Part of my weight loss journey has been learning how much to consume throughout seasons of my life. Your caloric needs change as your weight changes. I’ve also learned about eating clean and how to portion my foods/meals throughout the day. I’m about to open up a big “can” because there are so many options. I can only share what worked/has worked/is working for me. Feel free to share your opinions, thoughts and recommendations here as a comment or on my FB page.
When I started with a trainer back in 2010 she helped me to figure out my basal metabolic rate by using a formula. I tracked my foods and allowed her accountability by checking my food diary. I found out that it wasn’t as simple as “overeating”. Yes I had been eating too many calories at times in my life. Also I had been eating too few calories. You can send your body into starvation mode. By eating too few calories consistently, skipping meals and then binge eating at others I had done a number on my metabolism. So at first it felt like I was eating a LOT of food (and I was) being at least 140 pounds overweight and being morbidly obese meant that my body needed a lot of calories just to function. Current BMI charts say that a woman my size should be 109-137 pounds. This is NOT going to be possible for me without skin removal surgery. There simply isn’t a way after carrying five children and being morbidly obese for 25 years that my body will ever get to that size.
Even though I’ve been on this journey for almost 5 years I still feel quite confused. I keep getting numbers thrown at me that range from 1200-1860 for the calories I should eat daily and still be able to lose weight. Right now I’m not tracking what I’m eating in terms of caloric intake. I’m simply eating healthy, clean and when I’m hungry. I stop when I’m full and I follow the principles laid out in the Whole Life Challenge. I lost 20 from January to March, but I’m back at the plateau point that I’ve been at since 2013. It feels hopeless to ever break through the 170s. (I’ve actually put some weight back on since the end of the WLC -March 13th. I’m not proud of it and I’m hoping to lose it as I start a new challenge in May.)
Something though that is even more troubling to me is that I’ve lost site of what my needs are to feed my spirit. It’s time to practice some spiritual portion control. Psalm 73:26 says “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” There is also Lamentations 3:21-26 ” But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.”
I’ve gotten distracted by the busyness of life, both the immediate and pressing trauma our family has experienced and the pressing chronic grief I’ve been processing for years, as well as my own fears, agendas and need to be needed. My relationship with God has been something to do, a part of who I am and not the source of my strength, my identity and my hope. There is a verse in the song Amazing Grace that usually gets skipped. It says “The Lord has promised good to me. His word my hope secures. He will my shield and portion be as long as life endures.” That’s what I pray my heart can sing with confidence. He WILL my shield and portion be….that I can find rest, true peace in trusting that God is my shield and portion. He IS enough. He is MORE than enough. It isn’t Jesus + my goodness, or Jesus + my ambition. It’s JESUS! He is the answer to every question. Seeking His face should be my only goal, my only priority and Heaven should be my destination. Everything else is an added gift.
Oh God I submit my physical and spiritual appetites to you. Please work within me to know when I need more nourishment and when I’ve had enough to be grateful for the sustenance provided. Psalm 24:8 says “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” Lord I want to taste you in times of trouble instead of another cupcake, spoonful of peanut butter or pint of Talenti. Lord, I want to know deep, deep, deep down that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I desire Holy Spirit to trust you in a way that I NEVER have before and to submit to you the areas of my life that I’ve been stuck on the sit and spin and trying to get off in my power. I’m praying for answers to know how much to eat, what kinds of food to eat and when to eat. I’m also praying for strength and power to seek God’s face, a desire to know Him intimately and the balance to live a full life without functioning out of fear in the spiritual or physical.
Thanks as always for reading. Feel free to share a comment, tip, scripture or story. Blessings…~Janelle