The Quiet Changes

It’s been two months since my last post. My two-year anniversary of the beginning of my weight loss journey has come and gone, and it’s a new year. During that time, I’ve gone from tracking my food like crazy without losing weight to my current state of stillness.

I thought about letting my blog fall to the wayside and add to the giant pile of abandoned weight loss blogs and be on my way of weight gain and denial. Instead, I’m going to try keeping it simple. No more waiting to have a good picture of topic for my post. No more waiting for the best moment to write. Those quiet moments are rare and probably best used on other things.

So, here I go, 2017. I start the year without any fanfare or big declarations. My only health resolution is to make my health somewhere on my list of priorities. I’m a bit tired of striving for a goal and never reaching it. I know losing weight will help me, but I can’t handle making it such a huge part of my life.

For now, I’m hoping to minimize pain and be more functional. Now, I just need to work on how to make that happen. It won’t be exciting. Instead, I’m hoping for quiet changes that make up a tiny piece of the puzzle that is my life.

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My Own Little White World – Part 1

My Story

Hanging with the cousins – I’m the one in the blue dress, my sister is behind me, and my brother is in the bottom left corner.

As I read my Facebook and Twitter, I see many different perspectives on race and how it fits into our lives. In my heart, I know I have a lot to say about this topic, but I wonder what can I add to the conversation. All I can do is share my story. For those expecting to see a weight loss blog entry, please bear with me (my weigh-in this morning was 236.2 pounds in case you’re interested). As a blog writer, I’m convinced it would be a tragedy to say nothing. I have a small platform, but it’s time for me to step up to it.

As a Christian, I believe that every part of me and every part of you was intricately designed by God. Much of a Christian’s life seems to be spent figuring out what it means to live faithfully where He’s placed us, whether it is race, gender, culture, socioeconomic status, country of origin, time in history, family, skills, or personality. We serve a creative, intentional God who shows His glory in His creation. If you love God, please take the time to notice the beauty in the diversity of the people He created in His image. I beg you to spend time getting to know people who are different from you and try to see the world from their perspective. If not, you are missing out on seeing the goodness of God from so many different angles.

This is where I’m coming from, but how did I get here? It’s a long story, so I will only share part of it today. Everyone has an entry point to their development of racial identity. Mine was to working class white parents in a suburb of Indianapolis. They attended a fiercely independent Baptist church,  and they home schooled. In some ways, this set me up to be…let’s say quirky. It also set me up to be okay with standing against widespread beliefs and questioning how society and the church in America works.

My mom grew up in the southwest and had a daughter from a previous marriage to a Navajo man. My dad’s family moved from France to the hill country of Missouri and sang blue grass and Southern gospel together at their family gatherings. My dad adopted my sister when he married my mom, so I was born with an 11 year old sister who was half Navajo and half white and a 2 and a half year old brother who was white.

From birth, I had a role model who had darker skin, hair, and eyes than I did. I am aware that not everyone has this opportunity. When I was old enough to be mobile, I was the annoying little sister who sat outside her big sister’s locked door crying because I wanted to spend every second with her. When I started getting dolls, I wanted the white dolls with blonde hair, but I also wanted the black dolls (I don’t remember seeing any Latina, Asian or Native American dolls at the stores then).

Just having a biracial sister did not mean I was an instant expert on race, but it did mean that my impressions of people of other races started early in my life. Other than the usual sibling drama, these daily impressions were positive. It was through these lenses that I interpreted the things that I saw and heard people say. We’ll get to that next time.

 

Trading Good for Best

In two days, I will have my one year WordPress anniversary. This is my 77th post (which doesn’t include the handful in my drafts folder…contrary to popular belief, sometimes thoughts aren’t really worth sharing). On big days like this, it makes sense to take a step back and see the big picture. Big pictures are not always my strength. I tend to focus so much on the details that I forget why I was focused on them in the first place. They become ends in themselves instead of means to something greater.

During the past year, I’ve gotten this tunnel vision on a lot of things: weight loss podcasts, cleaning, hair care, gardening, Monster Legends (lol!), making food from scratch, and even writing a blog post every day for a month. All of these things can be good things when enjoyed from the security of finding my identity, sustenance, and foundation in Jesus. This was true for me some of the time. When I find that I’m investing too much time chasing after something else, I typically toss it out of my life (an appropriate choice for things like Monster Legends). It becomes tricky when those things are needed in every day life, like cleaning and hair care.

So, how do I as a Christian measure whether these things are taking a healthy place in my life? There are a couple of things that I’ve picked up from different places (like sermons, books, and workshops) that have been helpful for me to gauge whether something good or neutral is starting to take the place of what’s best.

  • What is driving my decisions in life? I’m a part of a Facebook community for people with wavy hair. It’s been a great resource for me to figure out the information that I ignored when I was an adolescent. However, there are some people who take pictures of their hair every day and post them on the group, fret about their decisions about what hair product will give their hair more or less ______ (fill in the blank), and schedule their lives around their hair. If my hair is driving my decisions, it is distracting me from what should be.
  • When I’m not thinking about anything, what do I think about? This just means, “What does my thinking naturally gravitate toward?” In Psalm 1:2 (and many other places in the Bible), it says that a person is blessed when “his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” I want my thoughts to drift toward God all day long, not what I ate for breakfast or what steps I need to take to get my plants to survive.
  • I become what I behold. What am I beholding? I spent over a year listening to weight loss podcasts every chance I got. There were times when I stepped back and took a break from them, but in the grand scheme of things, I spent a lot of time beholding a certain weight loss philosophy perspective. It’s one that I happen to support and tend to agree with most of the time. When I spend that much time putting myself in front of one thing, it begins to shape how I think and act. While it’s not bad for someone who is trying to lose weight to study the habits of someone who has already lost the weight, it’s not the best thing for me as a Jesus follower to invest so much of my time in.

I’m not saying that I’ve wasted a year of my life. I’ve learned very necessary skills that I should have probably learned much earlier in life. I’ve developed a better mindset and perspective on weight loss and health. What I’m saying is that it’s time for me to focus on something greater. I’m tired of spending so much time looking in the mirror and at other people. I want to look into the face of Jesus, and, as I behold Him, I pray that I will become more like Him.

 

The Lawn Mower Killer

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I’m a lawn mower killer. Not only did I break our lawn mower, but also our friends’ lawn mower. Follow that up with a van that doesn’t start and a refrigerator that won’t keep things cool, and I have a little bit of a mess.

It seems that even my strategy of pushing ahead through imperfections doesn’t always give me the end product I was hoping for. Let’s review.

  • There’s a weird long patch of grass in my backyard (thankfully, my husband mowed most of the remaining yard with the neighbor’s mower).
  • My food is packed into a mini-fridge waiting for a permanent home.
  • Some of the plants I started inside are doing great, but a lot of them died when I was forced to put them on the porch when the light I was using inside burnt out and then left them out overnight a little too early.
  • My volleyball training plan I wrote about in April is the last thing I’m thinking about.
  • I’m eating more chocolate and drinking more coffee than my digestive system prefers.
  • I haven’t blogged for a very long time. 🙂

All this to say that I have taken some hits to my confidence lately. To be honest, sometimes I just suck at things.

Thankfully, my life isn’t sustained by my self esteem. Just having confidence in my own abilities isn’t going to get me through. Things will go wrong. Sometimes very wrong. Sometimes it will be out of my control. Sometimes it will be completely my fault. At the end of the day, there’s not much I can do about it but get help when I need it and dust myself off and keep on going.

So, I am here to tell you that I’m not letting these recent issues keep me down. It’s been awesome to see how God has provided for us with rides and loaned vehicles while the van has been out of commission. I’m excited to see how God is working in our neighborhood as my church is in the beginning stages of a church plant there. We’re thinking about starting the process to adopt from foster care soon.There are too many awesome things going on for me to be negative right now.

 

Really Good R Blogs

In case you’re interested in reading other good weight loss blogs, I have a couple of recommendations.

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The first one is called Roni’s Weigh. It’s written by Roni Noone who started her blog back in 2005 as a way to journal her weight loss journey. Now that she has lost 70 pounds and is maintaining her weigh loss, she shares her active lifestyle (running, CrossFit, family activities, etc) and talks about what life’s like on the other side of all of this.

 

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The second blog has my favorite blog title ever: Runs for Cookies. If you know me, you know how I feel about dessert. I’m not a runner, but I’m certainly inspired by them. Katie lost 125 pounds in 16 months! She’s been writing for five years, so her blog is full of great stuff. It’s so nice to see stories like hers to remind myself that this is totally possible.

 

What’s Next

direction-1013995_1280It’s been a while since my last post. so it’s time for an update. I am beginning to emerge from my winter slump. I felt a pull to quit earlier this week and just go back to my old habits.To be honest, I was trying to get by with doing as little as possible on the weight loss front. Expecting results with zero effort is not exactly realistic. I don’t want to go back to how I was, because I was miserable in a lot of ways back at 275 pounds. So, I’m focusing on doing something (anything) to get back to business.

My two goals right now are writing in my journal and hitting my step goal on my Garmin. I’m not the kind of person who stresses if I don’t hit 10,000 steps per day. In fact, I haven’t hit 10,000 steps once since I got the thing. It adjusts the goal based on how many steps I’ve been getting in, and let’s just say we’re below 5,000. I guess moving hasn’t been a top priority for me lately. Yikes.

In the food arena, I’m working on being honest with myself. If I will never eat the carrots and apple that’s been sitting in the fridge at work, maybe I should buy something healthy I will eat. While a treat or two is totally fine, I probably won’t lose weight if I eat the donuts AND the cookies AND the pizza AND…

So, I guess I’ve learned that I’m really good at maintaining my weight at this point. Looking forward, I have some exciting things coming up in March and April. I’ll be co-leading a fitness class, possibly volunteering for the kiddo’s Spring soccer program, and doing the A to Z Challenge (blogging every day in April with themes going through the alphabet starting with A on April 1st). Let me know if you have any ideas for April topics!

Why I Write

0115160956It’s funny how the best pictures tell a story, while the best writing paints a picture. Quality art in all forms seems to transcend its limitations to point to something more than itself. In the same way, I yearn for my art and my life to point to something greater than my own words and ideas.

I am not an artist in the traditional sense. I don’t draw or paint (that’s my husband’s thing). I am also not a public speaker by nature, so I can only admire spoken word artists like Blair Linne, Jackie Hill Perry, and Propaganda. While I love singing and photography, I only dabble. My first artistic love is writing.

When I was eight years old, my friend Anna and I started the Writer’s Club (my inspiration was a combination of Anne of Green Gables and the Babysitter’s Club). From that moment forward, I considered myself a writer. The weird part was that I didn’t always feel like I had something important to say. Or, I would make grand plans for a story or a novel and it would never get too much past the planning stage. I did write, but not as much or as well as I had hoped. I dreamed of becoming a journalist, but chose teaching as my major instead (it turns out, I’m not designed for the typical teacher role). When I was in college, I discovered a love of poetry. I was pretty good at it, but I didn’t stick with it consistently even though I hoped to get some of my creations published.

What I’ve learned recently, though, is that I do have something to say. I may not always know what that is or who will listen, but I have a responsibility to share it. When I write, I feel as if barriers are stripped away and I can truly convey what I mean. I’m far from perfect, however, and sometimes I just write what I think people would want to read. As I stumble through my blog posts, I hope that even a tiny part of my writing hints at something (Someone) greater than these words or this woman. That Someone gives me purpose and meaning. That Someone holds the universe in His hand. That Someone loves me, rescued me, and continues to rescue me daily. That Someone is Jesus.

By His strength, for His glory, in His arms

~ Becky