Wednesday, November 24, 2004

First Place

I have gotten out of the habit of journaling here. It has been months since I have make an entry.

I thought I would discuss something new I have been doing to improve my life. I should back up. Back in August, my back went out. I have had back pain before, but never to the point that I could not even walk. It was a crummy Tuesday evening and both my 2 year old son and my 7 year old daughter were sick with the flu which included throwing up and vomiting. Pleasant! My oldest had already had it over the weekend and my baby girl was totally grumpy - probably from teething pain. I was on my own with the children as my husband was in Alabama on business. My daughter began to get sick again and was heaving into a pan while she sat on the couch. I got up to comfort her and pull her hair out of her face and something in my back seemed to give out. Throughout the evening, my back just got worse and worse until I could not carry the baby and could barely even walk with great pain. I told my 10 year old that I was going to lay the baby down (she was screaming) and lay down myself for a few moments and see if my back would feel better. Not soon after this, Elizabeth came upstairs to tell me that Patrick had just thrown up all over the chair downstairs. I went to get up and couldn't because my back was in so much pain. It was as if my back could not lift the top half of my body. I had to have my 10 year old daughter clean up her little brother's puke! She ended up putting Patrick to bed and Anna crawled into my bed with her pan. THEN, I got sick as well. Because I had stuff coming out both ends, I couldn't just stay in bed and throw up into a trash can. So, I had to painfully crawl to the bathroom and hoist myself onto the toilet so I could have diarrhea and throw up into the trash can at the same time. Thankfully it was bedtime for all by this time and Elizabeth helped. She even slept in the hall so she caught keep an ear to Patrick. Anna and I kept getting sick all night. She in the pan and I after crawling in agony to the bathroom. When the baby woke to nurse and fuss, Anna had to pick her up for me and bring her into the bad. What a miserable night! The next day I called my parents and they came over and helped with the kids and I stayed flat on my back all day. I am so thankful that they were able to do this for me.

I went into all that detail, because what I realized through this is that it wouldn't have been so bad if my back had not given out and my back gave out because I am hauling around too much excess weight on my body. I believe that this whole episode was a wake up call from God. A kick in the butt, so to speak. For years, I have seen my weight steadily creeping upward, but have just been too busy to concern myself over it. I eat how I want to eat. God was saying NOW is the time to concern yourself over this. I know one of my purposes in life is caring for my children and for the first time ever, I was physically unable to do so. That was a horrible feeling that I hope I never have to go through again. What made it bad, is that I know that it was caused by my excess weight which is a direct result of my poor eating and exercise habits. It is one thing to be knocked off your feet by circumstances that are out of your control, but another to allow your own actions (sin) to cause it. I have been a poor steward of the body God has given me.

About this same time, a dear friend of mine told me she was starting a program called First Place. She didn't say any more except that if I knew of anyone interested in it to pass the info along. I had heard of this years ago. The program focuses on caring for our bodies, losing weight if necessary, by giving God first place in your life. The "diet" is eating normal healthy food using the American Dietetic and Diabetic exchanges as guidelines. And asks you to commit to prayer, bible study, scripture memory, exercise and the eating plan. Because I have gone through gestational diabetes with several of my pregnancies, I am very familiar with the diabetic exchanges. I was probably my healthiest and fittest ever when I had to follow them! Although I have the will power to follow this type of diet for the sake of the health of my unborn child, I have trouble when I am doing it for the sake of just my health. When God, knocked me off my feet with my back troubles, I realized that I need to lose this weight and be healthy for more than just myself. God has given me the job of raising these children for Him and I can't do it flat on my back in bed or even in a worse health situation.

But isn't God's timing perfect? I began the First Place program in September. During the 12 weeks I have been doing it, I have become more fit, conscious of my poor eating habits and how I am teaching these to my children and I have lost 16 pounds!

To get myself to a healthy weight, I should probably lose about 80 pounds total. I am nearly a forth of the way there and I estimate that it should take me about a year total to do this. Even then, I will always have to guard what I put into my mouth and choose to nourish my body with good food. This is a lifelong commitment to God because I want to be the best that I can be to do His will.

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