Voices & Choices

Congrats to the two winners from the Valentines Day Giveaway. If you are one of them, get your home address to me at karen@proverbs31.org so I can mail you your prize!

Oh, how I wish I could pick you all. What great stories and ideas you shared! But alas, I only have two prizes so…..the winners are:

Single gals winner: Jeannette; time stamp Feb 14th at 2:31 pm

Married women’s winner: Amy Sabol; time stamp Feb 14th at 9:40 am

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Okay girlfriends….I cannot start out this post without thanking all of you who prayed for me last week when I had the flu and thought I’d NEVER make it to Charlotte to be on the Made to Crave webcast and see our daughter for two days.

It was rough. Sucking a cough drop throughout my plane rides and also my entire segment on the show. I nearly had a coughing fit right during Lysa’s opening devotion. I was already sitting on the set with Tonia and sipping water that I had hidden behind the couch.

Thankfully, I only coughed a little and prayed her mic didn’t pick it up!

While in NC, I was able to hang with our daughter (who just finished cosmetology school) for the first day when she gave me a French manicure.

I stayed with Holly (who was on the show with me & is Kenz’s other mother) had lunch with LeAnn (also on the show) and my dear friend Marybeth and hung out with the FABULOUS women at the Proverbs 31 office (they even let me answer the phone!).

I got to have breakfast with Lysa & her daughter Hope when we went to see Kenz at her second job at Chic Fil-A (she also works for Lysa) and all in all—I had a WONDERFUL time just being me (not mom).

After the show, I hung with Kenz & Holly’s family watching a little reality TV and checking comments from many of you on my Facebook page and Twitter profile.

I nearly fainted when Mandisa Tweeted about me. TWICE!!!

She loves all things related to Made to Crave and I totally love me some Mandisa. Cried like a baby when she left American Idol.

Anyhow….

The boys were fine when I was away. Normally, I am a “cook ahead and leave them great food” kind of gal.

I was so sick til right up until I went that I left them peanut butter Captain Crunch & the Main Street pizza phone number!

My return was not uneventful. I must have gotten a hold of a bad chicken breast at lunch and had myself a little…. ahem…stomach issue…right before I got on the plane.

Just let me say THANK YOU JESUS for both my stash of Amodium AD in my purse and for friends I can send quick “pray 4 me” text messages that include TMI words like “diarrhea” !!!!!

Although I LOVED beautiful Charlotte & the warm weather, I was glad to touch back down on the snowy Michigan tundra.

So….now it is Wednesday.

Weight Loss Wednesday gals….

Please leave a comment at the end of this post letting us know a little about you and how your week went. Feel free to hop back on the offer encouragement to others and check back in over the course of the week for new comments. Let’s encourage each other on the way DOWN the scale!!!

Now….let’s talk voices.

And choices.

Who are you listening to?

This was an important question that I have to ask myself often on the way down the scale.

For years I listened to the negative, echoing, and cutting comments from a handful of people from my past.

Like the cousin who, when I was about eight, once glanced around my grandma’s spare bedroom where we were playing and announced, “Someone in this room is fat.”

I was sitting on the floor with her and two other skin and bones relatives. I looked around at the four of us in our pastel summer shorts and determined that, since my legs were the thickest of the bunch, it must be me.

Then there was the cheerleading uniform fitting where the coach grabbed all of the skirts out of the storage bin from the year before and after peering at all of the tags on the insides, tossed the biggest one—size 10, my way and said, “Here. We’d better start with this one for you.”

I still recall the fat jokes by my brother. The mooing emitting from the mouths of some boys as I walked by the loooong wooden bench in my high school corridor. The well-meaning, but critical relatives who made back-handed or cleverly cloaked remarks about my size.

They made some bad choices. However, I made the worst choice of all.

I listened to every one of them.

Their words went straight to my heart. They stung my soul.

And I chose to replay them over and over again in my mind.

Ultimately, I chose to believe them and let their careless and sometimes cruel words defeat me.

When I finally let God have His way and rescue me from the life of slow suicide that I was living due to the horrible mistreatment of my body, I began to listen to the words of life instead.

Things clearly in the Bible. Like God has a plan for me. It is full of hope for my future. It is for my good, not my ruin. It will be a delight, not a disaster. (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

But there were also many warnings in His word.

Warnings that my body is the very temple of the Holy Spirit. I should take care of it, not kill it. I am not my own. I was bought at a great price. Therefore, I must honor God with my body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

That I must note well what is before me when I eat and “put a knife to my throat” if I have a gluttonous appetite. (Psalm 23:1-3)

And the most haunting passage of all to me which I knew, if I didn’t change, would be my fate:

….And you mourn at last, When your flesh and your body are consumed, And say: “How I have hated instruction, And my heart despised correction! I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, Nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me! I was on the verge of total ruin, In the midst of the assembly and congregation.” Proverbs 5:11-14

I had to let God’s Words, His perfect, flawless and TRUE words, become louder than the words of the world and the naysayers. There was just one slight problem.

The world shouts.

God whispers.

I had to get to the place where I was focused and intent on listening to His still, small voice over the negative cheers and jeers of the world.

I simply must share with you this little story that my leader at Weight Watchers read to us one day.

While scripture was where I got my strength to make my life changes, I have to tell you ladies, that next to the Bible, this little story was my greatest motivation.

I first discovered it right before a holiday gathering where there would be lots of food and lots of mental torment from a few “food pushers” and “naysayers” in my life.

The former tried to sabotage my eating by forcing foods on me or pouting when I didn’t eat large helpings of what they brought. Or they’d slather the veggies in butter before I could dish any out because they knew I was trying to watch what I ate.

The latter group of people just made their off-handed, cleverly disguised, but cutting comments that chipped away at my resolve and tempted me to just throw in the towel, give up and stay fat forever.

Then, I heard this wonderful story.

There once was a bunch of tiny frogs who arranged a climbing competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower.

A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants. The race began. No one in the crowd really believed the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower.

Heard throughout the race were statements such as, “Oh, way too difficult,” “They will never make it to the top,” “Not a chance they will succeed,” and “The tower is too high.”

The tiny frogs began collapsing, one by one—except for those who, in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher. The crowd continued to yell, “It is too difficult! No one will make it!”

More tiny frogs got tired and gave up. But ONE continued to climb higher and higher. This one refused to give up.

At the end of the race, all had given up climbing the tower except for the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top!

All of the other tiny frogs wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it. They asked him how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal, despite the horrible odds and the cruel taunts and jeers of the crowd.

It was simple. You see, it turns out that the one determined, focused, and disciplined frog …….was utterly and completely……….DEAF!!!!

My prayer for you is that you will turn a deaf ear to the discouraging words in your life whether they are from your present, your past, or even from your own self-talk as you think in your mind, “I can’t do this!!!!”

Yes, sweet one, you can. But only through Christ.

Are you ready to begin? He’s always been there waiting for you to get serious.

You can start right now.

No….not AFTER you go eat a bunch of junk from the fridge or cupboard.

No, not after your lunch out today when you order the most fattening thing on the menu and polish it off with a huge dessert.

Not after, on your way home, you swing by a drive thru to grab a huge cheeseburger and some jumbo french fries and quickly consume them in secret.

No, not first thing tomorrow morning.

Nope, not next Monday after you pig out all week.

Not even when you turn the calendar to March 1st.

I said now.

Believing You WILL Do It,

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  • Thank you SO much for this post and the deaf frog story! The Lord knew I needed that today! I reposted it on my blog and gave links/credits back to you. Thank you for your ministry. You are LOVED!!

  • I have been doing WW since Thanksgiving, and am now leading a MTC study with women in our church. Both of these programs have really helped me. WW has helped me with developing healthy eating habits, and MTC has helped me to draw closer to the Lord. I need His help because I CANNOT do this on my own.

  • Karen, you are so inspiring, thanks so much. Loved your words on the webcast…Going back to food because it is so familiar.. MY that in me in a nutshell. Truth I been overeating the last 3 days because I know today I am going back to WW. Had success on their program 2 yrs past, and keep trying to get the gain off again by myself but have failed constantly… So chin up, WW here I come..(the evil one, keeps whispering in my ear, what failure I am)… But with Jesus strenght.. I can over come… Blessing…………..

  • Wow, all of you ladies are SO encouraging! I missed this yesterday but so glad to read it all today! I keep thinking about the messages I tell myself now and how the Lord’s message of unconditional love is all that I need to listen to! I really need that “emotional deaf ear”! I have lost almost five pounds toward my thirty pound weight loss goal. This time it has been different for me, physically. I have been doing Denise Austin aerobics, pilates, and yoga in my house and the weather is finally warming up to get outside and walk with friends. I feel much stronger physically with the exercise I have been doing and much stronger spiritually from participating in this Wednesday blog and really getting into the Word of God.

  • What a wonderful blog, today. You are very inspiring.

    I cannot figure out why people are so cruel about larger body frames. What is it to them, anyway? They do not have to live their lives.

    I love your frog story. Keep up the great work, Karen. I always go to your blog and Lysa’s first because you both are so inspiring.

  • Thank you for your post today! I read it after the kids had gone to bed, and I was hungry for a snack. You challenged me to make good choices right now, not later. So instead of crackers or some other empty calories, I chose a clementine and some carrots. I haven’t weighed myself for a few weeks, but I did notice today that my jeans are quite loose. More importantly, I have committed to getting up earlier so that I can make sure I have time to spend alone with the Lord. I have found that I simply don’t get my quiet time with God if I don’t get up early. My energetic, talkative son is also an early riser, and I have to get up before he does. :) Thanks again for being a blessing! I’m glad that you were feeling well enough to go to NC. I prayed for you! As for all the other ladies, sending up prayers for all of us that we will remain faithful to the tasks that the Lord has called us to!

  • I have for years struggled with low self esteem and weight issues. I don’t remember anyone ever really picking on me about being overweight, I’ve just neve felt attractive it’s really just all been messages I tell myself…”You’re fat and ugly” “You’ll never change” “Might as well eat it, you know your efforts are worthless” “You’re a failure.” Over and over.

    I joined WW 2.5 years ago and am still in it though considering dropping it soon. I lost 25 of the 50 pounds I need to loose fairly quickly, but then for the past almost two years those last 10 pounds of the 25 I lost keep coming and going so I am always fluctuating between having lost 15-25 pounds. Never seem to get more then 25. I am right now 20 pounds lighter then 2.5 years ago with 30 to go. I get so frustrated and feel like a failure all over again when I just keep redoing those ten pounds for two years.

    Everything I read about weight loss says that having an accountability partner and support system is key, but I don’t have that. I told my family what I was doing and even signed up for a couple 5Ks and ran them and they never once mentioned them or asked me how it went. I used to try to talk about it and they always just ignored my attempts so I gave up and don’t talk at all about anything fitness related with them anymore. I prayed for a while about finding a friend I could journey with and a couple ladies came to mind to forward the MTC info to. One never responded and the other was offended. And please understand, I am not beating people of the head or being obnoxious, I tread very lightly in this area. My feelings hurt and I feel lonely and the self-talk that tells me I am worthless continues. I am afraid to approach anyone else because I am hurt by the rejection.

    I am not giving up and I am thankful for the MTC webcasts and now 21 day journey and also for this. Thank you Karen for words of wisdom today. I am holding on and I am climbing. And I am remembering that no matter what, God loves me.

  • When I saw you on the Made to Crave webcast, I totally connected with you. I love the story of your youngest only seeing you not the weight. I live in Indianapolis with my hubby of 25 years with two boys 25 and 21. Emotional eating has always been my problem and it is every emotions. Food is my comfort. Made to Crave has been so powerful in keeping me focused. I believe that this time will be different. I look forward to sharing my journey with you all.
    Thanks you

  • Karen,

    I’m so glad you were able to do the Made to Crave thing. It was so cool to see you and I can almost hear you talking when I read your posts! Thanks for sharing your wisdom and encouragement! I am needing to keep better track of calories again. Would you mind posting that formula for how many calories a person can consume and still lose weight? Thanks,
    Rebecca Ann

  • Thank you for the encouragement Monday night,which led me to sign up for the blog last night. I struggle with what others must be thinking of me. After losing 50 lbs 5 years ago, I fell hard and gained every pound back. After my sister-in-law commented one time that my weight loss wouldn’t last, my predicted failure is hard to get past. However, your encouragement as well as the MTC webcasts and the book are helping me to begin my journey of spiritual growth and physical shrinkage, so I will do it NOW! Thank you for what you’re doing!

  • Karen you were awesome on the Made to Crave webcast and I’m thankful that you’re back with Weight Loss Wednesdays. I ended 2010 losing 17 pounds. Have slid down the slippery slope of too much sugar and have finally been getting back to my treadmill on a regular basis. Last year I read Jennifer Rothschild’s book (Me Myself & Lies…A Thought Closet Makeover) with a friend and learned a lot about how to recognize my negative thoughts that I were my normal and how to stop them more quickly and turn to God’s truths. I need to continue my focus on Him during this “new” year.

  • After reading all the wonderful comments about the webcast, it makes me even more disappointed that I cannot view it due to my slow internet connection! Anyway, I do not have a lot of weight to lose, but I would be healthier and feel better if I lost about ten more pounds. It sure is interesting how the last bit of weight to lose is so hard. My husband has been newly diagnosed with pre-diabetes, so this is now becoming a couples battle. And to top it off, our children are UNDERweight. I do not know how I’m supposed to prepare food that will meet the needs of everyone in this family. I barely have enough time to cook as it is with my work schedule – there’s no way I’m becoming a short-order cook. I appreciate reading the stories in your blog today – especially about the deaf frog. We’d all be so much better off if we could shut out those negative voices. I almost think the worst voices are the ones that have made their way into our own heads.

  • Thanks for your encouraging words. I have too long listened to the shouts of those who have shamed me and not to the whispers of God who loves me when it comes to the area of food and body image. Thank you, too, for sharing the story from your WW leader. I have been a leader with that group for 8 years and have tried to be an encouragement to my members, but have not always taken to heart the things I share with them. I love your writting style and am coming here for the spiritual encouragement my heart desires. I enjoyed all of the MTC Webcasts, but your honesty really struck a chord with me.
    May we all continue to hear the still small voice of the One who loves us unconditionally.