I am a bit fat.  Again.  I am not sure how it happened but I suspect I might have taxed my body in the fall trying a low carb version of the paleo diet along with intermittent fasting.  Although I didn’t wish for my mini-muffin top, I am actually grateful for it.  It has brought me clarity on few points.

I am not a bad person because I have gained weight.  I didn’t binge eat fast food to get to this point (although cultural norms would lead many to believe that this is the ONLY way that someone gets fat!)  In fact, you wouldn’t believe how hard I was trying.  No grains.  No sugar.  No dairy.  Fasting days.  I have done it all and yet, here I am.  So, why do I feel guilty and like I don’t measure up?  Why can I have confidence about so many things, yet doubt my worth because of a simple number on the scale?  Why do I give it so much of my time and attention?  It is evidence that I have a hole in my heart.  A lie that I still believe.

So, if you are out there and you have five pounds or 105 pounds to lose, here this:  “Your weight is not a character indictment.  I know you are trying hard.  I know you have counted calories, jumped on the low-fat craze, zoned yourself to death, P90X’d til you were blue in the face, and completed that half marathon just like you promised your spouse.  You don’t know WHY you are fat but you still are.  And, if one more skinny religious person mentions gluttony around you, I will give them a swift kick in the hiney for you.  Because you aren’t replacing God with food.  At least not most of the time  (and when you do, it is because you can’t take feeling like the sum of who you are is the size of your jeans – that’s when you eat a plate of brownies!)”

I also realized that when I started this blog, I hoped that I would find the magic steps to be perfectly fit and toned.  Then, one day I could post before and after pictures.  People would come from all over the web to tell me how amazing I looked.  It is embarrassing to admit this!  But, really, that need to hear that I LOOKED incredible was a subconscious undercurrent.  And, truth be told, the comments would fade, the years would continue on, and I would once again face my appearance issues.  I would rather just do that now and allow God to heal me internally.

So, if you have ever felt a superior or haughty tone in my writing style I APOLOGIZE.  It was probably my hidden motive of hoping that you would tell me that I was great.  Blech.  Instead, I pray that I will get out of the way long enough for the good information (the parts we DO know about nutrition) to come forth and help one of you.

Finally, I can’t do this on my own.  I will never have a success story on Mark’s Daily Apple about how I figured out my perfect body and my perfect life.  My story, if I were to post, would read like this:

“I discovered the Primal Blueprint at the exact time that I had just finished 30 books on nutrition and the pieces of the puzzle all seemed to line up.  Being primal took the best ideas of those authors and melded them into an approachable and happy lifestyle.  So, I jumped on full speed ahead. 

For awhile everything was great.  I felt energized and I lost weight.  But, as time went on, my weight loss plateaued so I began to tweak things.  First, I tried getting more sleep at night.  Then, I tried the GAPS diet while being primal to heal my gut.  Then, I went Whole30 paleo.  Then, I became interested in autoimmunity and became strictly gluten and dairy free.  Then, I gave intermittent fasting a try.  First, through a shortened eating window, then through every other day fasting.  I tried no fruit.  I tried no potatoes.  I tried caffeine free. 

And, I gained weight back.  About 10-12 pounds of the original 17 that I had lost.  I read about body weight set-point theories.  Satiety theories.  Pathogens that cause weight gain.  In depth analysis of the hormones like leptin, insulin, cortisol, adrenaline, and Vitamin D.  It didn’t matter what I read or what I did, I couldn’t get the weight to budge. 

The most important piece was missing.  My FULL, humbled surrender to God.  This story should never have been about you telling me I was great, because God tells me that I am great.  And, as I steep in His truths, all of this vain striving must cease.  Are there nutritional keys to a better quality of life?  Yes.  Yet, for me, a big part of this process was realizing my prideful streak and letting go of facades.  I simply don’t have the answers. 

Who knows how the story will end, but He better get ALL the glory this time!  And, in the meantime?  I plan on relaxing.  I am tired of trying so hard.”

PS – I don’t think Mark would take my story because there isn’t a whole lotta primal love for us Christians and that story would be a magnet for negative comments.  I know some of you know what I am talking about!  That’s OK, I will always side with Jesus because He tells me I’m His favorite.  🙂  (Don’t worry, He feels the same way about you!  If you don’t believe me, go ask Him!)

(photos: mybellringers.blogspot.com, leisurespecial.com)