My name is Theresa Lindamood and I am currently a 40-something SAHW/M and I am creatively involved in a lot of activities including digital scrapbook designing which you can read about at my Forget-Me-Nots Design Blog. In addition I'm a photographer, genealogist, gardener, sewer, quilter, knitter and spinner and I enjoy reading and Bible study. Our family enjoys exploring all of God's creation together, especially the ocean and the mountains. Below I want to share with you a little of how I came to be on this journey.
After marrying and having children I felt it was time to finally conquer my nearly life long health problems. Currently I have auto-immune issues and battle migraines, asthma and allergies. My weight has ballooned and I found myself feeling like an old Grandma with 3 small children. Food has been both my friend and foe for nearly 40 years. At about age 4 I remember sneaking extra treats because they comforted me when I overheard my parents arguing. In 1st grade after my parents divorced and my younger brother died, my paternal Grandma said, "I love you Honey, have some pie." Our lives were shattered, what else could she do? Don't get me wrong. I am responsible for my food choices and the situation that I am in. But, these things set a pattern. My first diet was at age 7. The more I was prodded, the more I wanted to eat. All the pushing and fussing stressed me even more. A close family member told me that boys would never want to date me because I was so fat. In 3rd grade, I thought "So what?!" Later I realized the cruel truth.
Along the way, my view of myself became distorted. When I weighed 150#, I saw myself like a 300# blob. I tried fasting diets, low carb diets, Richard Simmons, Weight Watchers, Elaine Powers, Prism, Set Point and poured over the magazines to learn the latest "sure to lose" diet secret. The more I dieted, the more I gained. I took weight off. Then put it back on again. After each diet I gained a little more. I was obsessed with keeping track, measuring, counting, weighing. Then I began to struggle with calorie counting. I went lower and lower. If I could make it on a certain number each day, why not try lower? That made me sick, then I binged. Finally I came to the conclusion that diets are not going to work for me. I looked my doctor in the eye and said, "With no disrespect, I've been on diets as long as you have been alive! I am not going on another calorie restricted diet!"
DIETS DO NOT WORK! How can you successfully eat a restricted diet if you cannot successfully eat a normal diet? I am fully convinced that the first step for everyone in weight loss is to eat NORMAL! Once you have accomplished that you can begin changing.
In my late 30s I began to realize that there were more factors to health and wholeness than attaining a number on a scale. Our family has made a lot of changes so that we can all be healthy. When I married, my husband was a meat and potatoes man who was happy with whatever came out of a box or can or was served in a restaurant - the more cheese the better! I had mostly put my issues of emotionally eating behind me. But here we were a family of 5 and I knew that I did not want to pass on all of our bad habits. As a child I had learned a lot from my maternal Grandma, Holly Hopkins, who was decades ahead of the rest of us in her pursuit of health and she lived to the age of 95 7/12 years! After she died, I received many of her cookbooks and health books and began reading them. It was comforting to have her notes and writing accompanying me on my journey.
We began to take these steps, one at a time:
1. Eliminate MSG
2. Eliminate High Fructose Corn Syrup (aka HFCS or corn sugar)
3. Eliminate Corn Syrup
4. Portion Control (Educate yourself as to what a portion size is - you may be surprised!)
5. Eliminate animal products with hormones and antibiotics
6. Limit processed foods
This was the first year. During the 2nd year we added some things. We began grinding our own wheat and other grains for bread products. We also purchased a Vita-Mix and began using it for smoothie and other ways to add whole foods to our diet. It's great for sneaking nutrients for kiddos! Next we began eating more organic foods and eating more fresh food.
It really was a fun journey. Some people go cold turkey. This gradual way worked for our family and it helped my Husband to become comfortable with the changes we were making, one at a time. Little did he (or we) know when the journey began, how far it would go... and I don't think it's over yet!
Obviously food is not the only issue in weight loss. So I added exercise and fell in love with Leslie Sansone's Walk At Home Program. Then in 2008 I tore the meniscus in both knees and severely sprained my left knee. All my progress seemed to slide back down hill. During my long recovery I experienced increased left hip bursitis and right hip tendinitis. Now I'm trying to make progress in healing that through physical therapy and get back to moving.
During the fall of 2009 I became ill with increased stomach issues, abnormal blood test values and they thought perhaps that I would need my gall bladder removed. I doubled in pain whenever I ate fatty animal products and began eating vegetarian. Lo and behold I began feeling much more energetic eating a vegetarian diet. My Husband, the life long "meat and potatoes man" joined me and was surprised that he too felt better. In July 2010 we even participated in the Engine Two Diet Challenge, which is vegan! We loved it and felt so good... we ate a lot of food and still lost weight.
Where are we now? I'd say we are "flexitarians". Occasionally we eat meat, chicken and dairy, but we are very choosy about what we have. When I can, I do try to make recipes vegan and I have been reading more and more about eating raw. Eventually I would like to eat mostly vegan/raw with just occasional meat/dairy on special occasions and only certain foods cooked.
Certainly it is my desire to continue learning and to continue the journey.
In my journey to wholeness I also hope to become closer to God and cleanse my body, which as a Christian I believe is the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit. "Do you not know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Attaining a certain dress size or a number on the scale or eating a particular diet will not make me whole. Drawing closer to Him and being transformed into the woman He has always wanted me to be is what I desire.
Why blog about it? Accountability, encouragement and I learn from processing through writing. If you have made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read my personal journey. I know this all sounds heavy and serious, but really I like to laugh and enjoy learning from others too, so I hope you'll pull up a chair and join me and add your thoughts along the way.
"I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)