Category Archives: Weight Loss

Getting Back After ‘Failure’

Today’s post is not an easy one for me to be writing but it is a really important one. Last year, I was writing a lot about how I had been losing weight and what I was doing to keep that going. I haven’t blogged about weight loss for a while now because, frankly, I ‘failed.’ The photo you see above comes from the end of November, 2015 (with my wife, sister and brother-in-law), when I was sitting at one of the healthiest weights I have been in years… but I was still about 40 lbs. from where I wanted to be.

When I realized that I had set a completely unrealistic weight goal (losing that extra weight in a length of time that became impossible), I gave up. For a couple of months, I just ate as I pleased. After a few months of this, I realized that I had gained back almost 30 lbs! Out of shame, I started doing ‘dietbets’ again, but I would just gain the weight back after because I felt that I had failed.

Something shifted in the beginning of the summer for me, I realized that I had been letting my failure define my weight loss journey. In fear of ‘failing’ again, I just gave up and said “I’ll lose the weight eventually.” I was afraid to set a new weight loss goal because I thought that if I didn’t reach it, I would just fall back into shame. This mentality was BRUTAL and self-defeating, so I needed to put it aside and choose to learn from my failures rather than be defined by them.

  1. I learned that weight loss is a process. It’s something that takes time and is work; but is worth it. If you are able to lose weight quickly, that’s good, but it’s not enough to just lose the weight and go back to how I was eating before (that caused me to gain the weight). Weight loss is a process and it’s not “all-in all-out.”
  2. I learned that it’s important to enjoy the process. When I was shedding weight like crazy, I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing. Don’t get me wrong, I liked going to the gym, but overall I was just thinking about the next time I could treat myself or when “I won’t have to do this anymore.” I learned that gradual weight loss can be enjoyable, and this is more sustainable.
  3. I learned how powerful shame is… but also how ridiculous it is. Shame is probably one of the largest reasons why I am overweight. When I feel ashamed about myself, I overeat… Shame is a liar, and it’s not mine to carry. Over this summer, I have had to give my shame to Jesus, thank Him for who He has made me, and receive my identity from Him.

I have been planning on writing this post for a while, but have held out on it (as it is quite a vulnerable post)… but this morning I saw an email in my inbox from a blog I subscribe to called “How God Feels about failure…” (click to visit full post). In this post, Graham Cooke says some incredibly profound things:

God has a plan to make us successful by¬†using failure for us and not against us….
In the love of God, we cannot fail; we can only make mistakes and mistakes have already been covered by the cross.
This kind of love helps us to relax about ourselves and our lives. In mistakes, we understand how lovely we are to the Lord. That is what empowers us to overcome failure as a negative construct and wield it into a weapon that propels us into developing our destiny…

We are a work in progress. No one condemns the artist of an unfinished picture. Instead we look at it, like God does, loving it for what it is today and picturing what it could become. We wonder, we imagine and we are excited by the possibilities!

Seeing this blog this morning compelled me to write this post for those who may be living in a season of defeat. Don’t let your defeat define you, let God define You – and let Him take you as you are to where He’s calling you to be. It’s not going to be a one-stop fix, it’s going to take work (lot’s of work), but He’s right there with you!

IMG_6828Here I am, back on the scale.. back on the weight loss journey… the failure is behind me. I am carrying the consequences of neglecting healthy choices from the early part of 2016 but that is not what is going to define my journey moving forward. Don’t let it define yours!
Thanks for all of the prayers, support, well wishes, accountability, and friendship!

Feel free to share with those who may need the encouragement.

Advertisements

Re-Evaluating My Time (What’s Different?, Part 2 of 5)

IMG_2030

First off, I want to apologize for my lack of updates recently. It has been a crazy few months! As you can see from the photo above, Kirsten and I have been all over the place ūüôā I will be posting a bit on the trip that we were able to take and some of the highlights later, but with the bit of time I have left today, I wanted to talk about something that has been a huge part of my weight loss: time.

This series is a short series on five things that have really helped me in my weight loss journey. I can honestly say that I have tried to lose weight numerous times before and have fallen short quickly (after a lack of results or physical pain that I was feeling). This series, titled ‘what’s different’ is my attempt to answer that question for you all to hopefully spur on those who are on a similar journey. This week I want to talk quickly about time.

Time is a funny Thing…¬†

When I started thinking about weight loss, one of the biggest excuses that came to my mind was: I don’t have enough time! Going to the gym can take over an hour (at least), cooking healthy food can take a while, logging food into myfitnesspal is a bit of a time waster…. And to top it off, getting unhealthy food from McDonalds is so convenient…

The issue of time doesn’t just account in moments of convenience.. time is an issue in GENERAL because weight loss takes so long. Getting to the weight I need to be at is something that will take a lot of time and, to be honest, it’s something that I am not sure I am always willing to wait for.

Once I realized that I was thinking in this way I realized that my view of time was really hindering me from living a healthy lifestyle.. Something needed to change.

We Make Time for What we Want to Make Time For…¬†

IMG_2340

I’ll be honest here. It did not take me very long to realize that I actually DID have time in my day. As soon as I started exercising, logging food, and trying to stop eating out of convienence the shows on my PVR piled up and the time wasters that I had indulged in *cough* clash of clans *cough* (among other games etc.) stopped taking up so much of my days. Don’t get me wrong, I still watch TV and play games, but it’s after the other things are done!

One of the hardest things I’ve had to do was look at my priorities. I made a list of my values and priorities, the things that I cared about. I then had to carefully discern, from that list, what was actually a value and what was an ‘ideal’ (something that I didn’t actually value because it was not something that I invested any time into). When weight loss and health becomes a priority and the excuse of ‘I don’t have enough time for this’ is exposed… this is able to happen because those things have moved from ideal values to actual values.

Let’s use today for example. I have to be at the House of prayer in 2 hours, but I haven’t gone to the gym today. I’ve structured my whole day so I could get all of my work done in order to go to the gym before HoPE. Will I be rushed, probably, but I value and prioritize this now.

I want to encourage you to ask yourself the hard questions – do I actually value weight loss and healthy eating? How can I make these things a priority in my life.

Conquering Objections… (What’s Different? Series Part 1 of 5)

11102684_10153258567589564_6331882703688322737_n

I took the photo above this morning at the gym. I am holding a 45 lb. weight.. that is roughly the amount¬†of weight that I have lost in the last 3 months. It’s pretty crazy to think about the reality that I was carrying around this much weight all of the time!

So What has Changed? 

As I shared in my last blog post, weight loss has been something that I have tried to do time and time again. I have often failed very quickly after mustering up some motivation… but this time, something is different. I wanted to address that quickly in my blog posts for the next little while. Hopefully this will resonate for some of you!

1. I realized that I was catering to objections rather than truths: In a counselling session, my counselor and I were talking about why I didn’t want to lose weight, what some of the ‘objections’ that I had to losing weight were… “I don’t have the time to excercise,”¬†“food is an idol and I don’t want to give up certain foods or the freedom of eating what I want, when I want,” “I don’t have the emotional energy to lose weight,” “I don’t deserve to be skinny (as if my being overweight was some sort of equalizer for my lack of self esteem…”¬†to be honest, the list goes on.

What my counselor had me do next was weird.. she had me walk up and down the stairs outside of her office. After doing so, I returned to her office and she asked me a question: “What was easier, writing down the objections or walking up and down the stairs?” I said to her “walking up and down the stairs,” she said “then why do you keep living in all of those objections rather than just doing something¬†about it and¬†exercising?” I didn’t have an answer.

What I learned on that day was that I had been catering to objections rather than truth.

As I understand them, objections are lies or excuses in my mind (either subconscious¬†or conscious)¬†that ‘object’ to making positive and healthy choices… the problem is that I was giving these objections so much power.

The Bible actually talks about this a bit in Romans 7.. Check it out:

18¬†For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19¬†For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20¬†Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. –Romans 7:18-20

So, our Spirit’s desire to walk in wholeness and health while our flesh desires to act on things that are not healthy. Our flesh objects to our Spirit’s. But the good news is that we are not live under subjection to our flesh, we are to live under subjection to Spirit.

9¬†But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10¬†But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit[i] is life because of righteousness.11¬†If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ[j]from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.¬†–Romans 8:9-11

God’s Spirit lives in ME and gives me the power to overcome the objections of my flesh and live healthy: the way that HE intends me to live! As soon as I learned that the excuses I was making were actually holding me back from being healthy, I realized that these objections needed to (and can) be put in their place! Part of overcoming these objections has been a daily request for the Holy Spirit to give me strength when my flesh wants to make an unwise choice. As you can see, the results have been amazing!

Questions to consider:¬†What ‘objections’ do you face when you think about your own journey to wholeness and health? What lies may be fuelling those objections? What would it look to silence those objections and ‘go up and down the stairs.’

Sharing my Journey

Throughout my entire life, one of the biggest struggles that I have consistently faced has been maintaining a healthy weight. I have always had a passion for sports, but I would have to admit¬†that I have never had an ‘athletic’ build or even a healthy BMI. What I’ve realized recently is that I have been using my body type as an excuse not to eat healthy and not to excercise. This, along with many other excuses, needed to be thrown to the wayside – I needed to get serious.

188444_4401199563_8353_n
After hitting a home run in little league. Growing up loved sports, but that didn’t always equate to eating well.

Before I start with this blog, I want to give you all a little bit of my story in regards to my weight as well as why i am choosing to start this blog… feel free to read on if you want! In the future, I will want my posts to be much less about myself, but I want each of you who may be following to understand where I am coming from.

A Lifelong Struggle

From when I was really young, I can always remember being larger than the other kids in my grade. This lent itself to a very poor image of myself and, frankly, quite a low self esteem. I always compensated for this, though, by pouring myself into athletics. My size gave me an advantage in some sports while in others I felt that I needed to work much harder to excel, but this is something I could always push myself to do.

189928_4401279563_1374_n

In the summer of 2003, I fell off a 50-70 foot cliff (I will be sharing more on this story in the future, but for now, I want to simply mention it in order to tie it into my weight struggle). To make a long story very short, I was miraculously healed. Not only did God save my life, He rapidly healed my 14 broken bones! I was in the hospital, in total, for only about 7 weeks and my recovery time only lasted a few months. God is so good! Anyways, I don’t know if any of you have experienced broken bones before, but one of the things that occurs during this time is muscle atrophy. Because of the nature of my injuries, muscles all over my body were atrophied and I lost a lot of weight in a very unhealthy manner. My doctors told me I needed to start gaining weight back, but I did so in such an unhealthy way – through eating.

DW - Aug.03 016
About 4 Weeks after the Accident
196430_4401379563_7246_n
High School Graduation June 2005

I gained back all of my weight and more.. In fact, until I graduated high school in 2005, I did not really stop gaining weight. It was a daily struggle for me and I can honestly say that it was something I hated about myself and had no control over. Miraculously, after my graduation, I found some sort of motivation and was able to lose a bunch of weight. In fact, between January 2005 (grad) and Januray 2006 (1/2 way through my first year of Bible College), I lost a ton of weight. I went from being a size 40 XL to a size 34 M, I felt good, I was running a lot… it was a great feeling… But it came crashing to an end. I started experiencing knee pain at this time and this became an excuse to¬†stop exercising. I would learn later that I have arthritis in my left knee as a result of my accident. At the time, this revelation crushed me. I turned to food for comfort and stopped exercising.

188503_4400994563_5931_n
This is about the Lightest I’ve ever been…

Needless to say, ever since then, I have been putting on weight. I have gone through a few seasons (weeks or months) of intentional good choices and shedding a few pounds… but overall I have not made healthy choices in regards to my eating or exercise. The consequences showed in numerous ways – I outgrew many outfits, I would eat to the point of embarrassment at social gatherings, and I was generally not comfortable in my own skin. All of this while serving as a pastor.

10987652_10152681765407666_7093896111403735514_n
Me at the peak of my weight.

A New Season

One of the intentional steps that I chose to take in terms of getting serious about my weight loss was seeing a counselor. This was one of the best decisions that Kirsten and I have ever made! I will be sharing a lot of the things that I have learned from my sessions in the blogs that follow. Please know that a lot of what is going on has happened as God has done some emotional healing in me through counseling.

On Valentines Day, 2015, I was hanging out with my family in Onoway, Alberta. I was talking to one of my cousins there about what I was feeling in regards to my weight and the two of us decided that we wanted to get serious about change. Directly prior to this I had a very embarrassing experience. I was dropping Kirsten off at No Frills and, because I was dropping her off at the door, I was blocking traffic slightly. This infuriated a man and he followed me in his car to where I went to park while waiting for her. He yelled expletives at me about how selfish I was for blocking traffic… when I responded by simply saying “I was just dropping my wife off at the door,” he yelled at me – “well that’s how fat people get fat, because they are lazy, you lazy fat… (you get the picture).” I do not know what was going through this guy’s head that he would lash out at me like this (I’ve forgiven him and chosen to think that there was something else going on that he was simply taking out on me)… but I do know that something shifted in me on that day. The reality of the situation dawned on me – I am overweight and it is obviously noticable… my weight is something that I cannot hide.

Following that encounter and my decision to become accountable with my cousin’s husband, things have changed drastically. I would say that on this Valentine’s Day I was weighing over 300 lbs. (I do not know exactly how much because I was too ashamed to step on a scale, all I know is that after losing weight already I weighed in in the high 290’s). This morning I stood on the scale just under 260. I have lost 40 lbs. so far and have a picture below to show about 1/2 of the weight loss thus far.

Weight Loss May 19.001

The Purpose of this Blog

I have found that, in the past, when I’ve lost weight, I have done so with a motivation of seeking the approval of others. My friends and family would comment on how I am looking and they would say ‘you look good’ and this would motivate me to continue. The motivation and approval of others, though, is not a sustainable enough motivation for me to lose weight. This is why, up to this point, I have not posted much publicly about my weight loss besides a few ‘dietbet updates’ on any forum other than ‘Myfitnesspal.’ I did not want my weight loss at this time to be about looking good in the eyes of others. What I have found, though, is even with a very limited public¬†forum, many people have shared with me that my journey has inspired them and they have asked what I’m doing or what’s going on for me.

This blog is for those people (and anyone else looking for Biblical encouragement in regards  to healthy weight loss or a healthy life in general). God has taken me through quite the journey in regards to my weight loss. He has had to dismantle negative beliefs that I have about Him and about myself, He has had to show me that food is not a god even though I was treating it as such. He has had to show me that gratitude for my body and love my body are absoluetly essential in becoming like Him and, most of all, He has had to show me that every time I say no to an unhealthy food and yes to an exercise, that is an act of worship to God.

I am going to use this blog to share with you all what has kept me going, how I have overcome some of the difficulties, and, ultimately, how I have seen God at work through my own weight loss process in hopes to inspire you all in your own journies. Please follow, share with friends, and feel free to comment. I look forward to sharing my life with some of you because I believe that God has allowed me to go through some of the things that I have gone through so that I can be a blessing to others. Thanks for reading, and hopefully I can ‘fill in some of the blanks’ in the posts that follow.