Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Gospel According to Chubby - Jeremy Rochford (review)

Obesity. It has become an epidemic in our nation. Schools are altering their menus to help children avoid it. Law makers are trying to pass legislation to deter it. Fad diets are created every day to help control it. Its effects are discussed on television and radio, in homes and schools and workplaces. But nobody's talking about the underlying cause behind it. Until now...

In The Gospel According to Chubby, Jeremy Rochford shares his amazing story of losing over 200 pounds without surgery, pills, shots, or anything besides determination-- and Jesus. Unlike so many other publications out there, Jeremy doesn't just focus on his success. He doesn't scurry over the pivotal point with a couple of sentences and then blow smoke about a "sure fire way you can have success too!" (Can you hear the used-car-salesman voice in that? I hope so!).

Rochford starts at the beginning. In kindergarten, a school physical spells out what is already obvious: Jeremy is considerably overweight. His issue wasn't merely a slow metabolism or bum thyroid; he had an addiction. Jeremy explains throughout the book how snack cakes were his heroin. Where some addicts get track marks, food addicts get stretchmarks. With a refreshing amount of openness and honesty, Rochford shares how he lied and even resorted to stealing money to satiate his addiction. As he grew older, his weight problem affected his social life (by keeping it at bay), which perpetuated the cycle of emotional eating. Food was the only place he could find comfort and solace. It was the means by which he tried (and tried and tried) to fill the emptiness within him.

Thankfully, his story doesn't end there; but I don't want to give it all away! ;) What I love so much about this book is that it is raw in its honesty, putting words to what the rest of us are afraid to say: That there is a deeper issue underlying the need that some of us feel to eat beyond what is healthy.

Furthermore, in spite of the heavy topic (sorry-- no pun intended), Jeremy is able to keep you laughing with his stream-of-consciousness and sense of humor. It doesn't take long to realize that the man writes just like he talks, allowing you to settle into a comfortable conversation about a very uncomfortable topic.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Consider the Lilies... And the Petunias... And Begonias... And-- Well, you get the point.

While I was pulling a TON of flowers to go to markdown because they weren't in prime condition (few to no blooms, wilted, too leggy, etc), I was contemplating some issues that have come up in my life. There are some more changes that need to be made; there's more growing to be done. I've decided there is always more growing to be done-- but that's not the point... The point is that I was frustrated with the fact that even though I'd finally pinpointed and put names to these issues, acknowledged what was amiss-- those changes, that growing, still hadn't taken place. I could see the problem, but it was as if it was behind glass; I couldn't reach it to do anything about it. Of course, I understand that the "doing" is God's job; He's the One that makes things new. But I had reached the point of being ready for the growth, no matter how uncomfortable. All that to say, I was struggling with the holdup. What was taking so long? What was I doing or not doing to stand in the way of these changes?

And then He answered me...

"Look at what you're doing, with these flowers here. No one wants to pay the full price or endure the wait for what I do. You demand perfection before you give up anything, and then you expect it to stay perfect or even get better until you decide you've gotten your money's worth, or you give it back.

Take commercialized plants. Mass produced. So crammed together that they die before they get a chance to live. Forced to bloom before they're ready. ...Now there's a concept. I made seasons for a reason. Everything, everyone experiences them- and I'm not just talking about the four that immediately come to mind. So maybe there's not a holdup. Maybe you're not standing in My way. Maybe it's just not quite your season to blossom yet. Maybe you need a little more rain, a little more tending to... It's such a process- an intricate design. So many things take place before the bloom. And they have to happen at just the right time, in just the right order, to achieve maximum success. Too many nutrients in the wrong place and the plant is leggy- lots of leaves and stem, not much flower. So there is an urgency for some things, at certain points, to happen just so. But that doesn't mean the immediate result will be the flower. It means the end result will be the best possible flower.

Trust Me to know what I'm doing. I am the Master Gardener after all. Rest in the process- and I assure you, it is taking place! The plant doesn't do anything but soak up the rain (that I provide), consume the nutrients (that I provide), and grow from the process that I set in motion. It doesn't choose to. It doesn't help Me, or hinder Me. It just is. When it's time for something in you to change, it will. It always has. Rest in that."

And He's right (go figure): I have countless examples of times when things have changed in me, in my life. And a lot of times, it seemed like a switch just flipped. But when I think about it, there was always time involved; and seldom did things happen when I thought they should. There's been turmoil and agony and waiting and waiting and waiting-- And then something just clicks, often times without any regard to what I have or have not done. Because He's planted me, and He's got this process going, and things are going to happen when and how they should for maximum impact. And my job is to just rest and abide and trust that when it's time to change, change happens.

Whew! Talk about a load off!

"Look at the lilies and how they grow.
They don't work or make their clothing,
yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed
 as beautifully as they are."
Luke 12:27

Diary of a Mad Fat Woman; Entry #1

Yes, I said fat. Go ahead and get your cringing out of the way now.

Yes, I am referring to myself. Save your arguments; it's a fact.

I got on the scale about a week and a half ago for the first time in a long time. It was devastating...




I've been overweight for as long as I can recall. I've dealt with my fair share of last picks (if picked at all) for sports, dateless dances, and being the easiest target for insults hurled like dodgeballs. ...Aaaaannnnddd for those dodgeballs, now that I mention it... O_o

I don't like it. Never have.

I've shed many tears over it.

But I have taken it. I have let it go on. I have made half-hearted attempts in the past to change things, sure; but it has never been enough...

Until now.

One thing I've discovered about myself, and about women in general I think, is that we can tolerate a lot. I mean, a LOT-- That's why WE have the husbands and the kids, right? ;) We can let a less than perfect situation go on for quite some time. We may dislike it, but we can let it continue. It may sadden us, but still it goes on...

But once we are mad, that's it. Tolerance is over and turn-around begins.

When I stepped on that scale and saw the bare truth of what I had let happen, I snapped. Overweight is one thing, but I had let it reach the level of absolute absurdity! The medical term for where I am is "morbidly obese". And not just morbid in the sense of scary to see... Morbid in the sense of-- I'm gonna die.

I. Am. FURIOUS! How DARE I continue to turn a blind eye to the stealing away of my life!!! How DARE something like food-- something I should surely be master over to simply use as a tool to keep me alive-- become my oppressor and be the very thing that sends me to an early grave!!!! Not to mention the lack of quality of life I am experiencing on my WAY to that grave!!

What kind of thanks is it to the One Who gave me life-- and for a PURPOSE-- to squander that life and end it prematurely for love of a damned cheeseburger?!?!?!?! "Here I am, Lord! Use me! ...But lemme choke down this umpteenth donut first; I can feel my arteries unclogging."?!?!?! Really?!


So I've joined the gym. And I'm changing my eating habits. By dropping the "habit" as a matter of fact. And I've been doing a Daniel fast. Because not only do I know that without God's working in this I am utterly hopeless, but also because I'm doing this for Him and for His glory. He gave me life in the beginning, and gave it back to me when I found myself in so much (other) bondage. And so now I do want to live this life He's given me FOR Him! Not for food.

And I am sharing this because I refuse to continue to "struggle silently" so that I may continue to fail. It's no longer about vanity; it's about life and death. And I'm choosing life!

So welcome to this new journey, feel free to come along. I'm gonna be real, and it's gonna get raw. I said before that things are changing, and I'm pretty sure that I still haven't even scratched the surface!

If you are or have been on your own weight loss journey, I welcome any resources, tips, advice, and encouragement you have to offer!

"This means that anyone
who belongs to Christ has become a new person.
The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"
2 Corinthians 5:17