Wednesday, October 6, 2010

He will not leave me powerless

I know it may seem odd to think about God on a fat blog, but to tell the truth it's new to me too. I'll come back to it though.

Being fat is something I've always thought about myself. It wasn't always true, but I always thought it. At least, as long as I had conscious thoughts about myself. Tonight my 3 1/2 year old said something about being "too fat" and I was horrified. I make a very conscious effort not to inflict my own children with that kind of thinking. Especially since my kids are still in their perfect state. I'm quite sure that he has no idea what "fat" even means, but I don't want that kind of talk around him. And I don't know where he got it. I'll have to keep my ears open more vigilantly.

For a long time I fantasized about gastric bypass. Then my nurse sister suggested lap-band and I fantasized about that. See, I have to work at losing weight. It's always been a struggle, and I HATE the struggle. I HATE exercising for the sake of exercising. And I LOVE food. I'm talking about the really fattening kind, of course.

After thinking about major surgery, I found out that the stomach can actually stretch out and you can get fat again. For it to stick you have to change your life. But if I could change my life, I wouldn't need the stupid surgery, would I? So it seemed to me that I should live as if my stomach had been shrunk. Eat a lot less but a lot more often.

Sadly, I have no will power without extreme persuasive circumstance, so I never even did it for a day. I tell myself that I just love food too much. And inactivity.

In the past 10 months I've gained a lot. I mean, I was pregnant, but now that it's been a month and a half, I've got an 8 pound baby and about 35 pounds that weren't there when I started. Totally sucks.

So now what?

Well, I'm LDS. I know that's not news to anyone who knows me, and I'm sure all of you are wondering what this has to do with losing weight.

Since I have no desire to start a giant debate over something unrelated, I'm going to be a little bit vague.

In general conference last weekend one of our general authorities spoke about temptation and said that God would not leave us powerless. He will NEVER leave us without power to overcome.

Food is my kryptonite. I love it in most forms. I adore the play of spices on my tongue and revel in textures. Having it be my downfall doesn't mean I never want to eat again, but I certainly don't want it to overtake my life. I don't want my life to be about food. And I really really REALLY don't want my life to be about being fat. Well, unless I can get thin and then make loads of money from it somehow. :)

I don't want to give up food. I don't want to give up good food. But I don't want it to rule me.

Thing is, it doesn't have to. My husband was telling me about this talk from general conference and how God will always give us the power to overcome our temptations.

So, how does this relate to food? I'm not quite sure. I told my sister I wanted to breastfeed the new baby for 6 months and then go on a serious program and lose 100 pounds. I'd love to lose more like 150 or even 180. I can't even imagine myself that skinny, but to get below 200 pounds... or wear a size 12 again... heck, I'd be pleased to get into a size 18!

Thinking about this power that God has promised me... I'm sure He didn't have fat specifically in mind, but I don't think it's inappropriate to connect the two. See, my body is a gift from God and I'm pretty sure He wants me to take care of it. I think if I put my trust in Him, He'll have my back. I really do.

My sister suggested putting the kids in the bike trailer and biking to her house and back every day. Not a terrible thought, but she does live like 8 miles away with some pretty serious hills in between. Do I dare? Maybe not with the baby, but I'll bet the toddlers would love it. At least till it gets too cold, right?

So the question then becomes, how do I get massive amounts of exercise in now? When I'm so exhausted that my legs twitch almost constantly even while I'm awake? When I have heartburn and there are all sorts of ooky fall and winter sicknesses going around? And how do I lose the weight and keep my milk?

I'm pretty sure that God will help me find a way, but I'm also pretty sure that He would approve of me seeking advice.

The floor is now (back) open. Please chime in. I've missed your support.


  1. Holy crap, I have so much to comment about this post. Perhaps we just need to talk. For starters, though, I don't think it is weird at all to connect your weight loss efforts with God. In fact, a couple years ago, the idea came to me that I needed to repent for abusing my body to the point of being considered MORBIDLY OBESE. That's obviously not how God intended us to use our bodies.

    The other thing that I think about is how when you are fat, your body becomes a prison... which takes away agency... which is Satan's plan.

    I could go on and on, but losing weight to me is VERY connected to my spiritual well-being.

  2. This is something I've always struggled with too, and I was also struck by the same talk. What really struck me though was when he talked about Lot's wife and how the lesson was to never look back. I intend to print that saying and put it in a few key places around the house, but my problem is that I haven't turned around yet... I'm working on that. The thought came to me that if I could leave my bad habits (snacking too often, spending too much time sitting around) and never look back (act like I'll be turned to a pillar of salt if I go back to them) then it might make a difference. The spirit is getting stronger, but the flesh is weak. Good luck, Heather!

  3. I do want to say one thing about gastric bypass--they have found over and over that 90% of people who lose by gastric bypass keep most of the weight off (most will gain 10-20 pounds back over time, but they keep the majority of it off). And 85% of people who lose it through diet and exercise alone gain it ALL back within 10 years, and usually add more to it. So, that's something to think about.

    Also, the main difference between having the surgery and eating as though you had the surgery is this (and I'm only talking about gastric bypass or the vertical sleeve gastrectomy. NOT the lapband)-- they remove (or block off with staples) the part of your stomach which manufactures ghrelin. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells your brain you want to eat. Most people (including me)rarely feel any hunger sensation for close to a year. You eat by the clock, because you don't have the urge to eat pretty much ever. Obviously there are always exceptions, but as a rule, the hunger sensation goes away. So, that is HUGELY different than trying to eat miniscule portions when your brain and stomach are telling you you're hungry.

    Also, even if you do start to get the hungry feeling back, you physically can't eat much without getting sick. And you are forced into making a lifestyle change. It's a lot easier to make that change when the only other option is puking all the time.

    Yes, anyone can outwit the surgery. If you really want to gain the weight back, you surely can. You can do what is called grazing, where you eat a bite of two of things all day long.

    But like I said, for a good long time you have no desire to even put food into your mouth, and it really breaks that habit quickly.

    But yes, it's also a huge commitment. You have to supplement protein for at least a year (usually forever), and you have to take vitamins. If you have gastric bypass, you have to take A LOT of vitamins, FOREVER. If you have the sleeve (or lapband) you have to at least take a multi vitamin and calcium FOREVER. The vertical sleeve gastrectomy is great because you don't have the malabsorption of nutrients that you get with bypass, but you get the restriction of food intake and the removal of the ghrelin producing parts of the stomach.

    I would really NOT recommend the lapband for you. 1. It's really meant for people who have less than 100 pounds to lose. 2. It does not remove the ghrelin at all, so you're still hungry all the time, just unable to eat much. 3. It involves a lot of doctor visits. Bi-weekly at first, monthly for a while after that, and then at least every 6 months after that. The reason for so many visits is because the band has to be filled or emptied to create just the right amount of restriction. Also, you have a port on your abdomen so they can fill and empty it. I don't know what your insurance situation is, but a lot of insurances will cover the procedure to have the band put in, but not the subsequent visits to have it filled or emptied.

    O.k., I'll stop now. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me.

    (In case you can't tell, I went through a lot of weight loss surgery support group leader training and now I can't shut up about it. :) )

  4. my father is very fat conscious because he rides his bike 50 miles per day. being almost 70 if he even gains a few extra pounds it's very hard for him to commute. his new 'diet' is drinking 2 glasses of water every and i mean every time before he eats, no matter how small the meal or snack. he says the pounds just fall off if you do that.

  5. I was feeling disgusted with my attitude toward food this summer. I put no thought into what I was putting into my body and my attitude was more is more, even if I don't even really want it. I actually went to the temple asking for help. I soon got it. I got a handy program that helps me count my calories and keep track of how much I have eaten and how much I should be having. Knowledge IS power! I am now accountable for what I eat so I make better choices. I can still eat the things I love, just not as much of them and I eat less of the junk I can take or leave (which before I Usually chose to take). You know I am a runner but I didn't lose any weight doing it because of my eating. Since the end of July I have lost 13 lbs. I swear by the "Lose it " app. You can do it on line too. And it is free!!

  6. Good Luck Heather. I think I am going to try Sylwia's Dad's approach - baby just turned a year and I am still feeling too fat! ugh! Glad you are back on the blog! :)

  7. Best of luck to you Heather. You've a very determined woman and I know you can do this!

  8. Heather, there was a talk that was written by Pres. Bednar before he became and apostle that has really touched me. It was about the atonement. I always thought the atonement was for "sinners" who needed to repent. So lately, because I am pretty "sinless" for the most part I didn't really feel like the atonement could be very useful in my life. Long story short is this article Pres. Bednar reported that the atonement is also there to make us stronger. Stronger when we feel so weak. I know there are often times I feel super weak and in those moments I want to cry out and ask the lord to take my heart ache/struggle away. But, then why on earth am I here if it wasn't for those struggles? It is in those times that we can ask for help to assist us in being stronger. I think we have an opportunity especially when dealing with addictions (and I believe food is one of these addictions) we can ask for that strength. Unfortunately that struggle will still be there, but we might just be able to overcome the natural man and come of conqueror!