Raw Reflections from the Journey

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Lighter Living (1/5 of me . . . gone!)

I'm thrilled that two months after beginning an endeavor to lose weight that its been so successful.  45lbs!  And this isn't uncommon on this program.  The even more amazing result is that graduates of Take Shape for Life are maintaining a healthy body weight for years by wholly integrating and practicing habits of health.  I have hope for the future that is priceless!  Just as my faith in Jesus puts my soul at rest "To live is Christ and to die is gain", I have peace and hope about my evolving health supported by how I feel!  I really feel good!

Gone are the days of fearing my Dr's disappointed gaze of reproach "It would be good to lose some weight."  And, I don't mind climbing into our smaller car (1993 Corolla); something I avoided previously because the tight fit reminded me that I'd somehow super-sized my body.

But lighter living isn't just physical.  Cycling is easier, for sure, but walking, sitting, arising to stand, crossing my legs, getting dressed, tying my shoes . . . really?  And all of this adds up to greater ease in life and less weight on my soul.  You know how sometimes you don't know what you've got till its gone?  Well, I didn't know what an oppressive emotional burden I was living under until my weight was gone.  And I suspect that's the case for many if not most who are struggling with weight.

So what's the meta-perspective, and what is this kind of transformation all about?

I'm seeing Romans 12: 1,2 in a different light . . . "Therefore I urge you in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, wholly pleasing to God . . . "  Prior reading of the word sacrifice has made me wince.  'Sounds painful' I reasoned.  But what if sacrifice is joy because of the wonderful results that far surpass the temporary discomfort of doing some things differently (for instance, becoming accustomed to water as my primary if not sole beverage?)  Have you realized experientially how effective proper hydration (64 oz's of water/day) is to reduce headaches and fatigue?  It is!

Lighter living:  Lighter body, lighter spirit, lighter mood.  Thank you God for gracing me with desire, motivation and method, and a community of new friends to give and receive support for the journey!  Click here to contact my coach and mentor if you want to check this out for yourself.

blessings, Jeff

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hope If You're Feeling Unhealthy

My favorite story in the Bible is about Peter and John being warned by religious leaders to be silent about Jesus because they were causing upset to the status quo, "We can't help but tell about the things we've seen and heard" they replied.  Their experiences were way too remarkable to keep to themselves, and their relationship with Jesus was something they wanted to share with others.

Well . . . I can't help but testify to the miraculous changes that I've experienced by following a plan to establish optimal health; significant weight loss, disappearance of emerging health concerns, improved energy, sleep, a sense of well-being and consistently stable mood.

Maybe you'll tune this out, just as I tuned out many such testimonies over the past decade, but I hope I have your attention, especially if you're feeling desperate, hopeless, embarrassed and/or a myriad of other unpleasant feelings.

My long story told briefly is that a decade of professional and personal stress contributed to weight gain and a host of other emerging maladies associated with it; borderline high blood pressure, acid reflux, IBS, snoring, lethargy and fatigue; difficult symptoms for a once vibrant athlete to tolerate.  The summary is that 2003-2013 was a slippery slope toward unhealthiness.  Psychologically, I denied it because in many ways I felt hopeless to reverse the process.  How exactly does one stop self-medicating with comforting food and drink?

Since I'm probably going to be writing about this a lot, I'm not going to try to tell the whole story in one blog.  Suffice to say that I've moved from hopelessness to hope as all of my symptoms listed above have disappeared over 6 weeks, and I'm down 35 of the 50lbs that I added over a decade.  I feel better than I've felt in ten years, and feel hopeful for a healthy future!

How did it happen?  The first and foremost factor is spiritual.  Once again I surrendered (for those not familiar with our marriage story, surrender was key to saving our marriage and family in 2008).  "God, I can't do this and don't know how to do this.  I've tried self-discipline, starvation and other 'white-knuckled' approaches to weight-loss and health recovery and they haven't worked. If it's going to happen, it's going to have to come from you!"  Related to this were many prayerful pleas for grace vs. self-willed discipline.  Thank you Rob Rue for testifying about this and maintaining a hopeful posture of prayer that I might enjoy the grace that God gave to you!

The second ingredient was a proven program.  Hang tight, this really isn't an infomercial.  Understand it as my best effort to responsibly represent something I'm excited about (think back to Peter and John).  "Take Shape for Life" is a program of medifast that has a track record for safe healthy and sustainable weight loss as the first phase in a life-long pursuit of optimal health.  And my experience has been the average (yet exceptional) experience.  I've lost weight quickly and felt great while doing it!  I've rarely been hungry, and mood/energy have been mostly very positive throughout!

How does the program work?  Basically, you eat one lean and green meal per day (very filling and satisfying), and five meal replacements that put the body into a fat burning state very quickly.  It's simple, cost effective (what you pay for the meal replacements is probably equal to or less than your current daily food budget), and sustainable (I'm going on my seventh week, and don't have far to go to establish a healthy weight!)

Full disclosure:  It took me three years of watching a trustworthy friend getting and sustaining results from this program before I pulled the trigger.  So, if you're feeling anything close to what I was feeling before I began (hopeless, skeptical, embarrassed, etc.) you might scoff.  But again, I can't help but share what I've experienced  because the results have been almost too good to be true.  I feel reborn, and hopeful with anticipation for the rest of my life instead of hopeless and defeated.  And odds are, it will work for you (it's been studied and recommended by Johns Hopkins University).

If you're intrigued, google Take Shape for Life. Or better yet, call or write to my coaches, Tom and Susan Patras, and tell them Jeff sent you.  Click here for their webpage and contact information.

Blessings and Godspeed!