Exercising My Life

As many of you know in recent months I have started a new fitness challenge with the goal to lose 100 lbs by my 30th birthday.  This is a bold goal but like they said shooting for the moon you at least will hit a few stars.  I have already lost 13 lbs in just over 2 months (really I started full force after returning from California).

It can be hard to understand how difficult the process of losing weight is if you have never experienced it.  When you have to lose a significant amount of  weight it is overwhelming.  I could lose 150 lbs and still be considered on the higher end of normal weight. Even more than the daunting numbers is that, it is like fighting your inner-voice because basically everything it is saying  is wrong.  It tells me I should slow down, eat more, go to fast food or not exercise today.  It rebels against my attempts to save my life (which is what I am doing!).   It says “Rachel, why are you putting me through such pain when you could be happy doing….”.  Fighting this voice is the hardest thing I will ever do in my life.  When I drive down the street I  hear the voice say “stop in there” or “get a little of that.  It’s not that bad…”.  You never realize how many places there are to eat out until you are ignoring that voice!  (there are 9 places just in the strip mall outside my apartment!). In the past I have always given into the voice but now I am determined to shut it out and turn to Heavenly Father instead.  It reminds me of my favorite scripture Mosiah 3:19:

“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.”

My natural man (or woman) is my enemy.  It is making me tired, sore and frustrated.  It invents lame excuses and brings on discouragement. I have tried so many times to lose the weight but somehow this time feels different.  I know I can do it.  I am willing to do whatever it takes even if it means missing work hours because I am too exhausted to function adequately.  (Thankfully I have the full support of my father/boss in this endeavor).   I have conquered every other obstacle in my life and I have done it as a plus size woman.  I am proud of my accomplishments and I do not feel that my weight is some kind of disgrace.  Being a bigger girl does not mean that life ends and that you spend each day on the coach eating potato chips. I travel, swim, sing, work hard, am involved in church and other activities etc.   There is much greatness to be achieved at any weight.

I also actually feel that I am beautiful just the way I am.  I really do. I have been heavy since I was 8 years old and from an young age I was blessed with the gift of self-acceptance and a happy heart.  Sure I had my moments of self-doubt (particularly when it comes to interacting with boys) but deep down inside I always knew I was beautiful.  I learned early on that Heavenly Father loved me no matter what I looked like.  I gained that testimony and it has carried me through many challenges to be the dynamic person I am today.  As I have said on this blog many times I love my life and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Why change you may ask?  It is precisely because I love my life that I must change.  I want to live a long life.  I want to be healthy and try my best to avoid heart disease, strokes, diabetes etc.  Even more than that, I want to live a full life.  I am tired of being limited by my weight.  I want to be able to take surfing lessons when I go to Hawaii.  I want to be up for pick up basketball games when everyone plays or to have the energy to ride a bike with my dad (or just ride a bike period).  I want to go to Disneyland and not be wiped out for a week  from walking around.  In short, I want to improve upon the greatness of my life- make it richer and at least easier (eventually!)

Already this has been such a struggle and I know it will continue to be so for many years (that’s right years).  Thank you in advance for any positive feedback given for my baby steps and for listening to me moan and groan on occasion.  In return I will make a commitment to post photos and updates of my journey on this blog and to do something athletic with all of you someday!

To having energy, to living a full life.  Don’t you’all let me stop!

12 thoughts on “Exercising My Life

  1. The trick to not stopping is….not stopping. Seriously, no matter the ups and downs, if you see it all as part of thr journey, it’s a win. The danger zone (she said wisely, as she’s fighting her way back) is when you make a few bad choices and think: “well THAT didn’t work; it’s over. Pass me the chips.”

    Big aggressive goals are what makes us get out of bed in the morning! Go for it! You can do it! (There was a special on exclamation points today!!)

    1. Thank you for the great comment and all the encouragement!!! It sounds like from your blog that you are facing the same battle as me. Perhaps we can encourage one another via our blogs. I know we can do it!

  2. Fantastic post. Thanks for sharing your feelings with us. Even though I’ve never gone through a weight-loss program, I have a few tips. There’s quite an explanation, so take a deep breath.

    Our income was halved when Julie quit working. We knew we had enough income from my job, but we had a few financial goals that we wanted to hit, so we made a budget. Two of our categories are: Groceries and Entertainment (we consider eating out as entertainment). After looking at the big picture, we didn’t allocate much to entertainment, because we saw right away that over spending in entertainment didn’t help us reach our financial goals.

    I actually lost significant weight over the next few months – and, as you know, I wasn’t overweight to begin with. I attribute my weight loss to eating home-cooked meals and limiting our intake from restaurants. It was a financial decision with positive consequences reaching into other areas of our lives.

    This brings me to 5 pieces of advice – they worked for us:

    1. Allocate some money for “groceries”, and allocate other money for “eating out”. If you lump it all together in a “food” category, you’ll end up spending more on “eating out” than you’d like. This also gives fantastic leftovers for lunch. Also, if you feel that you’ve budgeted too little (or too much) for either of those categories, adjust it. Make the budget work – it’s a great tool.
    2. Make a weekly menu.
    3. Only go grocery shopping once a week. The menu makes it possible to purchase everything you’ll need for a week, and only shopping once a week helps you stick to the menu.
    4. Stick with it! It takes incredible commitment to follow a plan, be it exercising, weight loss, or budgeting. You can do it, and you’ll become a stronger person for each thing you conquer.
    5. Be happy with the baby steps. Little victories turn in to big victories which turn in to great victories!

    Again, thanks for the post. It makes me happy when I see other people overcoming their “Gethsemane’s”. Keep being brave! We’re supporting you!

    1. Devin- You and Julie are such a terrific couple. Thank you so much for taking the time to give me your feedback. Isn’t it interesting how improvements in one aspect of your life positively effected other parts. By working on finances you also became healthier. I have been penny pinching lately and it has definitely helped me eat better and be less tempted.
      The temptation of eating out is kind of like smoking a cigarette. On its own it is only a couple of bucks (what is it $5 a pack now?) but added up month by month it becomes expensive.
      Thanks again for the encouragement.

  3. Also, I totally agree with your comment about not going to the grocery store. I now avoid it and shop with a list whenever I do go.

  4. That is awesome Rachel. Congrats on already losing 13 pounds.

    It’s funny because I just decided yesterday that I needed to stop with the excuses and start working on getting back in shape. I just started today but at least that is a step in the right direction.

    I know what you mean about the natural man-each day is a fight to try and lose weight. I struggle with the exact same things (except that I don’t have nearly as many places to eat out living in Blanding!)

    Hopefully we can encourage eachother to continually do better.

  5. Thanks Megan and Camille. I know I will lean on both of you through the tough weeks ahead. You are the best!
    Camille- count yourself lucky that there is less temptation. Utah certainly loves their chain restaurants and fast food.

  6. I think I may have mentioned this on my blog, but I highly recommend the book Running With Angels: The Inspiring Journey of a Woman Who Turned Personal Tragedy into Triumph Over Obesity, by Pamela Hansen. It’s a good book for anyone, I think…not just runners, not just people who want to lose weight. It is really about overcoming adversity, period…no matter how it presents itself in one’s life.

    I applaud you and encourage you! You are so right about that dang
    “natural man,” but you can do it!

    1. Thanks for the recommendation. I have heard that book is good too. It’s definitely on my to-read list.

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