October “Not Afraid” Challenge Post #2 (Giveaway and other things)

October 9, 2014 in Uncategorized




Hey Everyone!!

This is my October Challenge and Giveaway!! If you want to join in this challenge (and see what the prizes are) just check out my 1st post on the topic here

***The posts under this topic will be related to my faith and how it has helped me in the past to overcome  fears that make losing weight difficult for me. There will be 5 posts on this topic.  They will be up on Thursdays with the title “October Not Afraid Challenge”. All you do is submit a response to each of the 5 posts in the comment section to be eligible for the prize.  You don’t have to agree with what I’m saying and you aren’t required to be of the same faith as me either.   I just love to hear your opinions and responses.

Last week this was the question I posed to you:

Today let’s identify our primary fears. What is your main fear about your weight? What fears hold you back from being successful in your food and exercise goals? Do you struggle with anxious thoughts or fears that make you turn to food? Today let’s identify those fears and put a name to them. Once we know what we are fighting, we will have a better chance of attacking it head on!!

Here’s one of the comments:

Susan said, “I am afraid that goal weight is a pipe dream. I have always been overweight.”

Let’s think about that one for a moment because I believe that really and truly does resonate with a lot of us.   While a lot of us may struggle with our weight, not all of us have ALWAYS been overweight.  A lot of people did not start having issues with their weight until they were older.  Or perhaps a life circumstance was thrown their way which made them start using food in an unhealthy way.  Yet many people can look back on a time in their life when they used to be “thin”.  They have pictures that they can look at and say “I want to get back to that weight“.  They may have clothes they hold onto because “one of these days I will be there again“.

But that isn’t everyone.  A lot of people have no pictures at all of them at a weight where they once were comfortable.  They have no clothes sitting in their closet that they hope they can get back into.  They aren’t trying to get BACK to anything at all.  They are trying to go somewhere they have never been.   For them, to be at a healthy weight is literally a fantasy. Something that they have never been.  Something that might feel impossible.

It’s one thing to set out on a trip to a place you know exists.  A place you have already been.

But what if you don’t really know that your destination is real?

I am short.  Like REALLY short.  About 5’2″ .  I used to think I was 5’4″ but apparently I’m not.  Either I was lying to myself or I shrunk.  But the facts are in.  I’m short.  And that’s that.  I can’t do anything to change it.  I could probably do research that would give me suggestions on how to become taller.  I could throw a bar at the top of  my doorway and hang from it every day trying to stretch myself.  I could take pills and pray for it.  I could even wear heels to gain a few inches. But at the end of the day I’ll still be short.  So what’s the point? I might as well just embrace it.

I think some of us feel that way about our weight deep down.  Especially if there was never a time in our lives that we ever felt comfortable in our own skin.  To us, we are just ‘big boned’.  We just have a ‘big appetite’.  It’s just WHO WE ARE.  And you can’t change who you fundamentally are, right??

I have often had to challenge this idea that being “a big girl” is just who I am.  That it’s somehow programmed into me genetically like my eye color and there is nothing I can do about it.  I believed for years that my appetite was an inborn trait. That I just was hungry more often than others and there was nothing I could do about it.  That is until I found out sugar was the driving force behind it.  That was the first time I realized that maybe my appetite wasn’t ME.  That it wasn’t just the way I was made.

It’s hard to challenge our beliefs.  Especially if you truly believe that you are just programmed to be overweight.  If you truly believe in the depth of your being that you ARE meant to be big.  Created with a need to overeat.  Wired to be incapable of coping any other way. Then you never will have faith that you can ever achieve your goal weight.

To you—it really will just be a pipe dream.

I struggle a lot with trying to change things about myself that I don’t like.  Things I know that I need to change.  The problem is that often I believe that those “things” are just who I am.  And that because they literally ARE me…they can’t be changed.

Using food to calm my fears and anxieties is so much embedded into me that it feels WEIRD not to do it.   When I get stressed out, NOT reaching for food feels wrong and strange.  It’s as if you told me that tomorrow I have to walk everywhere backwards.  Write with my left hand instead of my right.  And talk in a British accent.  Ok the last one I would totally try to do for fun but you get my point.  It doesn’t feel comfortable or normal.  IT JUST ISN’T ME!

I have asked God many times how to change something about myself that is fundamentally part of who I am.

How can I stop wanting food, God??  How can I stop eating??


But then I found out I was asking the wrong question.  It’s like going to the doctor and telling him to fix you.

I don’t feel good.  Make it better!…You say

But then the doctor is going to ask “You don’t feel good WHERE?” because he needs more information.  You aren’t just one giant hand.  Or a foot.  You’re made up of parts.  Is the problem external? Internal?  Is it circulatory? Is it respiratory?  We can’t fix it if we don’t know what part is the problem! I believe the same is true of US.  And when we wonder how we can change something that is fundamentally part of who we are—we have to THEN ask….what PART of who we are?

Because I believe we are made up of more than one part.

I believe we have a body, soul and spirit.  At least that’s what I believe.  And because we have those 3 things all working together, we can’t look at ourselves as just one unit.   In my understanding, your body is your physical being.  Your flesh. Your bones.  We are living inside of our body the same way we drive our car around town.  We are NOT our car.  Our car is not US.  But we use it to get around.  And it’s kind of important.  The body is like that.  In my opinion.

This has actually been a really important concept for me throughout my life because when you weigh 417 pounds, you don’t like to identify with your body.  When your body hurts every second of the day—you kind of hate it.  When your body can’t get you from one side of the room to the other without breaking down—you don’t like it.  When people judge who you are in your soul and spirit because of what your BODY looks like—it sucks.  Plain and simple.  So looking at my body as something a bit separate from me helps.

And then there is your soul.  To me that is like your mind, will and emotions.  Your feelings.  And that is a whole lot of you.  Your personality. Whatever makes you YOU.  The part that gets depressed or sad and has no where to go with it.  I can only console myself with my own feelings and emotions.  If I need to do something, I can only use my own power.  Operating on my soul and body alone doesn’t get me too far.  Probably because my natural inclination is to feel weak and powerless a lot of the time. Not everyone is like that.  But I am.  That’s why I must rely on the third aspect—my spirit.

To me, the spiritual side of us is what connects us to God. My personal faith as a Christian teaches that I was given a new spirit when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.  That I now have the spirit of God living inside of me and that the spirit gives me strength.  It is the spirit that allows me to change things about myself.  Where my soul may have its own ideas about what I should think, feel and do—the spirit has the ability to control that and to even change it.  My idea that the spirit can control the soul/body comes from this verse:

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

2 Timothy 1:7


I’m totally down with that verse because as I have mentioned before I have some issues with feeling anxious, powerless, defeated, depressed and undisciplined at times in areas of my life.  And yes deep down I often believe that is ME.  That is who I am.  That it can’t be changed. And if it was just the soul and the body rolling through life together then that would probably be the case.  But with the spirit, I have a chance.  I have hope.  I can step out in faith and believe that in spite of the fact that things might seem impossible—-I CAN CHANGE.

I don’t have to view myself in my own power.  It isn’t up to ME.  Because if eating one dozen Krispy Kreme donuts is up to me—consider them EATEN!

If it is up to me to go walking—not happening.  Work out? Never mind! Eat a salad? NOT TODAY!  My soul is rarely on board with doing any of the things I need to do to be successful in this weight loss journey.  And my body has ZERO interest in getting out of bed at 5 am to go for a walk.  That is why I am stuck.  That is why I have regained weight and that is why I am struggling.  Because after I had all this great success relying on the SPIRIT, I decided to go back to letting my soul run the show.

GOOD ONE, HOLLY!  That’s the part of me that is anxious, scared, and fearful a lot of the time. She likes to eat when she is stressed.  She never believes in herself.  She is always defeated.  And she can’t ever envision a moment where she will overcome any of her problems.  She thinks her goal weight is a pipe dream and due to that fact she often gives up.

I totally related to Susan’s fear and comment.  And it made me realize that deep in my SOUL…I feel that way too.  There is a part of me that just doesn’t believe I can do this.  I mean come on….lose 300 Pounds?  FOR REAL??  Whatever! How about we also set the goal to become airborne? I mean if I’m going to lose 300 pounds why not also decide to fly?  They are both about as realistic.  That’s how I feel in my soul.  And that’s why when I was a mere 60 pounds away from the finish line, I quit.  I gave up.  And I stopped letting the spirit lead the way.  I went back to letting my soul and body run the show.

The only way I know to get the spirit back in control is to fuel that side of me. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to just rise up in me without my consent.  It doesn’t take over without my permission.  Even when I ask it to, it still seems to lie dormant.   Just like my car that won’t move without gas.  It seems like every time I turn around, I have to fill it up again.  Filled it up yesterday? Already down to half a tank.  Once again, back at the fuel pump.  And it’s the same for my spirit.  I have to fill it up every day or I lose power.  I really can’t coast long without my soul taking back over.  It’s amazing how quickly I lose confidence in myself when I don’t renew my spirit.  I believe that is why we are told  in Psalm 1:2-3 that to be blessed we need to go to God daily.  Meditate daily on His Word.  Feed our spirit every single day just the same way we do our body.  Then we will become like the tree planted by a stream who yields fruit and doesn’t wither!

I could go sit in my car and expect it to go somewhere but it won’t without fuel.  The same is true of this weight loss journey for me.  My body isn’t going to stop eating or start working out on its own.  Even if my soul has the desire to eat right and exercise —that still isn’t enough.  Just like me sitting in my car with the desire to go somewhere won’t matter if I don’t have gas in the tank.  The spirit is what gets me there.  It is the force behind any success I will have.

And I have gone too long neglecting that.

So for my 2nd assignment in this challenge, I would like to pose the following question to you:

Do you believe that feeding the spiritual side of you is an important element in losing weight?

 Do you have any doubts or insecurities about how your faith can help or hinder you in the weight loss journey?  

I look forward to hearing from you!  As you know, October is the month of scary things. So why not face our fears together?


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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam Holmes October 9, 2014 at 4:31 pm

I am scared of so many things. It makes me angry that at 63, I am still afraid. I thought at some point, I would “grow up,” and stop being a baby and be BRAVE. I’m still waiting.
I am scared mostly, right now, of my future. I worry so much about my husband and his health and what we have facing us with his Stage 4 Cancer. I know it won’t be pretty, it won’t be easy, it will be incredibly hard, and I don’t know if I am “up” for it. Can I handle it? I worry too about having regrets, like I do with how I handled my own Father’s time in hospice. I am so sorry for not being more sympathetic to what he was going through. I know my grief will be horrendous after I lose my husband, and I don’t want to also have to deal with regrets. And…of course I worry about regain. That used to be my greatest fear. I lived with being morbidly obese for so many years and hated it so much. I LOVED being average sized finally, and then late last year I started slowly putting some weight back on. I was scared to death…scared because I had lost control. Scared that once again I was going to weigh 328 lbs. and be miserable and unhealthy. In June, I finally reversed that trend and have lost 28 of the 32 pounds I regained, so once again I am feeling confident and good about myself. I guess with all I am going to have to deal with, it will be better to deal with it as a normal-sized person, than as a morbidly obese one who struggles with everything in life and has no energy left to take care of anyone else. For that I can be grateful…..I guess. But I am still very scared.
Pam Holmes recently posted..NightmaresMy Profile


Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 9, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Oh (((Pam)))) Big big hugs from me to you!!! I am so sorry that you are going through this. I will absolutely pray that your husband is healed from cancer. I have a friend right now fighting cancer and it has been really hard. There is that line between having faith and staying positive versus feeling doubtful and fearful of the worst happening. It is normal to feel that way. And I totally understand how you are scared at the thought of all this. How could you not feel that way? I know it is hard to get up and just go through the day “normally” when you have something like this hanging over you. It is like the second you suddenly feel a little peace the darn fear and thought pops right back in to throw you off course. At least that is how these things work for me. As frightening as the future seems right now, I know 100% that you are going to be ok. You are strong and you have determination. That is evident from your weight loss. You can face whatever comes your way. I really believe that in the midst of it all God will be there for both you and your husband. He will help you face whatever comes your way.

As to your father and feeling regretful—WITH YOU! I cannot even tell you the mountain of regret that I deal with regarding the death of my mother and Nana. I literally think I could not have handled either one in a worse way to be honest. Like if there was a contest for the worst possible way to handle something I would totally win. For a long time, I could barely deal with it at all. I really wanted to never have to think about it again because it killed me inside at how badly I handled both situations. And feeling so horrible about myself made me regain a lot of weight. It made me feel very dismal. So don’t do that no matter what! I agree with the saying that people do the best they can do at the time. Whatever we did…that’s what we did. If we can do better in the future, we will. But honestly, we have to not beat ourselves up over regrets. I think we are too at risk of losing our progress if we let that happen. So I will pray that both of us can feel healed from all that! I am SUPER excited for your weight loss the regain. This gives me hope that I can do it too!!!!! You are awesome!


Ronda October 9, 2014 at 4:39 pm

I do think my faith does help me with weight loss! We have HIM to rely on and HE is in control of all things in our lives. This month our ladies group started a new bible study, we have started choir practice, and we have our women’s retreat!! So I am very active at the same time as changing my food habits!! I have no doubt God knows my daily struggles with food and is reminding me to stay on course!!!


Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 9, 2014 at 8:00 pm

You are a busy bee Ronda! I think sometimes this helps me to stay focused. Often times when I have too much free time, food comes back to mind. I know He is helping you with those daily struggles too just like He is helping me!


Renee October 9, 2014 at 7:13 pm

I think working on the spiritual side of your life while losing weight is important. Sometimes, you just have to “give it up to God!” I know that I have to do the work. That’s it. No one else. But with all the tools I have, my faith is one of the best tools. I am not a church go-er, nor a scripture quote -er – but I know there is a higher being that helps me when my
“toolbox” is empty. I guess the best thing is, even when I let myself down, eat something I shouldn’t, don’t exercise….when I hate myself the most… I really believe there is someone that still loves me, and helps me get back on my feet….. and try one-more-time.


Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 9, 2014 at 7:59 pm

I love that Renee! That is so important I think too. There is no where forgiveness seems to be more constantly needed than on the weight loss journey when at times you seem to slip up every other day. I think we must believe on some level that we are worthy no matter what. That losing weight is not something we must do because we are “bad”. That it is healthy for us and important to let go of unhealthy behaviors but fundamentally we are loved no matter what! I totally agree!


Anneli October 9, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Oh yes! Spirit is a BIG part about losing weight. I’ve dabbled with overeater’s anonymous. If anybody out there has the answers about weightloss, it’s these people. They’re not promoting any diet, they’re talking about the feelings that keep us fat and how we might overcome them. So I should go more faithfully, right?

NO!! Because then I might lose weight! And what happens then?? There are all kinds of benefits to being fat that I’m not sure I’m ready to give up. First of all, the food. Being fat is awful, but the food is terrific. What if I’m noticed more? Will I have to accept more responsibility? What if people like me more? Will I feel angry because they didn’t like me before? What if people say I look great? Will I have to cope with feeling bad that I haven’t looked “great” the last 50 years? What if I’m suddenly more attractive to men? Will I still be as content with my same old comfortable husband? (this is a super scary issue–we’re in a major rut). What if I suddenly become shallow and vain? What if losing weight makes me inauthentic somehow? I really resent the way the world judges my value by my appearance. Is losing weight a cop-out?
Anneli recently posted..No low fat for skinny peopleMy Profile


Holly from 300 Pounds Down October 10, 2014 at 12:20 am

I have been to OA numerous times over the years. Totally agree with what you are saying. They actually had a group there that was called ‘grey sheet’ I think where they refused to eat things like sugar I am pretty positive. I could be remembering it wrong as it was literally about 15 or 20 years ago but that is what I recall. I remember at the time thinking that the idea of cutting out certain foods was ‘crazy’ . I guess I thought it was much more sane to keep eating it and gain 300 pounds instead! UGH. Anyway, I found the quite helpful and even more helpful if I listen!

As to some of the questions you posed….oh my gosh do I relate!! I experienced many of those things after losing 240 pounds and I think the reason I gained back some weight was due to my inability to handle some of those things. I 100% have felt what you are talking about!


Nancy October 10, 2014 at 2:11 am

I would have to say that my faith is not that strong, so it has never been an important element in losing weight. Perhaps that is what I am missing. I grew up a Christian and my husband had gone to seminary, but our faith was shaken when he was blind sided by an a supervisor while on internship. It was a long and ugly battle with the church and it has been hard to not feel hurt and wounded by our experience. We have tried to go back to a different denomination, but it is just too painful. I still believe in God, but have had a hard time putting all the anger aside. Definitely something to think about.

I have never really put my faith into the weight loss process. I will have to do some soul searching and praying on this. Maybe this is what I need to help me stay on track to reach my goals.

I thank you for bringing up some great points. You are an inspiration to me.



Michelle October 10, 2014 at 4:45 pm

One thing I have discovered so far during this 2.5 year journey of mine (I say so far because I’ve come to the realization this is a continuous journey, constantly wandering into unknown territory and revisiting familiar terrain) is that to experience success, one has to fully realize that this it is really about so much more than food. We have to heal ourselves because, no matter what, no one gets to be morbidly obese without having other issues at hand. Period. The pre-surgery me would have told you that I just loved food–really loved food. Anytime I tuned into a talk show or self-help program and heard people speaking of food addictions and using food as a drug my 377+/- pound self would think, “what a cop-out. You just eat too much, just like me. Stop trying to blame your lack of self control on other things. Embrace your weakness like I do.” But, alas, there is something about having 85% of your stomach removed that makes you realize some important things about yourself. For example, after sitting down and eating your healthy, high protein meal, knowing your new reduced size tummy is adequately full, and your mind starts cataloging all the food in the house and your realize you are thinking of wanting something to eat when you know that there is no possible way you are experiencing true, physical hunger, so it must be something else. That’s when the head & soul work have to come into play. That’s when you realize that you chewed away your anger & frustrations. You swallowed down your stress and pain. Now, you can’t stuff it away so easily, so you have some hard choices to make. You are going to have to deal with it–and it ain’t pretty, no matter what kind of package you wrap it up in. This is where the spiritual side comes into play. You will need some higher power in your life to get you through this. Whether it be God, Buddha, Jehovah, Shiva, Mother Earth, etc., you will need to reach deep within your being to find that something within you that is bigger than you or me to get you through the hard, cold facts you are about to face. Like I said, it won’t be pretty and it won’t be fun sometimes, but to experience long-term success, you will have to deal with those things–and not just one time, over and over and over again will they rear their ugly head. Through prayer, mediation, and self examination, you can get through these times. Although they never go away completely, I have found that over time, their appearance gets less and less frequent and, for the most part, easier to deal with. But don’t be caught off guard, the really difficult moments still come up and, for me, having the power to “Let go and let God” has been a tremendous salvation.


Tanya Martin October 10, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Do you believe that feeding the spiritual side of you is an important element in losing weight?
Although I attend church regularly, my spiritual side has never played a part in my weight loss. I do feel some type of support system is needed. It helps to talk to other about your struggles and successes. I’m a weight watchers member, and the meetings have been so helpful for my weight loss. Also I feel it is important to have the support of your family. They help keep me in check.

Do you have any doubts or insecurities about how your faith can help or hinder you in the weight loss journey?
If anything my church is a hindrance – you should see the potlucks they have! Just kidding. If I didn’t have faith, it would be so easy to give up. So easy to just quit and keep gaining. But I know that HE is on my side and always wants the best for me.


Sherri October 10, 2014 at 10:53 pm

I absolutely believe that feeding our spiritual side is an important part of our weight loss journey. I think that possibly that is where I’ve failed in the past. I’ve never lost my faith in God, but I lost faith in myself & forgot to lean on Him when I needed strength. I placed the burden of losing weight soley on my shoulders & felt like I was in it alone. When actually I was never alone He walked beside me the entire time & I needed to lean on Him.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.


Holly October 11, 2014 at 1:53 am

I have a… complicated personal history with weight and spirituality.y very first diet, at the age of 9, was “Weigh Down Workshop”. I don’t know if you’ve had experience with that particular program, but it’s a faith-based program. Maybe the principles taught there were helpful for someone, but I think they were really damaging for me. Suddenly my being a good or bad Christian hinged on my ability to stay super hungry most of the time. I lost over 30 pounds and gained it back as soon as I got tired of constant hunger- my first yo yo in the cycle of gain and loss! I had many other issues with the church I was brought up in, and ultimately left faith completely. I considered myself an atheist for many years. Totally desperate for relief from binging myself sick, I found OA meetings and sort of re-discovered faith and a God of my understanding. It was truly life-changing. I became a Christian again, in a much healthier church setting. I’m grateful that I have been able to find some healing in my spiritual life. BUT! Does that mean I had this amazing conversion experience and I have this perfect and amazing faith now?!? NO! Saul on the road to Damascus I am not. I still feel bitter about my childhood experiences with church sometimes. I worry that I’m kidding myself about a God of my understanding, and that the wrathfully and scary God of my childhood is the “real” thing. I worry that by participating in church, I’m agreeing that what I went through wasn’t “that bad”. I also worry that expecting God to care about my weight when there is so much other suffering in the world is crazy and selfish. I don’t know if I answered your questions but this is where I’m at today. Happy to have any faith at all, happy to have a loving church home, but often struggling anyway. Thanks for letting me share!
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Susan October 12, 2014 at 1:16 am

I totally relate to Michelle’s post. I didn’t get here without other issues, and it is a daily struggle to look at food as fuel for my body, instead of a means of comfort. Yes I need God to rely on. He gave me this body and I have not treated it like a temple. He will forgive me like any parent forgives their child, and continues to love them. But I do feel like I should do better with the gifts given to me.

I am not a church member. I have tried some, but they all seem to think they are the only connection to God. I feel that my connection is direct and personal. God is love, and most of our troubles come from that free will he allows us. My choices have led to my weight, and it has to be my choice to make permanent changes to drop this weight.

I don’t have doubts or insecurities about my faith hindering my weight loss journey. I do think it helps. I pray for the knowledge and strength to stay on course to lose the weight. I am also thankful to have lived this life at any size.

I do feel that feeding my spiritual side is important. That includes applying the scriptures in my daily life. But it also includes how I treat others each day, and how inspired I am by the wonder around me that He created. I try to use this to help me in this weight loss journey. I like walking in nature, and enjoy bird watching. I love to go walking with my wonderful friend – we call it our therapy.


Jessica October 13, 2014 at 2:16 pm

This last time of losing the weight – and having the most success I’ve ever had, I have recently finally put my finger on something that I have felt like I’ve been missing – my spiritual side. I have faith, I am a Christian, but I’ve always taken it for granted, and not spent any time at all reflecting on that aspect of myself. So I’m devoting more of my time to studying the bible, and really thinking about what it is saying to me. I’m also reading a book “Made to Crave” that has an interesting viewpoint on weight loss and spirituality.


Colleen October 19, 2014 at 11:58 pm

As a believer, I, too, get so angry at myself that I can’t seem to just give it to God and leave it there. No matter what it is (and it is usually food related) I seem to hold on to that little corner so I can pull it back instead of totally trusting that God has my back. And the crazy thing is that He has worked real miracles in my life, He has shown Himself in big and small ways every day since I surrendered and became His child and yet, I seem to forget those things He has done in other areas when food and eating are the subject. I have other addictions that I gave to Him completely and He freed me from them, smoking, drug abuse, alcohol. He took them all from me and I do not struggle with them at all anymore. The big difference is, as we all know, we have to eat so when food is your substance that you abuse it becomes a whole different ball game because you have to find a way to balance your addiction with eating to be healthy. Such a conundrum and I wish I had the magic answer! I just know that it is so worth the struggle. I am so healthy now compared to a year and a half ago and I am fighting with all I have to hang on to the new me, the new weight, the new life. Scared…??? You bet, terrified is probably more like it.


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