I started a new devotion to go along with this journey. It is called Made to Crave by Lisa Terkeurst and already after just one day it spoke to me. Listen to her words…
I had to get honest enough to admit it that I relied on food more than I relied on God. I craved food more than I craved God. Chocolate was my comfort and deliverer. Cookies were my reward. Salty chips were my joy. Food was what I turned to in times of stress, sadness, and even in times of happiness.
I knew it was something God was challenging me to surrender to His control. Really surrender. Surrender to the point where I’d make radical changes for the sake of my spiritual health perhaps even more than my physical health.
Part of my surrender was asking myself a different question, a really raw question. May I ask you this same question? Is it possible we love and rely on food more that we love and rely on God.
That is me loving and relying on food more than God. Heart conviction time right there. Wow! Then I went to church this morning and Pastor Chris was talking about living for Christ. As he was preaching he said it isn’t about asking for forgiveness because Christ gave us that when He died on the cross but rather us repent of our sins and turning from them so we can live for Christ. Wow double heart conviction! Lord, I repent of loving and relying on food as my comfort instead of running to you. That stops today and I am making new choices and relying on You.
Six years ago my world as I knew it fell apart. My marriage was over and I was left with 2 small children one of which had special needs. My days were filled with craziness as I tried to find a new normal. I couldn’t seem to find that new normal and the stress began to build. As the stress built so did my bad eating habits because food became my go to and fast food became my out when I was too tired to cook. The pounds crept on and I wasn’t happy with myself but I was too overwhelmed to care. Two years later, my son was diagnosed with Autism and anxiety disorder. He was having violent meltdowns at school. Around this same time, my daughter began to have aggressive meltdowns at home and they progressed into seizure like activity. I was up late into the nights worrying about my kids and with that came lots of late night snacking and more pounds. By now these bad routines of poor food choice and late night eating had become habits and I didn’t recognize it. In June of 2014, we moved to SC in what I hoped would be a changed life for everyone but remember I said those bad choices had become habits and I didn’t recognize it. Yep nothing really changed when I got here with my weight gain and eating habits if anything they got worse. Then June 2016 came and the downward spiral went out of control. My daughter was diagnosed with lupus and my world once again was rocked to the core. I was so scared and worried that I reached out to my friend, Mr. Food, again. This time it was even a closer friendship as I spent days and weeks in the hospital eating junk at all hours or not eating at all because I didn’t want to leave her side. If we weren’t at the hospital, we were at doctors appointments so that meant lots of fast food or ice cream(my biggest weakness). My weight continued to climb and my health was spiraling down hill even though I tried to ignore it. Fast forward to the fall of 2017, I was taken the Wood badge course for Boys Scouts of America and we were hiking back to our sleeping quarters for the night and I couldn’t keep up with the group. I was winded and hurting and just couldn’t do it. I laid in my bunk that night thinking about life and where I was. I was the happiest I had been in years despite being so scared for daughter and all her health issues. I had a great boyfriend who loved my kids and me, a job that I loved teaching special needs kids, and I had a great Scout family and loved working with them and seeing where that journey was headed. I just couldn’t shake this addiction I had to food as my go to and my comfort despite how good life was. My daughter’s health continued to go downhill and more tests were run and in December they also added combined immunodeficiency disorder to her growing lists of problems. Food please make me feel better about all of this. One day one of daughter’s doctors looked at me and said April who is going to take care of her if you can’t anymore. April, you need to be healthy for her so you can show her how to be healthy and not take on the same habits you have with food when she is scared and worried about things. I thought on those things and I prayed about them. I knew it was time for a change I just didn’t know how it was going to happen because I knew I couldn’t do it alone. I finally made a doctor’s appointment for myself something I hadn’t done in years to begin to figure out what to do. On the way home from the appointment, I heard a commercial for Rob’s Biggest Losers and I decided to apply. My phone messed up while I was applying so I wasn’t sure the application went through. That night, I prayed Lord if this is how you are going to help me make this change then open the doors and I will walk through. Those doors were opened and even though I was scared and nervous I accepted the invitation and walked in. I tried to give many excuses to God such as I’m too busy with all of Kaitlyn’s appointments, my meetings, and work to do this but I could hear His still small voice reminding me to walk through the door. You see I titled this Journey to Health because this isn’t a 12 week diet or magic pill and everything will be fixed. No this is a journey to health. It took many years to get where I am now and there are lots of unhealthy habits that need to be broke but I know with the support of Rob’s Biggest Losers, my friends, my family, and God that I can do this. My prayer that as I get healthy and learn new habits that I can pass those on to my kids and together we can be healthier. Let the journey begin!