Well...here I am. Wasn't really sure that I wanted to take this journey publicly, but why not? There are millions of people out there like me who just need a big shove so we will take that first step.
My journey began when I was about 18. I started to gain weight but didn't think that much about it. I was young, engaged to be married, and not thinking of what I was doing to myself. By the time my wedding came around I had put on about 25 pounds. My dress was snug but I didn't care this was my day!!
Three months after the wedding the Lord surprised us with our first pregnancy. Over the next nine months I gained a whopping 70 pounds! After Ashley was born I didn't take the time to even try to lose the weight. I was still awful young and caring for this beautiful little girl! I had no idea what I was doing taking care of an infant much less taking care of myself. I really let myself go.
When Ashley was born my husband and I decided that I would stay home and care for our children. So with that came the days with nothing to do. I sat around watching TV eating. I would cook meals for an army and then eat the left overs the next day. This went on for several years. Evidently I was active enough not to gain much weight during this time. I didn't keep up with what I weighed. Didn't matter much at that time.
Three years later Timmy was born. Now I was caring for two little ones and still really didn't know what I was doing. I only gained 11 pounds with Tim. I was so proud of myself for that. But then the days grew long again and the eating continued.
I would gain in spurts. 10 pounds here 20 pounds there. Then nothing for a long time.
Another three years passed and Abigail came. My family was complete. It was time for me to call it quits in the baby area. I gained about 30 pounds while I was pregnant with Abi. More than with Tim but still far less than with Ash. After Abigail came our lives began to get very hectic.
Kevin, my husband, was saved and surrendered to preach all in 1994. Our lives changed drastically. We became very involved in our church. Kevin was hardly home during the next few years. He worked a full time job which required over time now and again. He was now on staff at our church which took up more of his time. The kids and I were there with him most of the time but they were little and couldn't be a part of everything he was doing at the time. So we sat at home alot and I ate.
Then we moved away from home. Kevin took his first church in the Dallas area. We packed up our belongings and moved away from everything we had ever known. At first I thought this was the most tragic thing that ever happend to our family. Boy was I wrong. As far as our family goes it was the absolute best thing we ever did!
Now I had a new "job." Pastor's wife. Boy, I had no idea what kind of responsibilities that I would have. I automatically became in charge of the nursery, fellowships, cleaning the building, and so on. I also became the church secretary. All of these duties on top of being a wife, mom, and home school mom. The stress level went up. Thus did the eating as well.
The weight gain again was sporatic. A few pounds here and there. Long whiles of no weight gain.
Our tenure in Dallas grew to an end and our new venture took us further away from our childhood home. We packed up again and moved to Arkansas. All of my duties stayed the same: wife, mom, homeschooling, nursery, fellowships, cleaning the building, secretary, etc. By this time my children are entering their double digits and helping ALOT with these duties. We do everything together. Greatest lesson we learned when we moved away from home.
I am now becoming aware of my weight problem. I am now trying to get rid of it and with no avail.
We joined a gym and went religiously for almost a year. No loss. My fam said that I looked better but it just wasn't showing up on the scale. I was very discouraged and quit going to the gym. By this time we are getting ready for our third move and third church. Again we packed up and moved even further away. This time to the Northwest corner of Arkansas.
As we settle in here in NWA we rent a home in the next town over from our church. We lived there for about nine months. The rent was a little pricey but we thought we could handle it. As time went on so did the pocket book. That rent check was eating away at everything. So we prayed about what the Lord would have for us to do. Our congregation had plans to build a parsonage in the future. We began to pray about the future being now. The Lord answered our prayers. We moved out of the rent house into the church building and began to build the parsonage.
I never knew what it meant to live in a church building. Odd to say the least. Our people were great about everything. Our stuff was scattered into every room it seemed. We lived in the loft, all 5 of us, for eight months while we built the house. This was one of the most stressful times in my life. We built it ourselves and had a VERY small budget. I spent every day in Fayetteville and Springdale hunting down bargains so our home would be beautiful. All of that took a toll on my diet. As if I wasn't already overweight, I gained even more during this time.
As I spent day after day on the road looking and buying trying to watch the budget I ate tons of fast food. By the time the house was finished, a record 4 months, I had gained another 30 pounds. My body, at this point, had been telling me that enough was enough. My feet were screaming at me to get off of them. My knees hurt and now my hips hurt. I can't even climb the stairs to check on my kids without huffing and puffing.
I am miserable.
My clothes are tighter than ever but I refuse to buy a bigger size. I hide as much as I can. I have to do something. In the 10 months we have been in our home I have tried several diets. None of which I can keep up with. Either it is too far out there or I can't afford to buy all the special things it calls for. I have searched internet sites, looked at books, and read entire books on weight loss (BORING). Every thing I have looked at has one thing in common: it MUST be a lifestyle change!
I realize that I can't continue to eat king size Reeses and loose weight. Nor do I think that I can have a Route 44 Sweet Peach Tea everyday and expect to lose an ounce. I have to change. My biggest concern is $$$$$$. I don't know if anyone has noticed but money DOESN'T grow on trees. Remember, my husband is a pastor. We aren't raking in the dough. All of those diet plans and not one told me how to feed my family of 5 (three of which are teenagers!) healthy AND on a budget. I can't go spend $500 a week on groceries. I try to feed us on $75 to $100 and that is tough! Processed foods are much cheaper than those that aren't. Ground beef is much cheaper than "lean beef". I mean, come on, lets face it, it's cheaper to be fat!
I am in a perdicament. I want and need to loose weight but I can't afford to buy healthy food. When I do buy salad fixins and healthy snacks I spend twice as much as I would regularly. I think it is a conspiracy! "If we keep the people fat then they will have to go to the doctor and spend more money on pills!" I'm sure this conversation has gone on somewhere in the medical field.
Anyway, I have again joined a gym. I have gone two days in a row! I am sore but I have to say that I feel better. I also have eaten better for the last two days. This evening I wanted that king size Reeses. I ate some lite cool whip instead.
I hope that in the days ahead I will make some progress. I'm really doing this for me. If what I say can help someone else then that would be great, too. If you are a Christian, please pray for me. I know that the battle is on. I will need supernatural strength to make it through this journey. That strength will only come from the Lord Himself. More later.....