Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Weight Loss Journey - 70 Pounds Gone

Philip weight loss

I have reached a milestone. It has now been over a year since I lost 70 pounds and have maintained that loss.

I guess that is a big thing. Many people who lose a lot of weight end up gaining it back. That is especially true of fad diets or diets that don't come with lifestyle change.

The posts following these comments are my story. They give a glimpse into my life during the time I was losing weight and some of the things I learned. No fad diets, no 30 pounds in 30 days, and nothing for sale. It is something anyone could do.

In the past year I have continued to track what I eat. While I was losing weight I was very strict in my tracking. Everything I ate was written down. That helped in many ways. I learned a lot about different foods and it also helped me resist the temptation to eat whatever is nearby. I am more liberal now. I have a limit of calories I eat and track each day and there is some room for snacks that I don't write down.

"Counting calories" carries a lot of baggage for some people. They want to lose weight but don't want to do something that sounds oppressive. Many weight loss programs boast that you don't have to count calories. The thing is, it's really basic math. If you take in fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. The opposite is also true. By tracking what you eat, you can see what direction you are going to go. You can't wish away calories. Studies show that without tracking, people highly underestimate the amount of calories they are consuming.

While I was losing weight I would weigh myself each week on the same day and at the same time. Every week I lost between 1 to 2 pounds. I knew it was going to happen because my food tracking predicted it. I now weigh myself every day and use an app that shows the trend of my weight; if I am staying the same or going up or down. The trend is what really helps. Because of different factors I may show a weight fluctuation of several pounds from day to day. The average shows where I am really at.

As far as exercise goes, I love to ride my bike and go on walks. The calories I burn are also tracked and balance out what I eat. If I burn a lot through exercise then I know I need to add more healthy fuel to my body. I also do regular strength training with a set of resistance bands. They cost less than $20 and there are many exercises that can be done with them.

My life has drastically improved since I lost weight. I feel so much better, have more energy and feel better about myself, at least the outside part. I never want to go back to where I was so I am willing to maintain habits that will keep me where I need to be.

The battle is not over. I cheerfully admit that I have a problem with food. For me it is probably an addiction. Unless God frees me from that I will always have to battle food lust and bad eating. For better health I will gladly do that.

The last thing I want to say is that if you want to lose weight you need to do it for you and for the right reason. I was challenged with that at the beginning of my journey. First of all I wanted to please God and second I wanted to live a healthy lifestyle. I also knew that it was going to take supernatural help from God. With those motivations I knew I could expect success. My journey wasn't tied into what other people felt about me and whether or not they supported what I was doing. I wanted to be a better person for me and for God.

I hope my story helps you. Here is the path I traveled. If your browser supports it, each post will open a new tab or window.

Here is my story from beginning to end:

I lost the sack of cement

How’s That Working For Ya?

Lose It for Life

Food Journal – Do I have to do this?

Breakfast, Sleep and Weight Loss

Predictable Weight Loss

My small God

Losing Weight - The good and bad



Ultimate (bad) Breakfast Platter

Thanks for reading.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Psalm 91 - What if it were true?

This psalm should force a crisis of faith. It is so blatant in its promises that we either skip over it, deny it or find ourselves wishing it were true. But who of us experiences it?

Let's read it before I go on:

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
8 You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge —
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Are you with me? Does it seem too good to be true? Maybe what we need is a theologian to explain how it doesn't really mean what it says of that it was for a different time or for someone else.

Or could the problem be with us? Maybe we are not dwelling or abiding or making God our refuge. Maybe we are not trusting. Maybe we don't need Him to cover us because we have good insurance or a great security system. Maybe we don't hold fast to Him or call on Him when we are in trouble.

Could it be that what is required is complete faith and trust? Think about this from Mark 6:5-6: And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief.

So the promises of Psalm 91 are true but our unbelief keeps them from us. We want to try before we buy. We want to believe halfway and see if God comes through but He usually doesn't work that way.

So if we want to read Psalm 91 and be able to recall how it has been true in our life then we need to live a different kind of life. We can't trust by percentages or have a backup plan. It's all or nothing.

We find ourselves in the same place as the father of a demon possessed son. In Mark 9:23 Jesus said this: All things are possible to him who believes. The father honestly responded: I do believe; help my unbelief.

Pray that unbelief would be gone and then trust with full abandon! Life will be drastically different.