Mirrors, Relfections and God

We all have days where we feel bad about ourselves and we pick ourselves apart piece by piece when we look in the mirror. That’s why I hate mirrors. If we aren’t careful we can lose all vision of who we truly are and only focus on the outward appearance. I’ve been guilty and getting back is hard!

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All of my life I’ve struggled with my appearance, my weight, my height and my identity. It all started in middle school/junior high. I was tall and skinny. My nose was too big for my face and I was awkward. I never quite fit in and always felt out of place. It’s funny in a way because at times I still feel like I don’t fit in. I can be in a room full of people and still feel alone and out of place. (That’s another story for another day)

I felt like maybe if I was skinnier that people would like me. I would eat lunch in the cafeteria and then go to the bathroom and throw it up. Sometimes I’d use it as an excuse to go home because I didn’t want to be at school. I hated it that much. I used to be embarrassed by it but it’s a part of my life. Throwing up so much damaged the enamel on my teeth and I still deal with getting cavities easily today as a result of that.

Once I got to High School I just wouldn’t eat. I had gone from a size 3 to a 7 from my Freshman year to my Sophomore year. I felt like I was too fat and that I needed to get the weight off. The worse part of it was that years later when I told someone about it they didn’t believe me. The next year couple years of school I ate. What I ate was not so healthy. I had bagels 2x a day with fatty cream cheese and 4-6 cookies from the cafeteria. I drank tons of soda and didn’t walk or get in any exercise. I started packing on the pounds. I’ve never been athletic and I didn’t play sports in school. I was basically a couch potato.

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I’ve never really enjoyed eating meat growing up. I never really liked the taste of it (Something I still struggle with today). When I would eat it in high school it would be at fast food restaurants like Taco Bell or it would be deep fried at Wendy’s or KFC. My friends and I would frequently go to Taco Bell after school and hang out. I would then go home and eat dinner again. It was a vicious cycle. I was diagnosed with cancer at the end of my Junior year. I had a couple of surgeries and the last one they removed the tumor along with the small bone above my ankle bone. Thank God, God healed me and I didn’t have to go through the chemo or amputations. This added to me being sedentary. I couldn’t walk anywhere far and if I had to go far someone pushed me in a wheel chair.

I was in size 11’s and 13’s by my senior year. To add to the weight gain from being sedentary and from eating so poorly I was on prednisone for my asthma for an entire year. It added to the weight gain. I had no idea how much weight I had gained until I watched a video of me from a class assignment and I was mortified! I had a gut and a roll hanging over my jean skirt. It was shocking and embarrassing. It was near the end of Senior year. My friend and I had our picture taken in our graduation outfits and it was posted in the year book. My face was so large I was unrecognizable to myself. I saw the picture and thought that the girl in the picture couldn’t possibly be me.

That summer I went into depression and didn’t really leave the house much. I started college in the fall. The campus was spread out really far and all my classes were in different buildings and different floors. I walked everywhere and walked up and down 3-4 flights a stairs several times every day. Before I knew it, I had lost a lot of weight and was healthy again. I started eating in moderation and had a sensible lunch every day. I was so happy and proud of myself! My entire time at school I always took the stairs over the elevator. I was doing great. I met a guy we dated for a couple years and eventually it ended. I was devastated over the circumstances of it and quit eating. I thought I was too fat and that is why he didn’t love me. I lost 30+lbs and at one point weighed 120. I am 5’ 7 ½“ and should weigh around 145 or so. I went from 8’s and 10’s to 6’s and 4’s. I was unhealthy. When I chose to eat, my body rejected it from not eating. Eventually I got better and unfortunately started in this pattern of fast food again. I also got a full time job where I sat down all day long. I was used to walking all over downtown going on errands and such. I started talking to this guy and we hit it off. We started hanging out after my night classes and would go by McDonald’s and grab some food. I started packing on the pounds. We got married less than a year later! I was so happy to marry this guy who was my best friend and the love of my life. (We are still happily married 4 years later!)

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I looked at myself in my wedding dress and was shocked at how big I had gotten again. My husband and I lived with my parents because he lost his job right before we got married. He was having a hard time finding anything. 7 months after we got married, my Grandma passed away in June. Then in November my Grandpa passed away. I was devastated by both but more so after my Grandpa died. We weren’t expecting it. He fell and 2 weeks later he was gone. He was my best friend. I thought the world of him. I spent every day of my childhood at his house. Almost every dinner was at his house. I didn’t know how to manage that. My Mom had to start taking care of my Grandma. She has Alzheimer’s. She spent the night at her house almost every night. She eventually had to quit her job to take care of her full time. I started helping more around the house. The car my husband and I just bought had the engine blow, and then a few months later the transmission went. Needless to say it was stressful. I turned to desserts and food for comfort.

At my heaviest I was 190lbs. I am not sure my current weight but am guessing it is somewhere in the 160lbs range. I am currently trying to get healthy and get the rest of the weight off that isn’t healthy for me. I need to lose about 15lbs to get to where my doctor wants my BMI to be. I take long walks every day with my dog. I am trying to kick soda and fast food. I would like to get down to 145lbs this year and do it the healthy way. No more not eating and no more throwing my food up. I know I need to eat healthy food and exercise to be healthy. God gave us life and bodies. Our bodies are our temples. We should take care of them and love them. Both of those are hard to do sometimes.

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1 Corinthians 6:19 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”

I’ve struggled with loving myself but until I did I couldn’t love my husband the way God intended me to. I still struggle some days with my appearance but at the end of the day what matters is that God loves me for exactly who I am and he sees me for who I am. He sees my soul and knows my heart.

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

1 John 4:10 “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

The above verses tell us God formed us, he loved us so much even when we were sinners that he sent his only son to die for us so we could go to Heaven and live forever if we accept his son and believe that he is God’s son and that he died for us and rose again on the third day. We also must confess that we are sinners and ask for forgiveness.

I invite you to examine your heart and ask God to help you love yourself and see yourself in his eyes. For you ladies, if you are going through any of the same things I have please get help. I was lucky to get through it on my own. I am not going to lie, there are days where I honestly consider not eating to get the weight off or eating whatever I want then throwing it up. No matter how much weight is off sometimes I can’t see myself as looking any different and all I see is me being heavy. Don’t let anyone convince you that it is normal. It is not healthy and can be super damaging to your health. I still have days where I don’t want to eat and days where I want to make myself throw up my lunch. (It feels weird just admitting that because I’ve told no one that) Anorexia and Bulimia are eating disorders and you can get help. See the link below.

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/find-help-support

It’s hard to see yourself as you truly are when your body image is distorted in your mind. I know. I feel that way a lot of days. It’s getting easier but it is a process. Know if you have an eating disorder you are not alone. There are people who will support you to help you get through it and to get healthy again. I am one of those people! Don’t let anyone make you feel that you aren’t beautiful for being heavy or being too skinny. Be healthy and your body will look the way nature intended it to. We are all beautiful no matter our story or the way we look. God sees us as beautiful and he loves us.

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One of the best things is to find a hobby. Find something you love doing and do it! Read, bike, walk, run, cook, bake, sing, dance, knit, crochet, craft, write stories, get a journal and write your feelings, paint, take up a musical instrument, take classes at your local community college, draw, collect rocks, collect stamps… you get the point. It helps relieve pain and gives you an outlet for your energy and for your mind to focus.

I love to cook, bake, craft, read and take walks with my dog. Doing all of those things, helps me to feel like me and to feel happy. Finding happiness is so important! Another important key to happiness is having a relationship with God. He can carry your burdens and pick you up when you fall. If you don’t have one, I encourage you to have a relationship with God. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made. My life hasn’t been free of problems but God has made them easier when I let him take them for me.

I invite you to follow me on my journey to health and happiness! I am going to try to start posting recipes and workouts and tips. I hope you will join me on my journey!

Love from above!

Iva Mae

 

 

Say NO to the cookie!!

The past few days have been a real struggle for me to not eat the things I told myself I wasn’t going to eat. I have been eating healthy and drinking a lot of water. I made a decision to not eat fast food, greasy or fatty foods. This also includes sugary foods.

 

While I could munch on chips and fried chicken any day… sugar is my real weakness. I cannot resist chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies with icing or donuts. Of course yesterday we received some Shamrock Shaped iced sugar cookies with one of our supply orders.

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Every time I walked in the back to put things away I was tempted to eat one. However I chose to not eat one. While the cookie is pretty and will be tasty for a moment, I will end up regretting it and that is something far worse than being tempted by the cookies.

 

Today we had a large work meeting and guess what was in the kitchen when I walked in… donuts!!! I love donuts. I love glazed, sprinkled, chocolate, cinnamon, powdered, and Boston crème filled. It has been so hard not to eat one!!! AHHH!

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It got me thinking about other things in life. Sin may appear pretty and will come in a form that appears attractive to us. However we must see past that and realize that it is not worth it. When we sin we are hurting our relationship with God. Sin takes us farther away from God. Just like by me eating that cookie it will take me farther away from my goal and my commitment. Once I eat that cookie or donut I will say well I already did that might as well eat another or might as well eat KFC and drink huge Pepsi since I already made one mistake. What is three or four more?

 

It can snow ball farther and farther. It’s like sin. We can do one little thing and then keep going until we have let something small snowball into something big and we are so far off the path we cannot find the way back.

 

Jesus got baptized (Matthew 3) and immediately after the devil tempted him. He fasted 40 days and 40 nights. He was hungry. The devil tempted him to turn a stone into bread. Jesus didn’t. He instead told the devil that man shouldn’t live by bread alone, but every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4)

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Jesus went through temptation to show us that it can be done without giving in to it. He may have been God’s son but he was in human form and any human that hadn’t eaten in 40 days and nights would be hungry. It would be tempting to turn the stone into bread, but Jesus didn’t.

 

While eating cookies and donuts isn’t a sin, me eating one would have been breaking the commitment I made with myself. When we sin we break our vow to be Christ like. Christ never sinned. We are not perfect and that is why God sent his only son to this world to die in our place. He knew we would make mistakes. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. When we sin we have an advocate. We can pray and ask God to forgive us when we mess up.

 

The important thing is when you sin or fall off track, don’t quit! Ask God to forgive you when you sin and when you break a commitment to yourself, forgive yourself. Get back on the way of the Lord and get back on track! When we fall the most important step is getting back up.

 

I hope that when you fall you will get back up and keep on keeping on! Remember be strong in temptation and do not fall into it. You can do it!!! If I can pass up a cookie you can pass up something that is tempting to you!

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Love from above!

 

Iva Mae

Rejoice & Eat Zucchini Bread!

Psalm 118:24 “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

This morning when I got up it was pouring the rain. I instantly was in a bad mood. I thought about all the errands we had to do this morning. I decided that I wasn’t going to let the weather bother me because we need the rain. I also remembered the verse above and decided to be glad and rejoice because today is the Lord’s day. Every day is. If not for rain I wouldn’t have a garden. Sometimes the best thing you can for yourself is change your attitude. It can make a world of difference. I made my favorite pancakes for breakfast and drank my favorite coffee.  After breakfast, we went to the Title Agency and to the License Bureau in a town over. After that we had to go to 2 different banks in 2 different towns.

Everything ended up being fine and went quickly and smoothly. I got back and used some Zucchini from our garden to make a healthier version of my Grandma Wagoner’s Zucchini Bread. I was so excited to bake and to use some Zucchini from my garden. The recipe is below. My Grandma’s recipe is also and went quickly and smoothly. I got back and used some Zucchini to make a healthier version of my Grandma Wagoner’s Zucchini Bread. I was so excited to bake and to use some Zucchini from my garden. The recipe is below. My Grandma’s recipe used white flour, vegetable oil and sugar.

HEALTHY ZUCCHINI BREAD

Ingredients:

-3 eggs

-3 tsp. vanilla

-1 cup of coconut oil or applesauce (I used coconut oil because that is what I had on hand.)

-2-2 ½ cups of truvia or sweetner of your choice (48-60 packets)

-2 cups of pureed zucchini (I used 1 large zucchini and froze what I didn’t need)

-3 cups sifted whole wheat flour

-1/2 tsp. baking powder

-1 tsp. salt

-1 tsp. baking soda

-3 heaping tsp. cinnamon

-1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts

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Directions:

Wash and cut zucchini into 1-2 inch pieces. Add about 4-6 oz of water to a blender. Turn the blender on and open top and add pieces of zucchini until all the zucchini has been pureed.

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Beat together eggs, vanilla, coconut oil, and truvia.

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Once it has been well blended, add in pureed zucchini.

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 Beat the zucchini, eggs, vanilla, coconut oil and truvia on low-med speed until well blended.

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt & cinnamon.

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 Add flour mixture to zucchini mixture. Beat on low/med until all is well mixed.

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Once well blended chop nuts and blend into bread mixture.

Grease 2 loaf pans.

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 Add bread mixture to pans and bake for approximately 1 hour or until done in the middle.

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