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It wasn’t long after we started courting when my (then) husband-to-be called me out on my terrible eating habits. In fact, he was so concerned with my method of eating that it was a common point of daily conversation.
“Tell me what you ate today.”
Until Mark, I lived solely on a convenience diet. My eating was completely at the mercies of my busy schedule and what could be easily and readily available. Soda, candy bars, chips, fast food, easily prepared mozzarella sticks, fish sticks, frozen pretzels and pizza about sums it up. I could breeze through days in a row, sipping pop without even realizing I had not eaten anything at all. But it would be made up on days off, or evenings when I would eat large amounts to my heart’s content.
I wasn’t doing it on purpose. It was simply all I knew. I left home at 16, and was swept up in the busyness of life long before learning to cook ever occurred to me, and when it did, it wasn’t an option that fit into my schedule.
When Mark and I began talking, I was still pretty skinny. I could have safely lost a few pounds to be ideal, but my weight had stalled where I was. No matter how devoted or strict I was with calorie counting it would not budge beyond that, so I was content there.
Mark’s concern was not about my weight, but about my health. He couldn’t see how or where I could get enough nutrients to be healthy, and he was challenging me, begging me, pleading with me to do some research and see how important it was to take a different approach.
But, because I loved him and cared about his opinions, I did the research and eventually agreed. He was right. I needed to eat more healthy and be more consistent. There was just one big problem.
When I ate “healthy” I gained weight… rapidly. Not just that but the conflicting data out there was exhausting. Drink whole milk! 2% is unnatural! Drink skim milk! Whole milk is terrible for you! Eat low carb! No, eat low fat! Count calories! Eat fruits and vegetables! No! They have pesticides on them! I tried eating healthy, but I honestly had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know who or what to believe, so it was almost easier for me to tune out. So I kind of went back and forth between my way and trying to be healthier for Mark.
When we got married, I acquired the responsibility to prepare regular meals. For the first time in my life, I was actually taking my daily lunch breaks to eat, and every evening, eating dinner alongside him. I was consuming more food than I ever had in my life just by eating ‘regularly’ and… it was becoming quite evident.
Mark wanted me to get nutrition and protein, and I wanted to be on board with the idea of being “healthy” but I couldn’t reconcile this in my mind. My weight was spiraling out of control. I had never seen the scale rise so fast. I was all for being healthy, but this?! I frequently made my lamentations.
“Honey! You don’t understand! I can’t eat like normal people!”
In my mind, I had been able to sustain an acceptable weight in the pattern my body was used to… but to do the typical 3 meals a day… I was growing through skirt sizes at sonic speeds.
I only knew of one way to get weight off. Drastic self-discipline.
There were two instances in my past that I went on diets. One, I got as high as 138 lbs and flipped out. I went on a crash diet, and quickly shed around 11 lbs, and found myself content. I kept it off for 2 years by skipping more meals when necessary.
When that weight came back though, I gained all of that PLUS some. So… I pulled out my drastic measures. I did a bunch of calorie counting, but found I couldn’t lose at 1,500 calories a day, so I reduced it to 1,200. That didn’t work either, so I reduced it to 900. Eventually, I had myself down to 600 calories or less. People nitpicked at me for doing it, but I shrugged it off. I got back down to 135 lbs by the end of the summer, and those people, though they lived on diets, never seemed to shed a pound. For me, it was just a necessary course of action and it worked.
Another 2 years later though… I was at an all-time high and my husband just did not understand. Ultra-low calorie intakes and skipping meals were the only way I could lose weight, but he refused to let me do it. So the year went on. I kept eating the regular meals, and painfully watching myself balloon out into a full figure almost plus size Penny.
I felt completely helpless. I knew of only one route, and it wasn’t an option. I attempted portion controls, tons of treadmill activity, and consuming tons of water to offset the gain. I had to do more and more on the treadmill to get even the tiniest result. Occasionally I attempted a calorie count that my husband reluctantly agreed was reasonable. All was to no avail. These newest pounds were a mutant breed that absolutely could not be budged.
I started praying for God to show me the answers. Perhaps there was something I was missing. Surely it was not His design for me to get fat by obeying my husband and eating like a normal person!
It was shortly after that, that a friend posted a review of a book on her blog. I was astonished at the success she had, in spite of what she described as a lifelong battle with weight. My curiosity was piqued, but I held a bit of skepticism. But, it didn’t stop there. I started seeing it and hearing about it everywhere. Everyone was raving about it and had visible results to show for.
I didn’t just want what I was doing to be about losing weight though. Yes, I wanted to see some of this extra padding go, but more so, like my husband, I was getting concerned about my health.
At only twenty-six, I was beginning to notice my body failing me in ways that seemed like should only be a distant concern. I was gobbling Tums all the time to fight incessant heartburn, battling infertility issues, and pushing through an unnatural fatigue day after day. I realized with great alarm how rapidly I had begun to age. Headaches and migraines were more frequent than ever, wounds took months to heal over, and energy was a distant memory. My husband’s concerns began to take a lot more merit, but “healthy” by my understanding wasn’t doing me any favors.
As time went on, I kept seeing more and more of that book and the cover said “no more fads!” Judging by its current popularity though, I thought, ‘but isn’t this just another fad?’ Why is this different from every other diet? Atkins, Weight Watchers, South Beach, Calorie counting, carb counting, low-fat… would this eventually be added to the list?
I couldn’t deny though, how joyful and victorious the people doing this were. Over and over people proudly proclaimed that they were completely satisfied, that there was no deprivation involved, and that it was entirely doable and sustainable as a lifestyle habit of eating. The victories were not only on the scales, but in their health as their bodies were healed with the nourishing, life-giving foods that God designed for us to partake of.
Someone recommended that I give it a try, so I obtained a copy of the book for review here on Operation Wife, and I am officially on board.
My husband and I started Sunday (but he cheats…naughty man!) and though I have not been able to fully adhere to the plan yet, I am riding through the learning experiences and putting a few of the principles into action. We’ve already seen some good results!
I’ve only read the first nine chapters so far, but I’ve been blown away by the vast amount of life-changing knowledge. Already I have learned why my former eating habits suddenly backfired on me, why nothing but drastically low calorie intakes and skipping meals would work for me to lose weight, and why I have constant acne and all of the aforementioned ailments. I have also learned how my version of “healthy” eating was sabotaging my weight, and how to correct it.
I’m barely in and I’m already bursting at the seams to share the wealth of information that has brought clarity to foggy understandings and frustration with diets and being ‘healthy’.
My review will probably come as a series over time as we experiment with this new way of eating and eventually get the hang of it.
I’m looking forward to making lasting life changes that will hopefully reach beyond our own health, and give our future children a Biblical and achievable alternative to the health-destroying Standard American Diet.
So, with the Lord’s help, here we go. 🙂
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1 Cor. 6:19
Have you tried Trim Healthy Mama? How has it worked for you! Let us know in the comment section!