Saturday, January 29, 2011

TOPS is Great!!!

I finally made it to my first TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meeting last Tuesday night! Woo Hoo! I was really apprehensive about going because I have been house bound for a long time and my confidence level with people is nowhere near what it used to be. At one time in my life, I could go alone to any type of event and never think twice about it, but this time I felt a little apprehensive. However, much to my delight, the folks at this particular meeting were awesome! They were sooooo friendly and supportive. I even got a card in the mail today from one of the ladies, encouraging me in my weight loss efforts. That was so sweet and very much appreciated by someone who is at home alone most days. 

I hope I can make some good friends there and I hope I can make it to most of the meetings. With fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue I don't know what each day will hold for me because I can be fine one day and bedridden the next and not only that, my situation can change drastically from one hour to the next.

It's funny that I was sort of an oddity to them (okay, those of you who know me, don't you say one word). Lol! But, anyway, let me explain - I signed up for the TOPS program online. They had never had a person come to their meetings before that had signed up online. In this day and age I consider that an oddity. =)

But, anyway, as soon as I got there I had to weigh in. I stepped on their scales and weighed 218.5. Actually, I was a little shocked because my scales showed 223.5 a week before so I thought that maybe I had lost some weight, but noooooooo! My scales must be waaaay off because I weighed yesterday and I weighed 225 and on top of that it means I gained since last week. OH MY! 

From now on I think I'm just going to weigh every morning for a while to see if there are any huge variances from day to day. My scales are old so I may need to purchase a new set. Oh, well.

Okay, back to the meeting. Like I said, "The people were awesome!" They made me feel very welcome. I was given an information packet and was told a little bit about the history of TOPS. I was also informed of a trip to Columbia coming up in April. I think it was for a regional meeting. It sounded like it would be educational as well as a lot of fun. I'm sure it would be a great way to get to know everyone a little better, especially if you chose to share a room with 3 other ladies as some of them will be doing.

I think the secretary said there were 29 people there which I assume was pretty good for a rainy night. At the start of every meeting a pledge is said then we sang a cute little song about weight loss. The role was taken and when your name was called out you would either say that you lost and everyone would clap, or if you gained everyone said, "We're glad you're here"! I liked that! No condemnation.

During the meeting they also talked about this particular club's incentives to lose weight through having little contests. The prizes would be either money or an item. This time, it was a beautiful floral wreath for the home. They had two there on display.

One lady shared a story about a friend who passed away recently. I could see the anguish on her face as she told us his story. I think she said he had weighed around 500 lbs. at one time. He had started to lose weight and had lost 100 lbs., but unfortunately, he had started too late. The weight had already taken it's sad.

You know, people say that they would never let themselves get to that weight, but I'm sure this person may have thought that at one time as well. It's so easy to keep climbing up the scale little by little and then when we realize we have packed on 50+ extra pounds we get discouraged and worry that we won't have the willpower to get the weight off. We may be apprehensive because we know the issues that led to our weight gain are still there.

We may be depressed or eat from boredom, loneliness, or stress. We know the medications that have caused the weight gain still have to be taken. We may be going through menopause, which can effect our metabolism, and can cause us to have sugar cravings -- and menopause can last for years. Because of these factors, we also know that just cutting back on calories may not be the answer. We know we're going to have to exercise, but the excess weight we have packed on has caused depression and disgust with ourselves. Our self esteem is non-existent. We have extreme fatigue and that only allows us to be able to do the necessities of the day. We have no strength left for anything else, especially exercise. And some of us, like me, have certain disabilities that keep them from being able to exercise like normal people.

And there's going to be setbacks along the way. For instance, I was so discouraged with myself last Friday night. I had looked forward to going snow tubing with my church. I knew I couldn't actually snow tube (because of back problems); I was going for the fellowship. On Monday and part of Tuesday it rained. As a person with fibromyalgia and arthritis this caused a lot of pain for me and it just wouldn't go away. So, I had to send my husband off without me and I spent my Friday night on the couch watching TV...alone. I was so depressed that I ate way too many cookies. I wasn't hungry. I just wanted comfort and I got it...for the moment. After they were gone, so was that feeling and you know what came next...guilt...then, disgust.

But, you know what I did? On Saturday, I started all over again. I didn't give up like I would have in the past and for that I am proud of myself. I have a God that is bigger than my problems and issues and I "believe" Him when He says His mercies are new each morning.

I am not naive to think I am just in a battle with myself...I am also in a spiritual battle. Satan seeks to kill, to steal, and destroy -- our minds and our bodies. He does not want me to be healthy or happy. He does not want me to be used of God! He wants me to fall flat on my face. He desires for me to completely lose my testimony and slander the name of my Lord -- and do it with the very life God has given me. GOD FORBID! The Lord is on my side!

My life has been a battle from the time I was born until now and I can say that MY strength is faltering and the battle seems harder than ever before! BUT, I pray that the last part of my life will be more victorious than the first. How can that be you say? Well, I had always considered myself a strong person, both mentally and physically, but the war against satan has worn me down. I have fought in my own strength too long and too many times. GOD will have to fight all the battles for me from here on out because I am too weak and if He fights them for me, I know there will be victory. (And He said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's. ~2 Chronicles 20:15) Didn't I know this already! =)

Now, in saying these things I am reminded of the story of Samson believe it or not. Here's the part I'm talking about: 

Samson knew he had been called to deliver Israel from its oppressors, but instead he had mainly served himself. In his pathetic troubles (with Delilah and being reduced to a hairless, blind slave) he experienced a conversion and became totally committed to God and to doing His work -- even though it meant the destruction of his own life. He finally saw the sorry mess he had made of himself and was willing to let God work his will through him.

He fervently prayed and asked God to hear him. God did. God always hears such heart-felt, humble prayers. Samson said, "Let me die with the Philistines." He then bowed himself with all his might against the two pillars. His muscles bulged, quivered, and filled with greater God-given strength than ever before. The pillars began to push apart, and then like a massive earthquake the entire viewing stand collapsed, killing about three thousand, including virtually all the leadership of Philistia.

This disaster so disrupted the Philistine nation that Israel was able to throw off its yoke of oppression. In this one act, after yielding himself to God, Samson accomplished more than in his entire life following the way that seemed right to him. 

In my Sunday school class, years ago, the teacher made a statement that I had an answer for. She said, "I really have no idea why God included the story of Samson in His Word!" But, I knew why. Even though Samson spent most of his life living in his own strength, it was only when He realized that God was his strength that he accomplished the most. Samson did more for God in the last part of his life than he ever did before. And that's where I am. Even though I have loved the Lord for many years, way too many times I tried to handle things on my own. And how did that work for me? Not well, at all! 

So, the moral of this story? Well, there are a couple I want to mention. The obvious one is letting go of our control and letting God take the reins of our life. With Him, we have access to all of the power of He who spoke everything into existence. But, there is another -- if you are an older Christian and you have squandered years of your life, years serving self more than God, listen carefully -- it is NEVER too late to turn it around. Samson is our greatest example in this. Just like Samson, I want to do more in the second half of my life than I ever did in the first. So, my friend, don't stay on the sidelines. As long as you have been given another day, God intends to use you. Give Him control and watch Him do mighty things through you! Let's do this!!!

Well, there you have thought for the day. So I will close for now and talk to you again soon. But, before I go, I wanted to leave you with something that I found the other day. This reminded me of my military days and of what I would like to be for the Lord. I just don't want to look like this. LOL! 

So, take care dear friends!

With Much Love,

The Princess Warrior

Here is what I found! OOH RAH!!!
USMC Bulldog

Copyright Information
Copyright © 2009 The Princess Warrior Ministries. All articles are copyrighted on the date they are posted, unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved. Permission granted for not-for-sale reproduction in exact form including copyright and web address. Other uses require written permission. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture references are taken from the King James Bible.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave me a comment. I would really love to hear from you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...