March, I'd lost 20 pounds. And that was even tho I had a mini-stroke the end of February. But, somehow, a little too much life happened (The stroke sequelae was rugged, then I got the flu, and Bill had to have cataract surgery...twice, and stuff...you know, life stuff), and I began to flounder. I managed to lose an additional 5 pounds by the beginning of May, but that is back now.
The fact is, I've been losing and regaining that 5 pounds every week since May. And I'm tired of singing that song, for sure.
I joined a Christian weight loss group on January 19th that starts a new Bible study every 12 weeks. This past Thursday (which I missed because of Bill's back surgery) was the last week of this round. I had been toying with the idea of ditching the group sine I've lost nothing this past 12 weeks. Worse than nothing, I'm up 5 pounds..
But. This afternoon, the group leader called me today to co-ordinate the new book with me (I have to get an e-book and not all titles have that option.) The study book we settled on is called Beginnings and addresses failures, lessons learned, fresh starts, etc. To my surprise, I felt a bit of enthusiasm rise...hope even.
Since Thursday will be the first weigh-in for that new study, I'm pretty motivated to hit it hard the next three days to get as much of that five pound gain off before weigh day. Since I know that a plunge into carbs after being low car loads up a good bit of fluid, losing the whole five pounds is not out of the question.
I'll do very low carb meals & some protein (Primal Blueprint) shakes for a meal or two. That's not something I can maintain over the long haul, but I can do it for the three days between now and weigh-in morning. Then I'll shift to simply low carb (40-60 grams a day works for me.) for the duration.
So. My new song starts now--1AM Monday morning. Feel free to hum along. :)
I woke up this morning, after another evening of stress/exhaustion/anxiety eating. Yesterday evening, it was cold cereal--Rice Krispies, then Fruity Cheerios to be exact. As usual, I talked to God about it before I got out of bed. You know this kind of talk--the one in which you express regret for yesterday's poor choices, ask forgiveness, and then ask for the ability to get it right this day.
I pretty much have the same conversation with God every morning these days. I've been struggling since March, losing and gaining the same five pounds. I know...you know how that goes, too. I could list the stressors that have presented themselves, but...really...it would just be same song, different verse from the years of losing, gaining, losing, gaining I've walked thru.
I have to say, tho, that this surgery extravaganza with the Hubs has been rugged as far as eating goes. Ten hour days at the hospital, the stress of having to get rides to and from the hospital for us since Bill cannot drive for a few weeks and I cannot drive at all. The hospital food, the anxiety of it all, and now with Bill home, his difficulty in submitting to the restrictions put on him by the Md. (Truthfully, the only thing that has kept him from undoing the surgery via unwise activity is the pain he is in.) At any rate, it's been a perfect storm for the food addict that I am.
But this morning, before I got out of bed, a thought crossed my mind. The thought wasn't new in that I've always known I had a choice to not eat, to turn to God instead. yeah. got that. But it was the specific choice of words...the words somehow captivated me. The reminder that I have a choice was expressed this way: "You can give yourself to addiction or to adoration."
Addiction or Adoration.
Last night, and the night before, and the night before that, I gave in to addiction. I chose addiction. Last evening, in particular, the choice was clear. It had been a stressful day. I had to walk down street to pay our sewage bill (Bill forgot to mail it prior to surgery and didn't tell me that until it was too late to mail it.), and Bill insisted on walking down with me. Sigh. Now it's only about a quarter mile or so each way, BUT the return home part involves walking up a steep hill to our house. No way to avoid it. (We live in the Appalachian foothills.) And, of course, a quarter mile each way is a total of half a mile--much further than he has walked so far...here just 9 days post-op...and it was humid and nearly80 degrees at 10 AM when we left on our little trek. It stressed me out!
And, then, our grandson came by to cut the grass. That sounds like a good thing, doesn't it? And it was, except that Bill isn't used to sitting around while someone does "his" work, so he was out there in the yard "helping" Josh. Since Bill is not supposed to bend or twist or push/pull/lift more than 5 pounds, seeing him squatting in the yard and messing with weeds and trimmers as he directed Josh just freaked me out. (By that time it was 85 degrees and humid, by the way.)
I did well eating all day, but after Josh left at 7pm, I was hungry. I'd fed Josh and bill, but Hadn't had dinner myself. I didn't want the on plan food I had, I wanted ice cream. Which I didn't have in the house and it was too hot to walk to the store and carry it back before it turned to soup. Now, here's the ting: I have chocolate flavored, healthy, protein shake powder that if I blend with ice gets as thick as a milk shake. It's tastes good, has low carbs and 20 grams of protein. That shake, which takes just minutes to make, crossed my mind. Did I choose that? Nope. I convinced myself that a small bowl of Rice Krispies would be easier and satisfy my craving better. It would be fine.
It wasn't. No surprise there.
All of that to say this: The choice was clearly before me. Sweet, ice creamish on plan food vs addictive food. I chose addiction. I could have paused, praised God for bringing the shake to my mind and followed His gracious lead. I cold have walked in adoration, but chose to fall into addiction. And this morning the scale showed a 2 pound gain to accompany my regrets.
Addiction or Adoration. How do I want to live my life...to walk this walk? I need to see this with a clear eye, to recognize that the path is really that black and white, that distinct for me. (It may not be for you; it is for me.) Addiction or adoration?
After I got out of bed, this was part of my morning Bible reading: Romans 6:2-14 (Used Bible Gateway for text below)
How shall we who died to sin still live in it?3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;7 for he who has died is freed from sin.
8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Surgery was extensive, but successful. Bill was discharged Thursday evening. He is, of course, in a good bit of pain and gets up and down with difficulty. Riding in a car is painful. His stables will come out on June 10th and that should relieve much of the discomfort he feels when sitting.
He is able to walk with a cane and able to climb steps, tho. He's already taking short walks around the outside of the house several times a day. (My problem is NOT getting him to be active; it is to keep him from overdoing it!)
Despite the pain, he can tell that his legs are working better and it's easier to walk than it was before the surgery. His foot drop is gone as is the sciatica pain down his leg.
We are grateful to God for His healing touch and for your prayers.
We just got back from Bill's appointment to discuss back surgery. (He has spinal stenosis, 4 bulging discs & ligament hy[ertrophy) We expected to hear about minimally invasive surgery.
The stenosis is severe, pinching the spinal cord in one spot & crowding it through the entire lumbar spine. The MD says the surgery would involve a 6 inch incision through which he would remove*(see update below) 3 of his 5 lumbar vertebrae, partially remove one other, trim the s1 vertebrae, remove parts of the damaged ligaments, & something else. (The voice in my head shouting "Wait! What?" blocked out the third thing.
The MD listed risks, but said that more than 90% of this type of surgery for this problem are very successful and restore full functioning. He said that Bill would be in the hospital for 2 or 3 nights, barring complication, and then be restricted in activity for one month.
He will not be permitted to lift more than 5 pounds for the first thirty days, or do any strenuous physical activity like mowing grass, etc. He is to take walk as much as he can during those 30 days, however.. After the first month, Bill will go to PT for stretching & core strengthening exercises. What happens after that second month was not explained. I suppose it depends on how Bill's healing up.
Bill fixated on not being able to lift more than 5 pounds or do anything physical except walk for an entire month. He's always been a very physical guy, although he's been very limited this past year so doing nothing won't be as much of a change as he thinks. When he does work around the house, he suffers for days.
I fixated on the removing vertebrae* part. I mean, I suppose it's possible that the MD meant that he was only removing the lamina (the back of the vertebrae that covers the spinal cord), but that's not what he said. He said he needed to remove two vertebrae. The MD explained the need for that procedure, but I'm not entirely sure what he said except for my comment above. Something about over large vertebrae, nerve root impingement, screws and wires... I don't know.
I'm just stricken about this. It sounds so, so risky. I asked Bill if he wanted to see someone else for a second opinion; he does not. He says God does the healing and he's tired of fooling with this. He's ready to "get it done." I'm ready to throw up.
We will be getting a phone call tomorrow re: the surgery date, and I'll ask about the exact intent of the surgeon..
And that's the weigh it goes,
UPDATE: I just spoke with the MD's office assistant. The plan is for a laminectomy, not total vertebrae removal. If an upcoming xray* shows spine instability, a fusion would be required that may involve vertebrae removal and a cage. Details will be known after this special xray is completed. Whew!
Xray results in--spine appears to be stable. MD plans on laminectomy. Surgery date is tentatively scheduled for June 26.
I have a prayer request. The bottom line is this: My husband has an appointment with a neurosurgeon on Monday to discuss back surgery. :o
Bill has been having significant back trouble--ever since he fell out of the bed of his pick-up truck bed... while backing his John Deere riding mower down two planks. yeah.
His back had been bothering him some before that, but after his plunge to earth--his shoulder hitting the pavement while his leg was pinned under the mower--it's been disabling. He's had to use a cane to walk and struggles to do any physical activity, among other symptoms. Until this accident, he had been very active.
At any rate, he got his MRI results last week. He has significant spinal stenosis and several--several--bulging discs and ligament hypertrophy throughout his lumbar spine. There is also some misalignment of the spine, and the MRI even shows a cyst there somewhere. A cyst? Really? Yep.
Prior to the MRI, he had gone to a chiropractor thinking he'd just thrown his back out. The treatments gave him some relief, but it only lasted a day. (The MRI explains that.) and the insurance required that Bill go to physical therapy for six weeks before they'd authorize the MRI. (I want to sue them for torture!). The PT did not help. At all. Not a surprise.
So. All things considered, surgery is his only option. Back surgery scares me. Ah-lot. I have, of course, been praying for a miraculous healing. And it could still happen. But, if God chooses to work through the MDs, then so be it.
I read Karen's latest post which included a discussion on percentages of macros...and graphs from My Fitness Pal. It got me to thinking about those macros--not that I don't regularly think about macros, I do--and wondering if my actual eating matched up with my set goals as far as percentages of what I am eating goes.
Let me explain. MFP sets up macro goals per percentage of calories consumed. (1200 in my case). Those percentages give me actual numbers in grams. From experience, I know that I need to pay attention to the grams. For instance, I'm okay as far as my glucose readings go if I stay below 60 grams of carbohydrate a day (This keeps my insulin doses far below MD recommendation--6 units before meals as opposed to 14, for instance. And, yes, lower carb would be even less insulin, I think).
I also know from experience that my body is exceptionally skilled at turning protein into glucose ( Yes. Of course it would be.), so I have to keep my protein down under 90 grams a day-- more than that sends my glucose soaring. Additionally, per my DNA recommendations & my body's bathroom visits, I need to go easy on fat. (Although, since I had my gallbladder out at age 20, that advice may have come too late.) So, fat bombs aren't on my list of things to pop into my mouth.
All of those considerations make for a tight parameter and a need to jiggle percentages to get the numbers to match. Here's what I came up with: Percentages of 1200 calories is: Carb15%, (45 gr)Protein 25% (75 grams) & Fat 60%. (80 grams) I, of course, have no real idea whether or not those numbers/ratios are good for me. time will tell.
And here's where Karen's post came in.
I've been logging in my food for a few months now. Sometimes I go under calories, sometimes over. (Lots of times over.) The thing is, although MFP sets gram targets per percentage, the daily tally of food eaten just lists the targets & breakdown of actual food eaten by calorie & gram numbers' no percentages are listed. So, curious about my actual real-life percentages, I pulled up charts for each macro and looked at only the days for which I was 1400 calories or under. And guess what I found when I figured the percentages.
Almost every day, even when my calories were on target, my carb percentages were WAY over 15% of my daily intake. Now doesn't that just figure?
Whether my calories were at 1200 or way below 1200, I often shorted my protein and fat to get to that desired calorie range which , of course, changed the percentage ratio. Without realizing it, I'd been paying close attention to the calories and generally choosing low carb, but paying almost no attention to the actual gram numbers across the board. One day, I only had 800 calories, but with 50 grams of carb, the carbohydrate percentage was 25%. sighhhh.
And that may explains why I sometimes have higher glucose levels when I test than I expected to have. I thought I was becoming brittle (I mean, I've been diabetic for over 40 years, and it happens.) But it may be the percentage issue. My lack of protein and fat may be adding extra oomph to those pesky carbs.
Or not. I'm thinking on it. :} I really have almost no idea what I'm talking abut. I was surprised, tho, to see just how large a percentage of my total food intake is still being used up by carbohydrates. That sneaky carb addiction dies hard, doesnt it?
I need to talk to God about it; He knows all about this stuff.
And that's the weigh it goes,
P.S. Hmmmm. Upon rereading this to edit, it feels way too tedious. If I continue to try to edit, I'll just delete, so--sorry about the typos and congrats to anyone who actually read to this point. :}
Sometimes dark places yield the most light, and I've been sitting in shadows for a little while now. I can't explain it exactly for there's no one thing that's prompting that "my soul is downcast within me" feeling. I just have this odd sense of loss.
But that isn't the point of this post, it's just the backdrop.
Last week, I started reading a book that is about accepting yourself as God made you instead of seeking approval from others or, to paraphrase the title, being free to be who you already are. The author rather enjoys the sound of her own voice and tends toward the dramatic in her writing style, but amidst my eye rolls, I can recognize a certain charm and truth in her words.
A few chapters in, she was writing enthusiastically about her newfound freedom, but as I read, the thought crossed my mind that she was not yet free--she was fooling herself. A chapter or two later, she expressed the same conclusion. :} I stopped reading at that point and began talking to God. About freedom. About my currently sorrowful soul. About this feeling of loss, the roots of which I am unaware.
And a line from an old Janis Joplin song crossed my mind. "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose." I let the song play through my mind and picked the book back up. The author was talking about how she realized that she was still striving,, still seeking public love as she went from speaking engagement to speaking engagement--telling women how to be free, still wanting to "count" to someone. She wrote that she felt God tell her that she counted to Him--and asked her if Het was enough. The author realized that for her, at that moment, it was not.
I put the book back in my lap and listened to Janis sing in my memory again.
And something I heard a long time ago crossed my mind: True freedom comes when God is enough, when He alone is all you need.
Is God enough for me? If all I know and have falls away, and I am left with God alone--would I still stand? Would joy still be found in my heart? Would God, just God and nothing or no one else, be enough for me?
I have not taken medication or had a hallucination since Good Friday. By His stripes, I am healed; and I am grateful. thank you to all of those who prayed.
The only residual effect I'm having from the stroke, at least as far as I can tell, is that I'm having some trouble telling right from left. I know. Isn't that weird? It may resolve, but if not, it's a minimal problem compared to what could have been.
The head that once was crowned with thorns
Is crowned with glory now
The Savior knelt to wash our feet
Now at His feet we bow
The One who wore our sin and shame
Now robed in majesty
The radiance of perfect love
Now shines for all to see
To Christ our King [x2]
The fear that held us now gives way
To Him who is our peace
His final breath upon the cross
Is now alive in me
To Christ our King [x2]
By Your Spirit I will rise From the ashes of defeat The resurrected King Is resurrecting me In Your Name I come alive To declare Your victory The resurrected King Is resurrecting me [x3]
The tomb where soldiers watched in vain
Was borrowed for three days
His body there would not remain
Our God has robbed the grave
Our God has robbed the grave
To Christ our King [x2]
By Your Spirit I will rise
From the ashes of defeat
The resurrected Kking
Is resurrecting me
In your Name I come alive
To declare Your victory
The resurrected King
Is resurrecting me
The resurrected King
Is resurrecting me
the wise pray honestly, give thanks faithfully, & praise entusiastically.
From this morning 's scheduled reading:
Psalm 42:5-11New Century Version (NCV)
5 Why am I so sad? Why am I so upset? I should put my hope in God and keep praising him, my Savior and 6 my God.
I am very sad. So I remember you where the Jordan River begins, near the peaks of Hermon and Mount Mizar. 7 Troubles have come again and again, sounding like waterfalls. Your waves are crashing all around me. 8 The Lord shows his true love every day. At night I have a song, and I pray to my living God. 9 I say to God, my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why am I sad and troubled by my enemies?” 10 My enemies’ insults make me feel as if my bones were broken. They are always saying, “Where is your God?”
11 Why am I so sad? Why am I so upset? I should put my hope in God and keep praising him, my Savior and my God.
I was reading in Deuteronomy where Moses was calling the people to a second round of agreement with God before they crossed over to the Jordan to their Promised Land. The whole, "I put before you a blessing and a curse" thing. He called them to love the Lord with abandon--and to prove that full-out love by--now, here it is: By OBEDIENCE.
Obedience is harder for me than I care to admit.
As I repeatedly read the call for obedience, I remembered the passage in the NT that I had read yesterday. A passage I marked to reread this morning--and did. That passage...and that word, obedience. And my struggle to surrender, despite my frequent good sounding intentions.
It's time to acknowledge my need for obedience. And to acknowledge that it must start right here, with the following simple, yet overwhelmingly difficult, commands in Luke6 by Jesus:
27 “But I say to you who are listening, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who are cruel to you. 29 If anyone slaps you on one cheek, offer him the other cheek, too. If someone takes your coat, do not stop him from taking your shirt. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and when someone takes something that is yours, don’t ask for it back. 31 Do to others what you would want them to do to you.
32 If you love only the people who love you, what praise should you get? Even sinners love the people who love them. 33 If you do good only to those who do good to you, what praise should you get? Even sinners do that! 34 If you lend things to people, always hoping to get something back, what praise should you get? Even sinners lend to other sinners so that they can get back the same amount!
35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without hoping to get anything back. Then you will have a great reward, and you will be children of the Most High God, because he is kind even to people who are ungrateful and full of sin. 36 Show mercy, just as your Father shows mercy.
37 “Don’t judge others, and you will not be judged. Don’t accuse others of being guilty, and you will not be accused of being guilty. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and you will receive. You will be given much. Pressed down, shaken together, and running over, it will spill into your lap. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you.”
41 “Why do you notice the little piece of dust in your friend’s eye, but you don’t notice the big piece of wood in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your friend, ‘Friend, let me take that little piece of dust out of your eye’ when you cannot see that big piece of wood in your own eye! You hypocrite! First, take the wood out of your own eye. Then you will see clearly to take the dust out of your friend’s eye.
46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but do not do what I say?
Jesus spit out quite a mouthful there, didn't He? And, of course, He meant every word. So, I've written this in an odd little post so that I can read it. Daily. And remember just where the goal post is.
Last Monday, I had a visit with my PCP & He also ordered an MRI. :o
Okay. I know MRIs don't hurt. Really, I do. But I'm claustrophobic. I tried to get an MRI 15 years ago and it went badly. I really thought it would be okay. I told myself nothing would hurt and I just needed to remind myself of that while inside the tube. How'd it go? About 30 seconds after I was slid into the tube, I began to pound on the sides while screaming, "Let me out" over and over again. It was humiliating.
Needless to say, that little event was in the forefront of my mind the second my PCP said "MRI." I knew it had to be done, tho. After all, if it were exclusively the contrast dye, the hallucinations should have passed by then. Something else could be going on. The MD gave me a Xanax. One Xanax. A .5, to be exact. I knew it wouldn't be enough.
So, I prayed a lot. I had other people pray for me. A lot of other people. And by Thursday, I felt their prayers. Until Thursday, every time I spoke of or wrote an email about the MRI, I began to cry. (Can you believe that? I was so embarrassed. I'm really not much of a crier.)
But on Thursday, as I typed out an email to my Pastor--no tears. And I began to feel a peace settle in.
The MRI was Friday at 3:15. Friday morning, the first Scripture that crossed my mind was Jesus saying, "I am with you always." And, then, in my daily Bible reading, I read these verses, "He [God] is your hiding place. He will protect you. He will fill your heart with songs of deliverance. He will surround you with His love."
And, I knew. That day...during that MRI...anxiety was going to be defeated. It may look like I was surrounded by a tube, but I would be surrounded by God's love; I would be hidden in Him; and my heart would be filled with freedom's songs, not anxiety.
And that's exactly what happened. It was the easiest test I ever had--start to finish. Simple, relaxed, stress free. If you knew my terror during my last attempt and the terror I felt every time I thought of it, you would know--it was a miracle. God was my hiding place and I wasn't afraid.
Haha. And the Xanax never kicked in. Too funny. (Even a .5 causes me to slur my speech a bit. Not this time. Nothin')
I just received an email from 23&Me delivering their new Genetic Weight Report . I'm just going to cut and paste some things, with the 23&Me content in this font: DNA info.
If you aren't entertained by 23&Me presentation, the bottom line is that my DNA predisposes me to weigh about 13% more than average, not ideal weight. That would be, per 23&Me about 180 pounds. Let me say that a different way: Per my DNA, my body's most comfortable spot is about 180 pounds. Above or below that is y own doing, either thru neglect or effort. (Right now there is evidence that neglect has been winning for a long time.)
23&Me provided fewer details than I would have liked--like I have a double copy of the Ghrelin gene. They didn't go into detail about that kind of thing. Here's what they did report:
The Genetic Weight Report looks at DNA variants you have that are associated with weight and breaks down whether you’re genetically predisposed to weigh more or less than average. It also highlights the different effects certain lifestyle factors have on weight for people with genetics similar to yours.
Debra, your genes predispose you to weigh about 13% more thanaverage. The average weight for a woman your age who is 5'5" tall is 162 pounds, based on 23andMe participants of European descent.
We determined your result by looking at DNAvariants associated with weight based on our research. Some variants have a stronger effect on weight than others, which our analysis took into account. Because of this, your proportion of higher to lower weight variants may not exactly align with your overall predisposition.
They went on to list lifestyle factors in people with my genetic disposition who were NOT overweight. The factors were exciting in their everydayness. :} While many people do what they believe are all of the right things but do NOT lose weight or lose it painfully slowly, I have always known that when I do what I need to do, the weight comes off. (Tho it is coming off a bit slower at my advanced age. sigh.)
Here's 23&Me's findings on what my genotype needs to do to lose weight: Healthy Habits for Your Genetics
We looked at 23andMe research participants with a genetic weight predisposition like yours and found certain lifestyle factors that were associated with the biggest weight differences.
1.Avoiding fast food Associated with weighing up to 17.8% less
2.Exercising Associated with weighing up to 16.4% less . People at a healthy weight exercised 2-3 times per week, on average.
3. Limiting red meat Associated with weighing up to 15.5% less 4.Eating vegetables Associated with weighing up to 12% less People at a healthy weight ate 2-4 servings of vegetables per day, on average.People who ate more than 7 servings of vegetables per day weighed up to 12.1% less than those who never ate vegetables
5. Eating fish Associated with weighing up to 11.9% less. People at a healthy weight ate fish 1-2 times per week, on average.
If you notice, nowhere in this list is the advice that is given so often in "health" circles today which is to eat more healthy whole grains. That's because my DNA report lit up for high risk for celiacs and gluten intolerance markers. I guess I need to add some more veggies and exercise to my already low carb eats. Of course, I already knew that. :}
I also know why every time I try t lose weight, the struggle begins in earnest when I hit the 180 s. This time I'll be prepared for that. High as it sounds, 165 to 170 always felt like a good weight for me; maybe it is right. We'll see.
And that's the weigh it goes,
Oh. I'm scheduled for an MRI on Friday. I am very, very, very claustrophobic so I'm pretty anxious about it. Prayers would be appreciated.
Although I have moments of really, really, really thinking that overeating is a spiritual issue, most of the time those moments are more of a "crying in my beer" kind of thing rather than a deep down belief. I just haven't been able to give complete cognitive assent.
I know, really I do, that gluttony is a sin. Okay. I know that. And yet, I excuse my own personal brand of overeating as NOT gluttony because I don't' eat great amounts of food. Real food, that is. I mean, you wouldn't see me wolfing down 4 cheeseburgers. I barely finish one. I don't get double orders of anything. I often give part of the food on my plate to my husband, because I can't finish and he always can.
So, I decide that I am not a glutton. I'm just nearly 100 pounds overweight. Sigh.
My excess poundage comes from eating sweets. Calorie dense sweets. Not all day long, you understand, but every night. I eat ice cream as I relax and watch TV. If I'm reading, then I eat M&Ms. 1 pound bags of M&Ms. You wouldn't think that I could be aware of how many calories I consume every night and still not think I'm a glutton, would you? That is the charm of deception. And that's for another post.
My point is, I've had trouble seeing overeating as a spiritual issue. I mean it's a physical thing; it's just eating...
But FINALLY, just today, I got it. And I got it without addressing the whole am I or am I not a glutton dilemma. (Which is probably a good thing because I'm still not convinced about the glutton thing.)
Here's what happened:
I joined a weight loss Bible study group about 10 days ago. The Bible study is on boundaries, and is
currently on spiritual boundaries...and I've been a bit annoyed with it because I thought the study would be more food/overeating focused. There is nary a mention of anything diet related. Hmph. I mean it is a WEIGHT LOSS group. Shouldn't this Bible study be telling me about...well, never mind.
Today, after reading another study portion on spiritual boundaries, I put my Kindle down and just leaned back to think. ( I should think more often.)
I ran my mind over the study's teachings and questions. One question asked us to identify our own spiritual boundaries. I was able to list quite a few, which would boil down to "I don't dabble." For instance, I don't read horoscopes or go to palm reading parties. Gd didn't say it was evil unless you were laughing while you were doing it. I keep my distance. There were other areas, but they could all be lumped into the attitude of steering clear of even the watery edges of sin, in other words--not dabbling.
Fine. Nothing about my spiritual boundaries had anything to do with food. (Of course not.)
At that point, I decided I had enough of the WL Bible study that was not about weight loss, and read a segment from the latest Jonathan Cahn book. The page was on avoiding evil...by avoiding temptation. It kind of fit into my "don't dabble" theme. As I read, the proverb about staying clear of an adulteress was quoted along with the added warning to not even go near her door. The commentary on that was that the adulteress was much stronger temptation than an old door, so if you stayed clear of her door, you'd be well out of danger of giving into her wiles.
Fine. So, I began thinking again about avoiding temptation and spiritual boundaries and not dabbling at the edges. I remembered my decision as a new wife to not slow dance with men other than my husband. For me, it was avoiding the "door" that could lead to flirtation, then adultery--not that I knew anything about the "door" warning at the time.
Because adultery was the issue at hand in the proverb, my mind wandered to acquaintances who could qualify as sex addicts. Their attitude is, "It's just sex...bodies doing what bodies are meant to do. No big deal." But it's not just a physical event; it is sin. It crosses a God-given spiritual boundary.
Ohhhhh. Wait.... What? And the light bulb of a connection came on.
It's not just a physical thing, this overeating. It crosses a God-given spiritual boundary.
Overeating, gluttonous or not, dies harm to my body--great harm. I am told that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Beyond that, by weakening my body, I am weakening my ability to do what God has called me to do. Despite my desire to get technical about the meaning of "gluttony" so that I can eat what I want without falling in the sin category, the implicit command is to eat no more than what is beneficial for me to eat. (I mean, God even allows for "eating the sweet" during celebrations. It's not like He's being mean about this and confining me to celery and water.)
When I overeat, or eat sweets on a daily basis, I cross a spiritual boundary.Whether I achieve gluttony of Biblical proportions or not--I am definitely opening the door to it. I am crossing a spiritual boundary that God has set for my good and His glory.
My take-way is simple, but has changed the way I look at overeating. It's not just a physical event; it's not just a shrug in the grand scheme of things--overeating is crossing a spiritual boundary into the watery edges of sin...and I don't dabble. At least not any more.