Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Food We Eat!

Phase II Results:
Oh, would it be nice if I had some good news and encouragement for this food/diet update! I have been putting this post off since I didn't really want to display my failures. But I know that one of my purposes in blogging this is to have a little accountability for myself and because this food issue is having a profound affect on our homeschooling life.
It's been 16 weeks since dh and I started our "no white flour/no white sugar" type weight loss program. Again, we aren't on any real program but are just using what we've already learned from Prism Weightloss program (2 years ago), The Maker's Diet, Nourishing Traditions (see this awesome blog for great posts along these lines -> Keeper of the Home is able to give great ideas and info), and my nutritionist friend (thanks soooo much Dorcas!). We have learned over these 2 years how to think differently about food and now are just in the depths of talking the talk and working towards what we know should be our goal (not just a number on a scale -but a lifestyle change).

As you may recall from my last progress post on our weightloss, the first 6 weeks of this plan went very well. We both lost 15 pounds, were eating well and holding each other accountable. Reagan (5) and Adam (2) were both doing well with their new allergen-free, rotation diet as well. However, this time the numerical results didn't turn out as well:

DH ->5 lbs

Me -> 2 lbs
(and a massive outbreak of guttate psoriasis)

So what happened this time, you might ask? Well, phase II (the 2nd six weeks) is always harder. Whole wheat bread and white potatoes are allowed again in small amounts. And momentum from phase I doesn't last as long. So I wasn't surprised at Dh results - 5 pounds is just great! But the last time I went through this process, I lost 13 pounds in phase II and know very well that this time I just plain FELL OFF THE WAGON!

I hate saying those words.... *sigh*

I've seen a certain family member struggle with weight their entire life and end up with diabetes. I know that heart disease hits women hard. I don't want to teach my kids poor eating habits. And yet, I struggle each and every day with food!

Not just food but anything with wheat in it seems to be my desire. I found out a couple years ago that I have a sensitivity to wheat. This was something I didn't want to hear and so I ignored for a while. Until I realized that I really did feel better and less tired - when I didn't eat it. And the small bit of plaque psoriasis that I had on my elbows and scalp almost cleared completely up for the first time in my life (I've had it since I was 6!). So I stopped eating most wheat products for awhile.

I failed at this at Christmas which lead to dh and I starting this diet in January.
So when I could have stuck with our plan for better health, I again lost control this March. I could have lost the last 10 pounds of baby weight and fit into my wardrobe by now. I could feel more energetic, be less crabby, and be a better example for the kids.

But instead I ate birthday cake, Chips Ahoy (one roll in a sitting - yes, really), Girl Scout cookies, and then moved to bread and on to the D&D doughnuts. I started hiding foods from dh (my accountability partner!) and started eating in the car. These are patterns that I thought I had dealt with 2 years ago (when I lost Adam's baby fat) with the help of Prism.
The poor weightloss results I could live with - after all, my BMI is fine and I'm a healthy weight/size. But one of the consequences of this "wheat binge" that I was on for 4 weeks is that I've broken out with a nasty case of guttate psoriasis. For those with a weak stomach, read no farther! LOL! In short, it's like the chicken pox rash - redish spots all over that itch and scab if scratched. It really is quite torturous - I can't wear shorts as the weather warms up, I dread the shower since it stings all over, and I had to get acrylic nails (so annoying and expensive) to keep my skin from getting scabby.

All this from eating (again, the better word would be 'binging on') junkfood containing wheat! And I know better! But really I know that it's even more than that - this time through I have been trying to do it on my own. No daily devotional time allotted to this journey (battle) with food and not even any prayer! Now since when can we do anything of our own strength in this life??

I thank God that my dh is determined to help me out here. As I write this post, it's been 2 weeks since I've buckled down to get back to better health.
I will admit that I think almost constantly about cookies and cake, etc. I can't be the only one who experiences this with food! It may be a non-matter for some of you, but for me this is one of my biggest life struggles! It isn't even really about food, but rather about control and dependence. I want control - but God should have it. I eat when I'm not feeling in control (and how often is that with 4 kids? Ha!). I eat to sooth my stress or anxiety - I should be depending on the Lord instead for His comfort. I eat for instant gratification - instead I should wait upon the Lord and enjoy the bountiful blessings that He provides in his good, whole foods!

I know that God has provided good food for us to eat. I enjoy healthy whole foods. So once again, I need to fall to my knees and allow God to help me with this daily struggle. I pray that he will bring health to my body (and to my family as a result) and will take this struggle on His shoulders. An update will be posted in a few weeks!


Sharon said...


I too struggle with eating unhealthy foods, such that up until recently I was seeing my doc every month for weight loss reasons. I read something recently that suggested to me that we often can only exert willpower strongly in one area of our lives at a time(eg diet but not exercise as well, reading your Bible but not homeschooling diligently etc), which helped me a lot to know. It really helped me to think "I need to focus on Bible reading/prayer and not expect *wonders* of myself in the areas of regular exercise, perfect menus, diligent homeschooling, fascinating blog posts - the basics, yes, but nothing fantastic". So if you really need to make these dietary changes, just concentrate on them and be gentle on your expectations of yourself in other areas.

Another help might also come from this post from another Christian Australian blogger, Nicole. She just wrote this on the struggles of the Christian life: I hope it gives you encouragement!

~ Sharon

Monica said...

Thanks you for being so honest with yourself and us. I'm reminded of the verse that tells us that God disciplines those He loves. Your skin condition, though very annoying, He uses to get your attention again and focus back on Him. But doesn't a loving Father want us to eat chocolate cake whenever we want? We know the answer to that one:)

My children are constantly asking for junk food and I'm constantly telling them "No" and the reason why. But then I have a huge problem applying the same rules to myself. Ugh.

I pray that you are able to get back on track smoothly. Again thanks for your transparency - it's caused me to think of my own health and weight in different terms today.

Mom2fur said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your ailment and I hope it goes away quickly. It sounds very painful!

My daughter is on Weight Watchers and lost 9 lbs. in her first two weeks. Even though she weighs well over 200 pounds, I can already see a difference! Last week she only lost a half pound, and felt discouraged. But there will always be ups and downs on a diet. I'm sure that prayer will help you focus and even give you insight. God wants you to be the healthiest you! You already know you shouldn't be hiding foods, but I'm thinking maybe you feel deprived? Maybe you should allow yourself a 'special occasion' food once a week--like that birthday cake. But it should be a real occasion, and a reasonable treat, not "I cleaned the toilet now I have the right to a box of Dunkin Munchkins!" That special treat will give you something to look forward to, and you won't feel deprived.
If it is the gluten in wheat that gives you the psoriasis, you could also learn some recipes using gluten-free flour. I tried the pre-made chocolate chip cookies (I don't have celiac disease or wheat sensitivity, but I do have stomach problems and I was experimenting) and they taste pretty good. The best thing about 'from scratch' cooking is that you know what goes in there!
I talk (write) too much, but I have to tell you I blog-hopped here from Monica's blog (she did the WFMW on decorating with what you have) because of your user name. Mom24 was one of my original choices--Mom to four is what I am! But it was taken. I guess that was you, LOL!
Sometimes I'm ma24, but mostly I'm known as Mom2fur, which is a play on words--the fur is for my furbabies, but it sounds like 'four,' too!
Good luck with your healthy lifestyle goal!

Becky @ Boys Rule My Life said...

Thank you so much for your honesty. I struggle so much with food, too. Life has been turned up-side-down lately and yesterday I really binged - BAD! At one particular time I took a spoon full of cream cheese frosting and threw a handful of m&ms in and then microwaved it for a bit. I ate this with a spoon. Bad, bad, bad. I can totally relate to eating a sleeve of cookies. :) Today's stress isn't much better, but after having read your post I am reminded that there is always a place to turn and I haven't been. Thank you for the reminder of where to turn my focus.

Good luck on eating healthier. It is a hard battle - even when we love the healthy foods, it is hard not to fall off the bandwagon sometimes!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

I am so glad you have shared this. I have been on my "diet" for a few weeks and continue to break down each weekend and eat junk junk junk. So, I lose 4 lbs, gain 3, lose 2, gain 2, lose 3, gain 2....ugh!

But, I do realize that I am so often attempting to stay on the diet in my own strength...I need to rely on Him and His plan for my health and size.

Sharon said...

Andrea, I forgot to let you know my favourite memory verse for this problem (write it out in big red letters and stick it to the doors of your fridge, pantry, wine cellar, the drawer with your secret stash...)

Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God'."

If it worked for Jesus after forty days of fasting in the wilderness, it's sure gonna be a help to us, hey?

(2 Corinthians 10:5, especially the second half, is another good self-control verse to memorise.)

~ Sharon

Christy. said...

I found your blog through Leigh Ann's and I loved this post. It was so honest and real!! I struggle with my weight too and it was so encouraging to hear that I am not alone!!! I also do really well for a while and then I "fall off the wagon".

Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

Thanks for sharing and being vulnerable. I know you're discouraged, but hang in there - that's what grace is for, the times when we fall off the wagon. Just get back on and Do the Next Thing. :)
I, too, struggle with eating too much of the wrong things - especially convenience foods in the afternoon - b/c I read to the kids at lunch and forget to eat! I'm working on it though...