Archive for June, 2018

June 14, 2018

What Does My WEIGHT Have To Do With My HEART?

by healthybydesignblog
affection board broken broken hearted
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

So today, I got dressed and my pants are all baggy. Great right? I’ve recently lost 9 lbs in about a week, but don’t celebrate that. It’s because my heart is broken. I recently was cheated on by my husband, who I still happen to love very much. Yeah… so… right… that sucks. Hey, let’s get real and personal and raw right in the first paragraph! Now most of my life, aspects of stress and a broken heart have led to weight GAIN. This is the first time in my life a broken heart has been so devastating that it has resulted in weight LOSS.

(By the way, if you’re in a hurry for the answer to the question in the article’s title, scroll down until you see the headline in red, but be sure to come back and read the rest for a better understanding.)

You know, I didn’t sit down today and decide to write about this topic, but I’ve learned to write when inspiration hits. I believe this is stuff the Lord wants me to share, so that while He’s setting me free, others can be set free as well. I am not going to delve into the pit of despair over my husband in THIS article. I’ve done that in another article I have yet to share, and have a whole other blog devoted to the heart break of my marriage, which I may choose to share at a later date. It’s still too raw to put out there. So understand that I am not being flip about this, just trying to be real, while at the same time, not bleeding all over this blog.

Now, I have a pretty amazing weight loss story prior to this, which you can read more about here if you like, but just to give you an idea of how far I’ve come, I’ve attached some long term before/afters in this post. But that’s not the main thing that I want to talk about. Please don’t get too distracted here. I just want you to see that I know a little bit about this topic of how our heart effects our waistline.

Tammy-ba-2018

So, as you can see from the first picture, I had a significant issue with my weight earlier. This has been something I struggled with most of my adult life, really noticeably starting with the “freshman 15” pounds that most college freshman gain from eating junk at college. I was heavier than I’d have liked in high school as well, but when I look at those pictures now, I think how I wish I had appreciated how thin and healthy I was then. I thought I was a total cow. If I could go back and tell my younger self a few things… well that’s part of why I’m writing this article.

Why Losing Weight Is More Than Counting Calories
& Exercising At The Gym

Jacqui McCoyFor a moment, I am going to depart from my own story, and share a friend’s story. The details of my own pain still need to be kept private for now. My friend’s story however, has already been made public, and I asked her permission to share it here. This friend was rather famous because she was featured on the tv show Extreme Makeover, Weight Loss Edition. Her name is Jacqui McCoy. She lost over 200 lbs on the show. She was a young woman who desperately wanted to have a baby. However, she had been told that due to her PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, my daughter also has this) which was supposedly caused by her obesity, she would not be able to conceive. The HOPE of being able to have a child is what fueled her determination to audition for the show. This was an incredible motivation to lose weight, but it has to go even deeper than motivation to not only lose the weight, but to KEEP IT OFF.

So back to the topic at hand. What had originally caused Jacqui to gain so much weight to begin with? If you see pictures of Jacqui growing up, she did not start out as an obese child. Her parents are not obese either. But around the age of 14 she began to gain a significant amount of weight. What changed? She had been at a party and had been raped! She never told anyone. The shame, the guilt, the trauma, the self-blame was more than she could bear. She cut have turned to self harm and become a cutter. She could have just as easily become an alcoholic, a drug user, even a workaholic. So she did what many people do who have experienced a trauma, she began to self-medicate. Her
“drug of choice” was food. (So is mine. Especially chocolate and sugar.)

Thin & Happily Ever After?

Not quite. Losing the weight is one thing. KEEPING IT OFF is entirely another demon to wrestle. Why do we almost always gain the weight back? I have kept off the majority of my own weight loss for a period of about 6 years, except for when my father died and my marriage began to unravel. That was in 2016-2017. You can see my pics here. I was in tremendous pain, was experiencing heart break at so many different levels, was out of my routine, life had been turned upside down, and so… What did I do? I self-medicated with my favorite drug of choice. Food! Chocolate & Carbs. I got back on track and many of us do, but many of us fall off the wagon and simply give up.

So back to Jacqui’s story. Surely after being coached by the best personal trainers in the business and having such incredible support from the show, from family and friends…. surely she never, ever would fall back into unhealthy habits, right? Wrong.

Not long after the show was over, Jacqui gained back (if I’m not mistaken) about 80 of the 200 lbs she had lost, and it came back FAST! She knew how to count calories. She knew how to exercise. She had a tremendous reason to be motivated. But none of that kept the weight from coming back on. How many of us have experienced that absolute same thing?

Trauma & Heart Break

Do not wave this off and think I am just “talking to hear myself talk” about this. Jacqui said something at a convention I attended. She was one of the featured speakers due to her recent “stardom” and weight loss story. She said you have to “love yourself thinner.” I attached a clip of her talk here, the first few minutes are a brief repeat of the show itself, and then she starts talking.  I was one of those applauding wildly for her, but the impact of that statement has sunk deeper and deeper in my understanding as life just kept throwing some hard stuff at me.

I work with people a lot on their “self talk” when they come to me wanting help losing weight. Most people, especially women, talk to themselves in such a manner they’d NEVER tolerate someone else doing to their best friend or to their children. But they do it to themselves. This is usually an indicator of much deeper issues.

You don’t have to have been cheated on or raped to have “heart issues” that impact your weight and overall health. Maybe you just felt unwanted as a child, that’s a pretty awful thing to have happened to you. Maybe your parents got divorced. Maybe one of your parents was an alcoholic. Maybe your father abandoned your family. See where I’m going with this? Maybe one of them was a great person, but was a workaholic. Maybe you were raised by a single mom, and there just wasn’t enough of her to go around. Or on a lighter note, maybe you’ve just put everyone you love and their well-being ahead of your own for so long, that you don’t remember how to take care of yourself.

Learning How to Love Yourself
& Healing Your Heart/Trauma Is The Missing Piece!!!

Why do alcoholics keep drinking when their organs are shutting down and they KNOW they are drinking themselves to death? Why do heroine addicts keep putting that needle in their veins? Why does chocolate and sugar call my name – especially Nutella – if it’s in my house? Why can’t I leave it alone? You may think I’m crazy, but it’s the same reason I’ve stayed in a toxic relationship far too long. I not only did not value myself enough, and the TRAUMA in our hearts, whatever caused us to undervalue ourselves originally, is operating in our sub-conscious and DRIVING THE ADDICTION, in my case, and maybe yours, to food.

***** To over-simplify this, imagine that your jugular vein has been cut in your neck, but only a band-aid was placed to hide the cut while no surgery was done to heal the vein underneath.*****

We are all in various stages of understanding where we are now and why, and where we have come from. Most of us feel that we have no control over where we are going, and spend our lives reacting to whatever life throws at us. Many of us will give up trying to lose weight all together with reasons that sound sensible like, “Obesity runs in my family. There must be a ‘fat gene’,” or “It’s just too hard to go to the gym every single day!” or “I don’t drink, gamble or fool around. I’m gonna eat what I want!” or my all-time favorite and I think DUMBEST excuse ever, “It costs too much to eat healthy!” Face it. You’re either gonna pay now or later. I’d rather pay a little more to be healthier now and invest in long term health results, than to pay DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS LATER! I’d rather learn and do some hard things now, than sacrifice time in a waiting room of some doctor or hospital later when I could have been playing with grandbabies or something lots more fun!

Okay to wrap this up, there are many, many ways to go about losing weight. Please do so in a HEALTHY MANNER. If you go to some of the links I’ve shared with you, I will tell you more about my own story and what I chose to lose and maintain my weight, and also heal from the inside out. You don’t HAVE to go to the gym and exercise like crazy, I didn’t. BUT, I will tell you that going to the gym will make you feel better (releases those fabulous endorphins) and is a great stress reliever, which I think is a couple of reasons that I think facilitate weight loss at least as much as the physical activity. That’s my opinion. BUT WHATEVER WAY you choose, remember what Jacqui said, “You have to love yourself thinner.”

For some of us, that will be simply deciding that we will devote 30 minutes a day to go for a walk, maybe spending more time with good friends, maybe even changing jobs, but somehow making ourselves a priority regardless of what else in on our plate. Sometimes it makes a great difference just to watch that self talk. Encouraging ourselves the same way we would for any friend in how we talk to ourselves is HUGE!!!

For others of us, who have been dealt some really gnarly blows in life, some professional counseling or prayer ministry may be in order. But one thing’s for sure, ignoring the ROOT of the overeating does not work. Looking at this as a discipline doesn’t work unless you are already really healthy emotionally. Counting calories won’t work except short term, unless you get a handle on your emotional issues. Potions and pills that “make” you lose weight CAN HURT OR KILL YOU.

Addressing your trauma and emotional wounds will have ramifications much farther than your pants size my dear. I have really found this to be true recently with my latest heart break. Learn this concept now, and teach it to your children and your grandchildren.

One of my favorite lines from any movie is from “The Help” where the maid tells the little girl she takes care of, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” She knew the little girl’s mama was telling her she wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, etc and etc. Do what you gotta do to heal your heart, and other things – including weight loss – will be much more attainable and sustainable.

(If this article was helpful to you somehow, I’d love it if you’d friend me on Facebook, or check out my YouTube channel. I’m on Instagram a little,

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June 14, 2018

So, I Lost Some Weight…

by healthybydesignblog

I talk about this a lot. Sometimes I think people are already familiar with my story, only to find out that they have no idea. So I decided doing this post was a good way to try to organize my story here. Please note in the pictures below, that the first row is a transformation that occurred in only 2.5 months!

180 pics Tammy

And the pictures only tell half the story. It all started with my daughter being diagnosed with PCOS. That’s the subject of another blog post, which I’ll write soon… But the short version is that in my efforts to help HER get healthier and lose weight, I ended up getting healthier and losing weight, too! I also reversed Rheumatoid Arthritis and have been pain free since 2011. It’s June of 2018 right now. Not only that, I got rid of “brain fog” and was sharper than I had been since college. AND, I kept looking younger! Bonus!!! You can see for yourself in the pictures below. I think I actually look younger in 2018 than I did in 2011. I certainly look BETTER and healthier.

I also think it is important to point out, what I wasn’t willing to do for MYSELF, which was changing my eating habits and getting healthier I WAS WILLING TO DO FOR MY CHILD. Isn’t that typical? I was not motivated to take care of myself at all at that time. I had been through some tough stuff. Again, a topic for another blog article at another time. However, at the time that the Aug 2011 pic was taken, I had been through a house fire and a miserable, toxic 11-year marriage that ended in divorce. I was self-employed, working 80+ hrs a week, and was homeschooling my little girl. Simply put, taking care of myself came dead last on my priority list. I was in survival mode, pure and simple. You ever been there?

June 5, 2018

Unfaithful

by healthybydesignblog

I hadn’t planned to write this today. Didn’t want to write this today. Didn’t want to dive into these feelings. Has someone you loved ever been unfaithful to you?

About three days ago, my husband was unfaithful to me. Deliberately. You know, sometimes hurting people “fall into” situations over time, and the unfaithfulness occurs a little at a time, until it culminates in the irreversible. But this was not like that. This was done to hurt me. Period.

At first, I was in shock. My brain could not, no it REFUSED to accept the information. I simply did not believe it. At first I thought he was just saying it to hurt me, because he seems to enjoy doing that lately. He could tell I did not believe him. We’ve been separated for some time, but have been working towards reconciling, so I am not currently living there. When he saw that I didn’t believe him, when he saw that I was not crumpled on the ground, he went into the house and got a piece of clothing that had been left by the woman. I had to face the truth, but even then, my brain just would not compute.

Knowing that he could have called me, and simply expressed that he needed me to be a wife to him and I would have RUSHED right over to fill that need, he DELIBERATELY went to a bar, DELIBERATELY got drunk, and DELIBERATELY brought a strange woman into our bed. Then he didn’t just confess it, he threw it in my face (in front of one of his buddies) with absolute relish and fury. And all I could do was say, “Don’t you love me anymore?” I know he does. He did. Thirty days ago, he was confessing his adoration and love for me, apologizing for past hurts, and declaring, giving his WORD that he would allow nothing to come between us again. Just 30-40 days ago. So, as you can imagine, I was not just a little shocked, I was floored.

You know what happened next. I had an hour drive back to my place. I could not drive over 45 mph, so it took even longer. Once home, I began to let the information sink it. The images of the love of my life, naked, with some strange woman, in the bed that I had shared with him – in that bed where he had declared his love for me so often – fractured my mind and heart. Wave after wave of grief. I had emotional vertigo. I felt like I would throw up. I’d go numb for a few minutes, then it would start all over again. Then the anger flared. How could he have done this to me. What about all his promises? What about him giving me HIS WORD. I felt abandoned, rejected, and soooo disappointed.

Has someone YOU loved been unfaithful to you? Stop and revisit those feelings for just a moment…

In the Bible, God refers to our relationship with him, especially with Jesus, as a Bride and a Bridegroom. He uses marriage as an illustration throughout His Word. Beulah Land, the song our grandparents used to sing, is referring to a “Marriage” Land. When the word says that Jesus did not scorn the shame of the cross, for the “joy” set before him, I think it was that he, the groom, knew that when he got through this suffering, he had the JOY of meeting his bride (us) to look forward to. How many movies have we seen where the hero goes through incredible odds for his love, or even sacrifices his very life for her. It was never a question to Him if we were worth it or not!

So when we put anything other than God first in our lives, he is jealous for us. Over and over in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, the Lord equates idol worship with a wife’s unfaithfulness. I thought I knew what he felt. I thought I understood. But until my husband hit me with his statement of his own unfaithfulness, I had a new appreciation for how God feels when we are unfaithful to him. I hope you will pause here, and let that sink in. Especially if you yourself have experienced this in your own life.

God doesn’t just love us as apart of an adoring crowd. He doesn’t see us just as “fans”. He loves us intimately as a groom loves his new bride. Do you remember what it’s like to be in love like that? Have you forgotten? Our love as humans waxes and wanes, but God is not a man. He is faithful and true regardless of how we choose to be.

So, where do we go from here?

Today, and yesterday, I have found myself repenting to the Lord for causing him the kind of pain that I have now feeling with my own husband’s infidelity. Especially when I have tried SO HARD to love him and love him well. Even as I type that, I am reminded of all the times I have read in the Bible with the Lord saying he had been so good to Israel (us) and that had lain naked in open fields and prostituted themselves with other gods. How soon we forget His Faithfulness.

Even when I met my husband, I made him an idol ahead of my God. I had been a single mother for ten years. The last time I had been intimate with a man, had been with my former husband, TEN YEARS PREVIOUS! Then this handsome, charming man fell madly in love with me, and I him. I got so swept up in his adoration (due to my own dysfunction and neediness) that I asked my Lord Jesus to please step down from the throne in my heart, and I replaced Him with my husband. Now I could have kept them both obviously, and still had Jesus on the throne and my husband and I probably be in a much different place right now. Either he would have recognized that Jesus was first and been drawn more to Him himself, or he would have chosen to leave the relationship. Either way, I would have been better off.

Now, I try to admit this pretty often when I write anything and put it out there for public view. I don’t know much at all. I don’t have a bunch of answers for you. I don’t know what tomorrow is gonna look like. I have no plan to wrap this all up and make it all better. ALL I KNOW is WHO I need to turn to. Thankfully, we are under a new covenant, and all the Father’s jealous wrath was exhausted at the cross. If we repent of our own unfaithfulness and ask His forgiveness, it is a done deal, and He doesn’t treat us like a jilted husband would. He welcomes us back with open arms and the relationship is as if the infidelity never occurred. Now that’s restoration.

I could go on, but I think I’ve said enough. I did not want to go here today, but He impressed it upon me that I needed to write this while my own pain was still fresh and raw and pulsating like a fresh wound. If you’ve asked the Lord Jesus to step down from the throne of your heart, won’t you give Him His rightful place again?