Can of worms

Do you ever start something simple and realise what you thought was simple is in actual fact a huge ginormous can of worms?!

That’s me this week having opened a book to write up some notes. I read the book months ago but wanted to have the notes somewhere in all one place. As I went throught the book I was reminded again about the power of the things in the book and how it spoke so clearly into my life.

Made to Crave (which I’ve mentioned in previous posts) is a book which turns dieting and weightloss away from just a health or physical thing and rightly positions it to be an act of disciple with and obedience to God. Our bodies are a temple of God and we should look after and respect our bodies are just that – a dwelling of God.

Some key things started jumping back out of the book at me, things I’ve pushed aside or forgotten. One particular thing was about how we view our bodies and what they are worth. I think it comes down to value. And that is what I time and time again fail to grasp.

But as I thought this evening I began to wonder whether actually I do grasp this but it’s my habit that stops me from feeling it or believing it. Am I so ingrained in the belief that I’m not loveable that it’s go to thought process? Do I actually believe that or do I in actual fact believe that I am loved by God just-as-I-am? Is it not so much the belief I can’t grasp as the habit i cannot seem to break?!

And this is where my can of worms remains… More thoughts and ideas, more room for God to speak but still no sureness on how to step forward and how to break this emotion that stops me from living fully loved and working out of that place. The past? A habit? A scar? A trap? A lack of experience? Not enough feeling? All of the above?!

I am neck deep in my can of worms!

The heart knowledge 

Have you seen the film frozen? Brace yourself but I haven’t… it’s worse because we own it but haven’t actually watched it! 🤦🏼‍♀️  I do however feeel like I’ve seen it given how many of the songs I know and how much of the storyline I know!

This isn’t a completely random thought it’s linked to the continuance of the topic nagging, maybe I shall call it God nagging?! But I’ll get to that in a second – just thought I should confess my lack of Frozen viewing with you before I continue!

We established I have the head knowledge for a renewing of my mind just not the feeling, the heart knowledge.

It’s something that feels too big for me to find the solution to. In fact I think this is often the point that I get to in the topic when it crops up. Knowing what I need to know but not feeling it and not knowing how to move forward to feel it.

As I ran this afternoon I listened to a talk on love and came back to a statement about really struggle with.

Susie who was speaking said: “The secret to loving people and doing relationships well is being loved my God” She then quoted Tim Keller: “Before love is a behaviour, love is an experience. We have to be captured by that love, shattered by that love and only then can it empower us to love”.

What I struggle with in this statement is that I don’t feel that I know I am loved and worth the effort etc BUT I do feel that I know how to love others. Seriously my brain really struggles because the statement when it comes up time and time again makes me doubt my love for others. Either I am loving wrong or am loving from the wrong place. OR I have felt loved by God at times and that’s enough to enable me to love people well? OR loving people would be easier if I lived loved? You’ll be sensing my confusing on the subject I suspect!!

I don’t know that answer.

I read a Proverbs 31 Ministries devotional this morning that touched on this subject. The writer was communicating on Galations 5:1 and how we are free because of Christ and that we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be burdened by things because of that.

THIS is where the Frozen reference will start to make some sense. As I read the devotional it talked about how we slip into habits of pain or frustration and that even once the pain is gone we continue to feel it. God has taken away the ‘issues’ in life by dying on the cross for us but we often limp around as if we are still holding them. We need to let go of the past and walk without the limp.

I’m pretty sure that my past is what puts up all the road blocks to me living loved and knowing and experiencing just how loved I am. I’m pretty that I need to Let It Go as the song would say because that is what the bible calls me to do.

Nothing complicated or anything!!!!! I just need to let go of things and learn to live loved…..

Just don’t know how to get past a life time of past and move forward without the baggage holding on and holding me down.

The head knowledge

Do you ever find yourself coming across the same topic from numerous sources? Like it keeps coming up over and over and you get to the point that you start thinking that perhaps you should start piecing together?

For me the past few days have seen the same topic coming up. The topic involves self worth, body image, caring for and loving yourself. It’s not a new topic for me but it is something that I’ve never come to a positive conclusion on.

I didn’t lose weight the way I wanted to this week. I was annoyed. I didn’t deserve a tiny gain (and yes I can see that it is a tiny gain, but I still didn’t deserve it!) I was cross that my body doesn’t respond the way that scientifically it should. Calories in minus more calories out should scientifically equal less weight. SCIENCE SUCKS. Well that’s my current opinion! I’ll get over it, well I may get over it!

Going back to the topic of self worth and body image, the question my devotion book (Savor: Shauna Niequiest) posed to me today was:

What would it take for you to live well in your body this season?

My immediate reaction is to think along physical lines; lose weight, lose inches, get nice clothes. I move onto mental thoughts; be more confident, accept where I am, recognise my progress. However, because of the series of repeated messages my brain moved on to the idea of the renewing of my mind.

The devotional email that I had read first thing this morning was all 3 steps for renewing your mind. And so with that fresh in my mind I was prompted to back to look back to the email and I pulled out a few keys words for each of the steps:

Renewing you mind

  1. Recognise negative thoughts – Does this thought help me? Is it true? Does it steal my peace? Does it match with God’s word? – Awareness is the first step to controlling thoughts
  2. Reject negative thoughts – If you’ve decided it’s not really true, don’t allow yourself to entertain it any more. – Take control of what you’re thinking rather than letting it run rampant.
  3. Replace negative thoughtsWe have the authority and power to reject those negative thoughts and shift them to be more positive. 

Tracie Miles: Proverbs 31 Ministries

I think I probably do step one most of the time. I think I probably don’t do step two or step three! I’m an overthinker. I’m a look at the worst case scenario and then let that develop for the next 3 days thinker. I recognise this as part of my personality but I just don’t seem to be able to win. Although to be fair on myself I’m not sure how much I try and there are times when my overthinking is actually a positive part of my personality it’s just that for it to be a positive part it was to be based on step one above in particular IT IS EVEN TRUE?!?!?!

I decided to spend some time thinking about what I know (my head knowledge) of what God thinks about me. I came up with 27 “I am…..” statements.

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I was quite surprised how many I could come up with and to be fair I could probably think of more if I hadn’t filled the page with these ones. 

What I’m beginning to realise is that I have the head knowledge for a transformed heart and for the negative to stop winning, I’m just know sure I have the heart feelings to go with it. As a feeler in personality that’s a big deal! 

Bottling it

Don’t you wish you could bottle some emotions? I don’t mean bottle them up and ignore them, I can already do that. What I mean is how good would it be to bottle up an emotion to be able to go back to and remind yourself exactly how something feels?

I think it’s so much easier to remember how a negative emotions feels than a positive one. Maybe that’s my personality? Or my outlook on life?

I’ve been pondering how useful it would be to be able to just open a bottle and remember exactly how somethings feels as a top up to willpower.

Willpower is such a fallible thing. You can have huge amounts of it in one moment and then none in seconds. Willpower is a finite thing to be fair. If you use it all up without replenishing it then it fails.

In a moment of achievement you feel like you can achieve anything and everything. Like that positive feeling will carry you through even when it’s tough.

Problem being it doesn’t stay. That positive moment fades and the willpower takes a life battering and all of a sudden you’re striving to just cope let alone win.

For me it’s food. Seems to always be food. I find myself wondering if it’ll always be food that I fight with.

[^^^ that thought just there is what I’m talking about when I talk about losing the high of achievement or the willpower runs low. The negative ‘I-will-always-be-this-way-woe-is-me’ thought.]

I lost 4lb last week after an amazing week of discipline and high willpower. 4lb took me to 11.8lb away from my first proper target minus 5.5 stone. And 4.8lb away from a mini target. In that moment I have the confidence to feel like I could achieve anything. Less than a stone away from a big milestone – I could easily do that in like a week?! (No one said I was being realistic – ha!)

But 6 days later I find myself battling myself with little willpower. All the things I found easy last week are hard this week. I’m hungry, but I know I’m not actually hungry. I’m finding it hard to be disciplined. I’m finding it hard to have a positive mental attitude. And because of that my willpower is battered and so I’m giving in, being dejected. Frustrated once again.

What bugs me is I can reason with myself I can do this. I can reason with myself that I’m worth the effort. That the food won’t help. That I don’t need it. That I was so pleased last week when I did well and achieved. But with that thought in my head I still eat the food…. WHY? Makes me cross with myself and the world around me.

So thats why I want to bottle that emotion of ‘I-can-achieve-anything-ever’ and just pop it open and REALLY feel it. Really remember how well I can do.

What also bugs me is as I think about this topic and as I work through the thought processes I KNOW there is another way of dealing with this all with God’s help. The problem is that I’ve never really worked out how to do this whole God and weight loss thing. I don’t know how to turn to him in the moments of weakness and depleted willpower and say ‘God you gotta help me’.

If I could work out how to do that then maybe that would be a little like bottling up the emotion to tap into but perhaps even better.

Like learning to ride a bike

Have you ever tried to teach someone to ride a bike? I hadn’t really until today.

We got our three year old a bike with stabilisers for giving up his dummy and so we now start the process of learning how to do it. He happily asks to have the bike out from the garage, puts on the helmet, climbs on the bike and then he just sits on with his feet on the pedals going nowhere fast, or at all to be honest!!

I tried to help. It wasn’t pretty. It was the end of a long day with the kids and my patience was low, maybe bike riding should not be a post 6pm activity! Anyway he would put his feet on the pedal and push one foot down and start to move which sounds and looks promising. He would then take his foot off the pedal that he next needed to push to keep moving. He would lose the flow and he would have to start again.

It did not matter how many times I would tell him that he needed to keep his feet on the pedal, he would still keep taking that foot off and that lead to me getting more and more frustrated with him, losing my patience, raising my voice slightly, all the usual ugly moments you wish you could go back and change.

After a little while of attempting this and repeating the phrase you need to keep your foot on the pedal to no avail, my lovely husband came outside and I exclaimed “I just need to go inside for a few moments!”

As I sat down exacerbated by really quite a short exchange I just felt God say “that’s what you do”. And as I thought about it I realised it is in so many situations. I request to do something, get all kitted out for it, get lined up to start, take a small motion towards it and then I take my foot off the pedal and God’s somewhere in the background shouting “STOP TAKING YOUR FOOT OFF THE FLIPPING PEDAL” – to be fair He probably isn’t shouting that but in my head that’s what I think he is shouting.

It’s so easy to lose momentum. Something gets hard. Something is boring. Something is frustrating, The weather changes. You get injured. People distract you. Life gets in the way. Another ‘thing’ needs our attention and it seems more important. Priorities get confused.

The thing is that I am sure that there are things in everyone’s life where we keep coming back to that very same issue, and keep making a start and then taking our feet off the pedal without even really meaning to sometimes. If you keep going round in the circle to the same situation chances are you keep starting and then stopping.

I can think of a few things where I do this but weight loss is the most obvious. It’s easily been 10 years of starting and stopping. Getting distracted, giving up, life causing issues, children. I’ve all the excuses in the world and many of them are justified but for me weight is an issue. It’s something that need to be dealt with. It’s a physical, emotional and spiritual area of my life which needs me discipline, attention and effort. I need to keep my foot on the pedal.
I’m doing better with this. I’ve got further than ever before but my mojo has disappeared a little. My discipline is lacking. My focus fuzz. My attraction to chocolate stronger. I need to spend time getting back that self control and discipline so that God doesn’t have to keep shouting to me about my feet on the pedals! I can’t do it alone but I’m so blessed to have friends and family who have my back and maybe I need to start by asking for help!

Keep your feet on the pedals because you never know just what you might achieve if you stop pulling it off at the most important moment. Just imagine the progress and then maybe gaffa tape your feet onto the pedal which I will confess was what I was tempted to do with the three year old!

What am I doing?

Someone asked me what I’m doing to lose weight. I thought I’d share my response!

I’m almost at 2.5 stone off in 6 months. There’s a few things I’ve done.

1) The biggest thing was learning that I’m worth the effort and therefore not to just give up. I’ve spent all my adult life trying to lose weight and getting nowhere because when others needed something that got in the way I’d give up.

2) I read a book called Made To Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. It changed my mindset about diet towards it being a journey of discipline with God but that he’s the one who defines my worth and not the scales. SO worth reading.

3) I’m using the My Fitness Pal app on my phone to track my calories and write down everything that I eat. I’ve done slimming world and weight watchers over the years and they just don’t work for me. I find I give up and all I want is the banned food. With my fitness pal I can eat whatever I want as long as I am within my calories for the day (though I have found that I have naturally fallen into making healthier choices because it normally means fuller for longer!) and if it gets to the end of the day and I want to eat something I don’t have enough calories for I go for a walk or I pave around the house to earn the calories. If I don’t want to earn them I don’t get to eat it.

4) I got myself a Fitbit. I started by aiming to walk 5000 steps a day and I really struggled. I now manage between 10000 and 15000 a day. I pace while I read my bible or a book to gain more steps!!

5) I have friends on my fitness pal and Fitbit who keep me accountable. I also make it very open that I’m trying to lose weight including posting my weekly weight losses on my Instagram feed. It means that if I went off plan people would notice because my habits would change and so someone would ask me and bring me back in check!!

It’s a really hard journey and there are so many things that get in the way. I’ve always been a comfort eater and I’ve always been an all or nothing person so I’m either fully on plan or not at all. I’m trying to change both of those things and have seen real breakthroughs partially because of the book.

I’ve been to a BBQ and a baby shower recently where I knew if I started eating the food I wouldn’t stop. Before the BBQ I ate dinner. I wanted to go to the BBQ for the company not for the food. Before the baby shower I told both the mum to be and the friend I was going with that I wouldn’t be eating anything. The sense of achievement I had at walking away from both those events having stuck to my plan was incredible.

 Sorry to have rambled on for so long!! Any questions or anything else please do feel free to message back. It’s something I’m incredibly passionate about and empowering other people to make process in their journey is so important to me too!! So anything I can do to help just shout!

Perception or more?!

This is mostly a rant at myself but you know I can rant at you too if it’ll help?!

Why am I so easily influenced by the worldly perception that showing weaknesses is failure? Why do I let that perception rule my internal thought processes? Why do I seem to think that only perfection is enough for those around me. My whole emotional existence seems to be easily destroyed by such simple comparisons, comments, observations and overthinking.

I’m tired of trying to be wonder-wife, supermum, the incredible friend, captain weight loss and any other super hero you can think of.

It can be putting myself down as a wife because I failed to clean the bathroom or didn’t finish dinner at the time I was aiming for.

Or berating myself because the supermum I aspired to be first thing in the morning turned into the toddler watching almost an entire serious of Fireman Sam whilst the baby naps instead of doing fun activities like making a fire engine out of a box! (and I somehow still didn’t manage to clean the bathroom?!?)

Or a rubbish friend because I forgot something like sending a message or not encouraging someone enough.

Or even just as a person aiming to lose weight. I *should* have lost more. I *shouldnt* have eaten that.

My overthinking mind influenced by a perception from somewhere, where I don’t know, tells me I am not enough and I cannot be enough until I am always achieving.

One of closest and most valuable, lovely friends sent me this the other day.


What if I could live in that mindset?! I don’t really know how it would help me get the bathroom cleaned, the fire engine made, the messages sent or the weight lost but I suspect somewhere God would make it work!!

Achieving is important. Achieving gets things done. Achieving motivates me to do more achieving but the perfectionism and the negative impact that goes with that achieving will destroy me.

So when I feel overwhelmed with an under whelmed soul and an overthinking mind maybe I need to just stop and remember I was made for me!