Monthly Archives: January 2012

“Trapped Inside of Me” – Releasing the Trigger…

Take a deep breath. Exhale slowly. Relax your shoulders. Straighten your back so you can relieve some of the stress and tension. Now take another deep breath and release it slowly. Close your eyes and relax your body using your mind. Raise your arms up as high as you can and feel the stretch. Keep your eyes closed. You may be upset, disappointed, feel like breaking down, or perhaps just had a bad experience in your day but I want you to repeat these words, “Lord, nothing else matters at this moment but You and I give You the glory. I praise Your Name because You’re worthy to be praised and no matter how things seem at this very moment — YOU are sovereign and have complete control. My flesh wants to react but I choose to give this moment ALL to You! I’m not asking for anything; I just want to acknowledge You. In Jesus Name. Amen!”

There is something about honoring God in the midst of whatever may be troubling our hearts. When we do this it immediately gets the attention of God and we’re at the threshold of worshipping the God who is in control of our very being. There are many, MANY times I just feel like slumping over and throwing up my hands but my heart says, “You’ve come too far to turn back now!” There is something about being at the altar of the feet of Jesus where absolutely NOTHING else matters. NOTHING! Although our feelings may get pricked at times but it’s NEVER worth our joy and peace. So instead of pulling the trigger that May cause you to desire that unhealthy, un-nourished, artery clogging food – release the trigger in the Name of Jesus and walk in victory…Pat yourself on the shoulder and smile. YOU DID IT!


Trapped Inside of Me – “ACCOUNTABILITY!”

This week has been challenging week for me. Yes, I face days where I just want to give up and post my “Whatever!” sign on the outside of the door and sulk. Let me share a little confession to set the stage to where I’m going in this blog. Earlier this week I got knocked down pretty hard in my emotions and I stopped at McDonald’s and ordered a small fry and a chicken sandwich. As I was eating the food I felt guilty and embarrassed because I did not enjoy it at all and I was more upset with what was going on inside of me and wanted to avoid dealing with it. Afterwards, I stopped at the store and to my dismay I picked up a candy bar. Yep! I sure did! As soon as I got in the car I called one of my close friends and the first thing I said was, “I have a confession to make.” I proceeded to admit that I had bought a candy bar but at this point I am NOW aware that wasn’t the candy bar that I wanted but the need to feed what was going inside of me. I further went on to explain that I had stopped by McDonald’s and how I felt afterwards. What a relief it was to get that OFF MY CHEST!

The reason I felt relieved is because I had to face the one thing that I used to avoid and that was ACCOUNTABILITY! I could have eaten the fast food and the candy bar (by the way, I did NOT eat the candy bar!) and no one would have ever known and it would have just been my little secret. I am accountable to what I put inside my body and in my strides to desire to be healthy I would have only been harming myself instead. I can not sit and write these blogs and bring awareness to obesity and encourage readers to be healthy if I am not honest with myself or you. No one wakes up one day and decide they are going to be 500 pounds. Something happens that sets an individual down this path and is totally consumed by food and the will to stop is overpowered. Although there are many reasons as I have explained in previous blogs that are underlying issues to obesity – there is still the factor of accountability. There may be factors that happen in an individual’s life that render this unfortunate circumstance but at the end of the day each individual is accountable for the choice that is made. I acknowledge the choice I made and also owned it and used it as a catalyst to move on! I didn’t stay there because I became accountable for my actions no matter what the offset was that led to it. That was not always the case in past times so I know that I am progressing.

I give thanks to God because I am also accountable to Him, first! Let me share this with you: “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life-your sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking around life and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” (Romans 12:1, MSG) Please find someone who you can be accountable to when you fall or are falling so that you may be encouraged and truthfully face what is before you. Check your emotions. Ask yourself, “Why am I eating this?” More importantly, ask yourself, “Am I honoring God with my body?” My desire is to encourage you to avoid these pitfalls that I missed in hopes that you’re able to detect these triggers early on. We’ll revisit accountability again… I’m on a mission, will you join me!? *Please watch the video in its entirety by Yolanda Adams and I pray it encourages you as it has me. Don’t EVER GIVE UP! ~Blessings!

 


Trapped Inside of Me – What We Do Know Can Help Us!

There is an old saying, “what you don’t know won’t hurt.” Well, by now you have understood this to not be true. I start gaining weight as a young child when I lived with my grandparents in Alabama. I was told when I was a child to eat all my food because there were children in Africa starving. Sounds familiar? Somehow that stuck with me and I ate that and then some and as the weight picked up – there came the “fat jokes” and “nicknames” all at my uncomfortable cost. Growing up on southern dishes  or soul food dishes such as cornbread, collard greens, fat back, hammocks, fried chicken, fried pork chop, creamy style corn, buttermilk, bread, beans, macaroni and cheese, peach cobbler, sweet potato pie, pecan pie, fried chicken gizzards, fried catfish, fried okra, sweet potato casserole, smothered whatever, butter and salt in EVERYTHING etc. and if you know soul food then you know what I’m talking about. Don’t get me wrong, these dishes are collectibles J and I love them as much as many of you. If I knew then what I know now as I get older how the over excessive eating of these food on a consistent basis can render poor health problems, eventually. Like what? I’m glad you asked. Let’s do roll call:

  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease and Stroke
  • Diabetes
  •  Cancer
  • Gallbladder disease and gallstones
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Breathing problems (sleep apnea – when a person stops breathing for a short time while sleeping and asthma)
  • Aching knees, back, and ankles

Now I do understand that many individuals are suffering from the above mentioned symptoms that are not obese and some of these symptoms are genetic but my intention is to bring attention to potential health problems associated with obesity. I am in a personal fight of faith to come against ALL of these attacks by simply watching what I eat (choosing wisely), planning my portion size and I have found that I am actually satisfied with smaller portions, doing some type of physical activity 3 – 4 times a week, and lots of water. Did you know that just losing 10 -20 pounds could notably lessen your chances of the above mentioned ailments? Also, if you are currently affected by any or all of the above, did you know that you could improve your health drastically and be one day closer to the doctor taking you off those maintenance medications? Let’s change our mindset to, “What we do KNOW can HELP us!” Will you join the mission with me? I’m already in motion!


Trapped Inside of Me – You Are Not Alone

Since I have started this series on “Trapped Inside of Me” I have gained so many supporters and if you’re reading this right now…allow me to personally THANK YOU! In my effort to bring awareness to obesity and the underlying truths many of us have yet to face…I’m here to tell you that YOU can take a stand! (Please join me!) I know what it is like to experience certain prejudices with being overweight. Yes, I know what it’s like to walk into a room and all eyes are fixated on the “fat girl”. (I’m just keeping it real!)

Let me share one of my most embarrassing moments (trust me, there are many)! I had taken a trip to Los Angeles a few years ago and I sat next to an older woman and in the midst of me trying to buckle my seatbelt I heard, “They should make special seats for people LIKE you.” I looked at her and smiled as I replied, “And exactly what KIND of people am I?” Of course I was terribly offended not to mention embarrassed but to be honest with you I was having the darndest time with that seatbelt because of my weight. It’s just the truth! I’m learning to let the truth be the truth. Don’t get me wrong I think it is preposterous to be rude, obnoxious, and belittling towards people because of one’s own personal perceptions! Everybody’s mirror serves the same exact purpose — to reflect!

I assure YOU that you are not alone in this fight. It’s not too late to make a decision to take charge of your health. I know it’s hard. My friend, I know your struggles. I understand your pain, embarrassment, and the inner part of you that wants to be FREE! You may be thinking, “How do I make this change? Where do I begin? It is so hard!” The BEST way is to start off with prayer! Look at what God’s Word says concerning us, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” (3 John 1:2 NIV)

I just wanted to take a moment to encourage you! This is a day-by-day process for me but as God has graced me with each passing day I take a moment to reflect if I made good choices towards becoming healthy. Be encouraged!


Trapped Inside of Me – The Silent Addiction

I titled this segment “The Silent Addiction” because the problem is widely seen but is the least favored subject. I hope to change that…one reader at a time. In my last blog I shared some of the identifiers that lead to “emotional eating” or “overeating”. It’s a hard truth to face but an even harder truth to do something about it. Obesity is the addiction no one wants to talk about because in the society we live in there’s a “to each their own” mentality. We hear ALL the information one could stand to hear on weight loss regimens that include pills and special diets  (crash diets) that only becomes a band-aid to the problem. Trust me I know! I have done the “special teas”, weight loss pills, shakes and etc. but no one gave me anything to help me with those emotional triggers that would have me making a beeline to the refrigerator or the snack aisle at the grocery store. No one sat down with me and simply asked, “Gina, what’s EATING you?” (Literally!)  So when I became upset about something that alarm would ring off in me to EAT whatever I thought I had a craving for that seemingly just “appeared”. It is easy to withdraw from family and friends when food provides you with this temporary comfort that operates like a quick-fix drug that sends you on this high and crashes fast with nothing left to do but seek the next fix! (I’m just keeping it real!)

One of the reasons I believe obesity is one of the least addictions talked about is because no one wants to come across as offensive, disrespectful, or hurt someone’s feelings and I totally understand how that can be portrayed. One of my goals in this blog series is to bring awareness and share my story. I still struggle with dealing with those emotional triggers and just plain old poor eating habits. This is real folks! People are on lifetime maintenance medication for illnesses due to poor choices about food. People have lost their limbs due to complications from diabetes from poor eating habits. Some people have lost their lives. My personal goal is to not fall prey or victim these things because I know that’s NOT God’s will for my life. If you’re battling this and you’re reading this blog…It’s NOT God’s will for your life either! I know there are many of you feeling trapped on the inside and I certainly hope you make a decision that you want to be HEALTHY & LIVE your best life according to God’s will! I don’t have all the answers, solutions, or how-to’s but I do have a voice! Will you speak up?!


Trapped Inside of Me – Facing the Ugly Truth!

In my last blog I decided to openly make a confession to my addiction to food. In my mission to becoming healthy and losing weight, there are truths that I had to face. As with so many people dealing with obesity or other eating disorders, there are ALWAYS underlying reasons as to why this is a problem. The biggest reason for me is lack of self-control when it comes to food. It’s not just the fact that certain foods are just absolutely delicious but it became a comfort for me to deal with things that I would be experiencing at that time. {Commonly known as being an emotional eater). 

Let me share when I discovered this embarrassing, ugly truth. When I lived in San Diego, California, it was the first time I had been away from everyone that I knew and my life took a turn in an unfamiliar direction. I was newly married (previous marriage) and things were pretty rocky. I turned to food. I would walk down to the corner store and buy all these snack foods (usually sugary snacks) and I would sneak and eat them. Hide the evidence from myself because I knew it was wrong but it made me feel so much better because it comforted me in a way I wasn’t receiving from my former husband. Everytime I felt rejected the more I turned to food and the numbers kept moving to the right and I blamed the dryer for my shrinking clothes. (DENIAL!) 

Some of the symptoms that I encountered that lead to emotional eating were: loneliness, boredom, feeling rejected, lack of confidence, lack of motivation, not feeling accepted, believing that people were judging me because of how I looked, not feeling loved, my prayer life…the list goes on and on. {We’ll discuss some of these in another blog.} Most individuals dealing with obesity, overeating, or emotional eating do not accept the truth that there is a problem and that help is needed. Usually the “root” of the problem is ignored or not taking the time to dig under all those layers that could go so far back in the life of the individual. It definitely goes SKIN DEEP! We’re not discussing accountability at this point because it is definitely one to be discussed. Please bear with me…it’s coming. Also, please consider the next time you see someone that is “trapped inside of themself” before you judge their outter appearance say a prayer of deliverance, healing, and forgiveness instead because it is needed. Take this journey with me…I’m headed somewhere! 

Stay tuned…


Trapped Inside of Me

This blog series, “Trapped Inside of Me” is one that hits very close to home. I want the opportunity to give an introduction as to what I am embarking upon. It deals with the epitome of who I am, who desire to be, and what I desire to do with my life. This series will dig deep within the underlying areas that most would not reveal. The good, the bad, and the ugly.  This is probably the boldest and riskiest thing I have ever done in my life! I am openly admitting that I have an addiction. This addiction comforts me when life throws me curve balls, when my feelings are hurt, when I feel lonely, and/or just plain old bored. It is called “FOOD!” Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, unless you’re walking in my shoes or in my skin, as I am sure many of you may understand and are probably too ashamed to admit it or perhaps you joke about it as I once did to appease my own discomfort.

I have encountered triumphs and successes in my life and I have also encountered failures and disappointments. One of my greatest disappointments has been conquering this mountain of living an unhealthy lifestyle that can potentially render so many health failures, such as: heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, high cholesterol, aching joints, depression, and etc. The list goes on and on. Improper eating, binge eating, and/or overeating also play a significant part in our everyday living with self-esteem, confidence, and judgment from others.  I won’t bore you just yet on what research says about obesity but I will share what it is like inside my world as I take this journey…one day at a time. There is a whole world outside of the world that I live in…or shall I say, trapped in. I have tried this attempt several times in my life but never to the point of becoming so transparent and sharing it with people whom I may never encounter in life, however; if you have lived in this world (metaphorically) that I am talking about, then you know exactly where I am coming from.

This is not a “New Year’s Resolution” or a “quick fix” but a commitment to live my best life because I am only afforded one on this side of time. I invite you on the journey… “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers.” 3 John 1:2 

LET’S GO!

 

 


The Truth of the Matter

The truth shall set you free! That’s what the Word of God tells us, right? Right! Why are there times when we will believe a lie and ignore the truth? Why do we not move expeditiously when we get the “warning” or the “go ahead” to move or act? Both requires “FAITH”! The “warning” protects us and the “go ahead” releases us to obtain what’s for us. 

Oftentimes the reality of the truth is unacceptable to what we “feel” or “desire” so we find ourselves making the truth flexible to how we want it to be. The truth is a straight shot. Not meant to be bent, re-shaped, broken into segments, or manipulated, but one whole, entire, unadulterated, uncompromised TRUTH! It is what it is. Sometimes the truth does not “feel good”. Sometimes it does not make sense right away. But when does one get to the point where you just trust the truth!? 

Now a lie is far from being a reality. It is presumptuous. It is expected to be believed. It is embellished. It is a sinful fantasy. However, a lie can be twisted, coerced, and convincing to the point of one believing — but it is ONLY contingent upon ignoring that quick little flutter you get in the pit of your stomach. Or the moment you think, “wait a minute” with a small hint of hesitancy. Does this sound familiar? *Hands raised*

Challenge yourself to be truthful in areas where you fall prey to either telling lies or believing them. Ask God to reveal those areas to you and do NOT be afraid to stand on the truth because the “truth shall set you free!” (John 8:32)


“A NEW KIND OF YEAR!”

We have closed out 2011 and embarked upon a new year; we should carefully take a glance back and acknowledge that God has done it yet AGAIN! Of course, some of you may have had the BEST year of your life in this season and some of you probably did a rain dance to be glad that 2011 is over! As you celebrate either or both, do know that seasons of life rotate? I once heard, “you’re either IN…going IN…or coming OUT” and I have NEVER forgotten it. As we reflect back, what will we do differently this year than last year? How much longer will we hear and/or proclaim “THIS IS GOING TO BE MY YEAR!” What is the point of making resolutions just to be disappointed, not because the resolutions are not coming to past, but the effort in not working to carry it out? Even if things do not turn out as you hoped, be in position to say, “I gave it a shot.” I was one of those individuals who gave up as the newness of the New Year wore off due to situations and circumstances. NOW I actually want a “NEW KIND OF YEAR!” as a dear friend wished me the pleasantries of a Happy New Year. Those words are forever tattooed and echoed on the inside of me! I desire a NEW KIND OF YEAR! Let’s all do better and for those who have succeeded in your goals for 2011, CONGRATULATIONS! As you continue to move forth, help someone else along the way. Send an encouraging word, find out where the need is, sow a little of your time, knowledge, and other resources that can be used to ignite the fire in someone else’s life.

I allowed some of my goals this past year to lie lifeless as if on life support. I now have the choice to pull the plug and let it die or nurse it back to life! I choose LIFE! There’s an old saying, “If you fail to plan…you plan to fail.” I am now in position to challenge myself in ways that I have never considered and as faith increases so does oppositions. The most important thing that I have learned from 2011 is GOD IS FAITHFUL! Sometimes that’s ALL you need to remind yourself as you look back on what God has brought you through and use it as a memorial stone for your next Jordan experience!

When the WHOLE NATION had finished crossing the Jordan…and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder…to serve as a sign among you…These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” (Joshua 4:1-7) The Word of God said THE WHOLE NATION! Are YOU not “…a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy NATION, a people BELONGING to God…” (1 Peter 2:9).

 I encourage you to strap up your boots and stretch your muscles and get back in the race! Do NOT give up on God because He won’t nor will He give up on you! I’m a living witness! Let me leave you with the promise to stand on: “The one who calls YOU is faithful and he WILL DO IT!” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

Have a NEW KIND OF YEAR!